Startups must reevaluate how they hire and develop talent

If you’re still thinking of a four-year degree as a requirement for your revenue teams, you’re missing out on a huge talent base.

The reality is that when it comes to sales, the vast majority of the skills and knowledge one needs to be successful are learned on the job. There’s no such thing as a degree in sales, because the formal education system has overlooked this critical area. So why would we think that a diploma is so necessary?

Instead, my biggest recommendation to business leaders seeking to secure top talent is to think differently — look for the personalities and skill sets that are going to work best for your team and focus on upskilling through learning on the job. This will reward you with the strongest, most successful revenue teams in the industry.

The end of the four-year degree precondition

There will always be careers where a degree is necessary. However, hiring managers are increasingly realizing that when it comes to revenue teams, some assets are more valuable than a four-year education.

The educational system for sales learning is broken, and we must fix it.

In fact, more than eight of 10 hiring managers in the U.S. believe that sales professionals are largely trained on the job, according to research by Sales Impact Academy (SIA). Nearly all (95%) wished more sales candidates came to the market with stronger specialized training versus a generic four-year degree.

As talent shortages loom in the wake of the Great Resignation, reconsider your job postings. If you still have a bachelor’s degree as a requirement for sales development rep roles, ask yourself why? Is it because you feel those applicants are better suited to the job? Or is it because this is just the way it has always been?