The Frontline: Why The Payments Industry Is Investing In A New Kind Of Sales Talent

17 November 2019

Payments Salespeople

The Frontline: Why The Payments Industry Is Investing In A New Kind Of Sales Talent

Payments sales talent is in high demand. Experience and payments networks are highly valued, but the industry is also seeking a new breed of sales person who can succeed in a complex, evolving market.

Payments salespeople are in high demand. Our clients frequently rank the department as their top priority, and a large portion of our recruiting focuses on business development, account management and other commercial roles.
Strong sales and commercial talent is critical for any business with ambition and growth plans. But the payments industry, more than most, seems to have focussed heavily on recruiting for sales jobs in recent years. So why are so many payments companies actively recruiting sales people?

The Global Payments Industry: More Opportunity, More Competition 

The payments industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and change. According to McKinsey & Co. global payments revenues totalled $1.9 trillion in 2018, marking a massive 17% growth in the last two years. With this kind of upward trajectory, it isn’t surprising that payments companies are looking to seize more of the opportunity by employing bigger sales teams.
Legislation changes and technological advancements are also widening the industry’s scope and potential significantly. As well as an abundance of start-ups, new entrants are stepping across from other sectors, pushing traditional banks and payments companies to adapt to remain relevant and competitive – all of which creates opportunities for selling, cross-selling and business growth.
As these businesses transform and new entrants gear up, many payments companies aren’t just looking for more salespeople, they are looking for a new breed of sales person that can succeed in a complex, evolving market. 

The New Breed: Sought After Sales Skills In Payments

According to Gert Scholts - an experienced sales coach with a background in payments - the sales job requires three key capabilities:
1.  Selling skills (techniques like prospecting, making appointments, fact finding, presenting and closing)
2.  Attitude (persistent, resilient, adaptable, willing to go the extra mile) and
3.  Sales knowledge (market understanding, customer knowledge, and product/solutions expertise)
In the payments industry, the third point is a particularly valuable commodity. Payments knowledge is vital - especially given the sector’s complexity, speed of market change and fierce competition for new business.
Many payments companies now need sales people with experience in the SaaS environment, who know how to sell against complex product lifecycles and understand customer pain points and buying drivers. They also need people who can help develop new products and bring them to market.
This means that the best sales candidates must have sales skills, the right personality, a commercial mindset, payments industry knowledge, technical know-how and preferably a strong network of contacts. A tall order indeed!

Career Opportunities: Strong Demand For Talented Salespeople

Of course, those with the golden combination of traits we’ve listed above are in extremely strong demand and can often take their pick when it comes to their next career move.
Payments experience is often cited as an ‘essential’ condition of your application for a sales or commercial role so, if you’re just starting out with your payments career, try to take every opportunity you can to build your network and learn all that you can about the industry.
Looking for your next role? Send us a CV or check out our latest jobs.
Hiring Payments Salespeople? Take A Strategic Approach If you’re a payments business looking to recruit into a commercial or business development role, it’s important to carefully shape your offering and think about the best way to attract and retain the sales talent you need.
This isn’t just about money – for sales people to be successful, they need to be motivated and supported, which means providing ongoing training, communication and incentives, especially as your business evolves.
Working with a recruitment partner who understands our fluid, evolving industry, as well as converging industries such as gaming, digital and ecommerce, can be a huge advantage when it comes to filling sales roles.
At Headcount, we can provide access to sales people with proven track records, as well as help to identify candidates from broader talent pools who have relevant, transferable skills and knowledge.
Recruiting for a payments sales job? If you’re building your business development team and need help finding the right candidates, get in touch with our expert team >Contact Us