2009 proved to be quite a challenging year for every industry across the United States. We as a nation have endured a significant amount of change and we as sales professionals are the most equipped to deal with it. Regardless of the harsh realities of 2009, we see some light at the end of the tunnel and at Treeline welcome 2010 with open arms. We have been asked by many of you to give our predictions of what we see in 2010 and we have always been willing to share our open and honest opinions. So without further ado, here are our predictions for 2010:

1. Companies will have a greater urgency to hire sales professionals in 2010

First off, we believe that companies will have a much greater urgency to hire in 2010. We are seeing this trend develop right now. We have found our clients to be more aggressive in December than they were in all of 2009. Companies have cut their staff to the bone and hunkered down throughout 2009. This is a behavior that we see changing currently and predict this behavior will continue throughout 2010. Companies are starting to make the transition from survival mode to growth mode. They are experiencing consistent numbers and are now positioning themselves to win. They have survived so far, and although we are not through the tough times, we are seeing a steady increase in the hiring of sales professionals.

Clients are feeling more confident in the economy and feel that they have weathered a large portion of the storm, therefore we are seeing more firms coming to the realization that now is the time to hire. After taking it on the chin in 2009, many companies are starting to feel a greater urgency and need to grow revenue in 2010. Classically speaking, the best way to increase revenue is to increase your sales force. Additional Sales Professionals carry additional revenue numbers and if hiring is done properly, companies will increase revenue with an increase in sales staff. It is happening right now and for growth companies that have cut to the bone, now is the time to build depth in their sales forces.

Therefore, our prediction is that there will be a greater urgency to hire sales professionals in 2010 but be forewarned that urgency is not desperation. Companies are still more selective than ever but urgent to increase revenue. They will not take risk on a hire. In fact you will see more sales job postings this year than last but the hiring authorities will not settle for mediocrity. For the right candidate, companies will move quickly but if they are on the fence, there is greater likelihood they will not hire. They have identified and weeded through their sales team for the past 12 months to find the best of the best. The top sales people have stayed and continue to find success. In order to ad value to these dedicated teams of high output performers, candidates will have to prove to each organization their worth. Companies now know better than ever what they need in a sales person to be successful.

2. Companies will spend more money to adopt an aggressive marketing strategy.

Companies, regardless of industry or size, will adopt more aggressive, effective and modern approaches to their marketing strategy. They will increase revenue and become more efficient competitors by optimizing and implementing a comprehensive marketing strategy to find success and grow revenue in 2010. Organizations will collaborate and build effective tactical plans to incorporate the power of social media, Google AdWords and SEO to effectively drive traffic and sales through the web.

Companies will adapt and change the way they build their brand. Right now, consumer expectations are at an all time high. They have more power and technology at their fingertips than ever before. They are well educated and value peer opinion and reviews when considering a purchase. A company's brand today is very much based on word of mouth and street credit. Therefore, many companies will invest heavily in a marketing strategy for 2010 that will utilize social media more effectively. It is imperative that companies isolate and target people who need to buy their product and t