Written By Dan Fantasia CEO and Founder of Treeline, Inc.
Unpredictable: the one word I think of when looking back on 2010. This year has been an "unpredictable" year for our clients, for our candidates, and of course, for Treeline.
As a sales organization, we base our business model on consistent sustainable growth. Fortunately, 2010 proved to be a better year than 2009. However, uncertainty reigned throughout the year. Americas' volatile economic situation directly influenced the decisions of many of our clients and candidates. Therefore, many decisions were made due to an emotional response to economic influences. Often, fear caused by uncertainty overshadowed logic and reason and the decision making process to buy, hire, or accept an offer was frequently unclear.
The "Great Recession" directly impacted the quarterly forecasts for many of our client companies. The inability to consistently forecast on a quarterly basis resulted in an emotional roller coaster ride with many hiring managers uneasy about whether they should hire.
For every peak, there has been a valley.
Starting in December 2009, the sales market began to build momentum. Many companies were forecasting revenue growth. There was a positive, infectious belief that 2010 was going to be a great year. As a result, companies had aggressive headcount goals and were building sales forces to support their forecast. Q1 proved to be a great quarter.
In Q2, companies started to lose confidence. They came out of the gate strong, but were less confident in the stock market and the economy. Companies were struggling with their forecasts. Therefore, they were doubtful about hiring additional sales professionals. Many companies searched aggressively in Q2, but stalled at the offer stage. They were trying to complete the hiring process, but often, came across roadblocks concerning budget or missed quotas. Their ability to achieve aggressive headcount goals became less likely.
Going into Q3 the sales market started to gain momentum once again. Companies were in a hiring mode, and once mid August was upon us, we were moving at a nice pace. Since September we have been at a solid, consistent, accelerated pace. The third quarter proved to be a record quarter for Treeline.
Heading into Q4 we are finding the same predictable and scalable success. This is a good sign for all of us. Sales professionals tend to be hired by companies that are growing and looking to increase their top line growth.
The "Great Recession" challenged the traditional methodologies that many companies were accustomed to. Successful companies have been able to adapt and accept change in their practices. The companies that have survived are working their way back to meet revenue targets, and in many cases exceeding expectations.
We are seeing 5 strong trends for growing sales organizations in 2011.
- DADOMATCH – The traditional resume is out-dated. Sales professionals join DADO to stand-out from the crowd.
- Marketing and Sales are in alignment. The fastest growing sales organizations have no silos. Marketing and sales are coming together and functioning to support the company's overall revenue growth.
- Companies are hiring talented sales representatives. Hiring executives have momentum and are focused on growth in 2011.
- Companies are finding their forecasts are becoming more predictable. Sales are not being lost or postponed, but in fact closing.
- Social media and sales communities are become more collaborative and educational. We are all learning quickly and new processes spread quickly
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