7 years ago
February 21, 2017

How to Find and Hire Top Sales Talent

Your salespeople generate your revenue. They’re critical to your business’s success. Learn how to find and hire the top sales talent.

Rhys Metler


The sales industry is known for having a high turnover rate. Not everyone is cut out for a job in this field, and it’s difficult to identify the traits that indicate success and failure in the industry. Even experienced hiring managers at top organizations find it difficult to find and hire top sales talent. Their recruiting and hiring processes often aren’t effective enough for weeding out the bad apples and spotting the greats in a sea of candidates.

Unfortunately though, every hiring mistake you make costs money. You can’t keep hiring and testing out candidates in the hopes that they’ll have the skills and experience required and fit in perfectly within your company culture. You have to hire right the first time. You have to make your decisions count, or you could be wasting a lot of money.

So to help you find and hire top sales talent, we’ve provided some advice. Keep reading.

Be the Employer Top Sales Talent Wants to Work For

If a salesperson really is top talent, then he can probably work for any company he wants to. What will make him want to work for you? You have to position yourself as an amazing employer in your industry, so you can attract the best. Make top talent want to work for you—if you do that, you’ll be able to build a great team. Offer top-of-the-line compensation packages as well as perks, like flexible hours, access to a company car, and a gym membership, for example. Create a positive working environment. Then, market your employer brand online, through social media, on your website, and anywhere else that will grab attention. You don’t have to find top talent—you can attract it.

Replicate What Works in Your Organization

You may already have some duds on your staff, so you don’t need to hire more. But you also probably have some superstars that you couldn’t live without—the reps that make up the majority of the revenue your entire sales team brings in. If you already have models of the perfect employees on your team, you should dig deeper into these salespeople’s skills, experience, and personalities. Identify what they have in common—what factors make them great at selling in your company—and try to replicate what works. While searching for and hiring new sales reps, make sure they have the traits you’ve identified from your top-selling salespeople.

Consider Cultural Fit

One of the best indicators of success is cultural fit. Even if you find a great candidate that has all of the skills and experience that you’re looking for, that person might still end up being a bad hire. Why? Because he doesn’t mesh well with your existing team or the way your company functions. When you consider cultural fit while hiring, you’ll be able to find a new salesperson who has the same beliefs and values as your company, believes in what you sell, and integrates seamlessly within your team and your work environment. And this person will stay around for a long time.

Never Stop Recruiting

If you only seek out, find, and hire new salespeople once you have a current opening, you’re going about it all wrong. What are the chances that the greatest sales talent is going to conveniently fall into your lap within the one- or two-week window you’ve opened for your hiring process?

If you want to hire top talent, then you have to always be on the lookout, always be accepting resumes, and always be interviewing. Then you can create a database of great candidates to call on once an opening does come up. When you’re under a time crunch, you can make bad hiring decisions because you’re desperate and haven’t given yourself enough time.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.