8 years ago
April 13, 2016

How To Find Good Sales People

Finding good sales people is not as simple a task as some might believe. The characteristics that make up an ideal candidate for one company may contrast greatly from the needs of another.

Rhys Metler

where to find good sales peopleThe answer to the question of how to find good sales people is not as simple as some might believe. The characteristics that make up an ideal candidate for one company may contrast greatly from the needs of another depending on the type of industries each of the companies operate in and what their specific sales needs are. Specific industry traits and selling types aside, there are some standard recruiting practices that can show positive results in nearly any sales search.


The first standard protocol in the quest of how to find good sales people is to look within one’s own industry. There are rising stars looking to expand their horizons in nearly any industry and those with good quality networks can find them with relative ease. Your next top performing sales professional may already be trained in the nuances of your niche markets by a competitor, a colleague, or even one of your vendors. The trick is to approach any prospects tactfully as you don’t want to raise unnecessary suspicions. Be careful to avoid potential issues such as non-compete clauses and unannounced contract clauses that limit inner-industry recruiting.

There are probably numerous diamonds in the rough within your own industry as well. These individuals are often found trapped in the confines of customer service or technical positions. Many already have the drive to become sales people but just haven’t found the right opportunity. The key factor in how to find good sales people hiding under the rocks of your industry is to understand what similar positions provide the training you may need in areas such as technical skills and training, industry knowledge or even something as simple as industry lingo and product awareness.

Other places within your industry where you may find surprising results in finding good sales people

    • Route drivers. Though they may lack all the preferred sales requisites, route drivers often have well-developed relationship building skills and may already know many of the same decision makers that your sales people are already after.

    • Crossover positions. Depending on your specific sales needs there may be some crossover positions that match up well with your vacant positions. Engineers often prove valuable sales candidates in fields requiring good technical backgrounds and knowledge. IT professionals with good people skills can provide great insight into software sales positions and other hi-tech fields. The key aspect in finding ideal crossover candidates is determining which skills are most valuable in your sales positions and fine tuning your search to highlight those needs.

    • Another good industry-related recruiting practice for those seeking answers to how to find good sales people is through referrals.  One of your colleagues probably already has an eye on a talented individual just waiting for the right opportunity.  In this case you’ll want to operate under that radar as much as possible and only illicit the services of trusted colleagues.  

Outside of your own industry you may want to consider some less traditional options in your search for how to find good sales people. Your next sales superstar may come from the most unlikely of places. Some of the best are groomed with little or no relative experience. These candidates my exhibit all the personal traits you look for but just lack the job experience. Mentoring programs can help you develop untrained talent. Additionally, there may be unlikely prospective sales people out there with the organizational skills you require that need some interpersonal skill development. Don’t be afraid of hiring talented individuals that might need a little training to bring out the best in them.

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.