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Wondering if Recruiting SaaS Salespeople During a Recession is a Smart Strategy?


Let’s take a look at the business archives.

What do tech companies like Mailchimp, Square, and Venmo have in common? They all started in the last two recessions (2001, 2009). It might be contrarian, but sometimes it’s advantageous to move in the opposite direction of the crowd. For example, consider hiring for your sales team when someone else is laying off employees.

What? Are you suggesting we staff up our sales team?

I’m suggesting if you have solutions that work, you have the cash flow or even cash reserves, and you are committed to growing your client base, it’s a great time to recruit and invest in high-performing SaaS sales talent.

Six reasons why Recruiting SAAS Sales Talent in a Downturn is an intelligent growth strategy


1. New blood brings new ideas.

Hiring new people can be invigorating. If you hire right, you’ll be surprised what kind of motivation a new person can provide to a comfortable team. Sales talent inspires others, brings previous knowledge, and naturally spurs more competition.

2. There are talented people outside your company who are not letting the market stop them from making a job change.

Some exceptional sales leaders and reps have seen things that changed their minds about their current companies. Some organizations are not handling the downturn well and are giving top reps plenty of reasons to explore new opportunities. Internal changes, layoffs, and lack of direction can also drive talented salespeople to consider other organizations.

3. Hiring right is an investment in your future revenue.

In any market, 100% of top salespeople are profitable, which makes them accessible. So it’s easy to prove the ROI.

4. It is a great time to pick off your competitors’ top sales talent.

When your competition is slashing compensation and moving territories around, firing staff, and trying to regroup, you might get a shot at picking up their top sales reps.

At the very least, it’s an opportunity to start a dialogue. There isn’t a sales leader or a salesperson who will be on any sales team forever.

5. You may have more highly skilled salespeople interested in working for you than ever.

The job market is continuously changing. During uncertainty, there are more candidates available. And it’s a mistake to think the talent pool only consists of the recently laid-off.

Many salespeople are ready to leave after witnessing poorly executed layoffs and firings, even though they kept their sales job. However, some of these people are excellent sellers and only consider opportunities once every four to seven years.

If you stop recruiting now, you will miss out on hiring top sales talent.

6. Less competition for sales talent

When the economy cools, competition for sales talent slows. So those employers who amp up their recruiting focus will have more choices.

Of course, top salespeople will still receive offers, but many employers may choose to lower their compensation targets or even hold on to hiring. With less market competition, your offer will be even more competitive.

Looking into the Future

Recruiting high-performance SaaS sales talent is both risky and challenging in any market. Today’s modern salesperson must be driven, willing to open tightly closed doors, knowledgeable, communicative, tech-savvy, reliable, and somewhat organized.

Getting any one of these X-factors wrong can derail a rep’s performance. But one thing is for sure, the organizations that focus on acquiring a company’s most valuable assets, its people, will come blazing out of any soft market prepared to capture massive amounts of market share. Will you be one of them?

If you’ve been frustrated with your sales talent pool over the last twelve months, now’s a great time to recruit your next sales rep. Call or email us today at [email protected] or 510 227 6677.