Agent Group Seeks to End Bad Sales Hires with AI-Based Profiling

Ill-fitting sales reps can costs agencies money, time and customers. A new initiative by the trade association TCSP seeks to curb that problem.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

May 8, 2024

3 Min Read
bad sales hires

Nonprofit trade association Technology Channel Sales Professionals (TCSP) is launching a profiling tool that technology advisor (agent) businesses can use to identify top sales talent.

TCSP partnered with tech sales tool provider AuctusIQ to make an agent-focused version of AuctusIQ's platform. The tool is free for TCSP members.

The TCSP launched more than three years ago as a watchdog group fighting an FCC ban on rural health care commissions. The group formed to tackle the lack of presence the technology agent channel has in Washington, D.C. Now the TCSP is rolling out services and resources geared toward the agent business owners who are worrying more about their day-to-day operations rather than regulatory challenges.

One of those benefits is AuctusIQ, which TCSP leaders say targets a major problem for tech advisors: hiring enterprise-focused sales people who thrive in the agent model.

TAs Reckon with Bad Sales Hires

Forty-two percent of tech advisors added to their headcount in 2023's fourth quarter, according to a survey by Channel Futures. And many of those hires fall into the category of sales. Many agents have the reputation of being sales-focused organizations and often are headed by former sales standouts who wanted to start their own company.

Yet a business owner's personal talent for selling technology doesn't always translate to hiring good sales people.

"Salespeople by nature are very skilled at selling something and selling themselves," said Darcee Nelan, CEO of technology advisory firm IQ Wired and chair of TCSP. "But it's often difficult to really ascertain whether that person really has the skill set that they claim to have."

The notion of "fire fast" came up in a keynote presentation at last fall's MSP Summit, a nod to how often owners come to the conclusion that they've hired a bad fit. Partners who don't pull the plug quickly could come to drown in sunk costs.


Nelan said bad sales hires can deeply impact a business' bottom line.

"I can tell you from personal experience that I have hired some people that that didn't end up producing. Not only are you out the money for their salary, but you're also out the time that you've invested in them. And also, potential future sales were lost," she told Channel Futures.


The TCSP has built a customized assessment based on the AuctusIQ platform to measure job candidates' sales competency. It features artificial intelligence to highlight candidates' strengths and lays out insights for how managers might want to coach them.

Nelan said IQ Wired has used the tool for its last two hires and seen immediate results. One of them scored salesperson of the month in their very first 30 days.

"It's incredibly accurate. We're hiring a new vice president of sales, and we'll be using it for that position as well, so that we can gauge how people are stacking up," Nelan said.

The TCSP is hosting a webinar about AuctusIQ at 2 p.m. ET on May 16.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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