Salespeople, with strong skills, are always in demand in any economy.  Certainly some sales opportunities have an ebb and flow tied to the current economic conditions, but those are mainly business-to-consumer positions.  From that understanding comes a 2008 sales hiring outlook from Monster.com.

First key graph:

In 2008 as always, salespeople in nearly any industry will find work, if they’ve got the contacts, the product knowledge and the street savvy. “Any successful salesperson in any industry is able to write their own ticket,” says Brandon Gutman, director of marketing and business development for recruiter Stephen-Bradford Search in New York.

Couldn’t agree more.  As companies make difficult decisions, some strong salespeople are let go due to financial considerations.  This fact is why we do not abhor a bit of a hiring slowdown.  The slowdown puts some strong salespeople on the street who may have been much harder to recruit out of their former position.

Some of the hot niches this year:

Salespeople in hot information technology sectors can remain optimistic, despite the slow economy.

“In online advertising sales, there are more positions open than bodies to fill them,” he says.

From biotech to carbon credits to the robots that have replaced factory workers, 2008 will see the continued proliferation of complex products, creating a need for salespeople with high-level skills and special subject-matter expertise.

High-level sales skills are in demand today.  The days of shake-and-howdy, round of golf sales calls are waning.  Salespeople with the skills to navigate long sales cycles with multiple decision layers are the ones who will be in the most demand.

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