10 years ago
January 7, 2015

What It Takes To Hire The Best Sales People

The best sales people are in high demand, and it’s your job as a hiring manager to ensure that your sales department is their first choice.

Rhys Metler

hire the best sales peopleWhen it’s time to hire sales people, your firm is aiming high, hoping to entice only the best sales people to work for your firm. To do this successfully, though, you need to make sure not only that the candidate fits your needs, but that your firm fits the candidate’s needs. The best sales people are in high demand, and it’s your job as a hiring manager to ensure that your sales department is front and center in the minds of the top candidates. Here’s what it takes to hire the best sales people.

Employ A Targeted Search

When you’re looking for the best sales people, you don’t want to just receive applications. You want to encourage proven sales peoples’ interest in your open position through outreach. There are several ways to encourage qualified candidates’ interest that are more engaging than job boards, including:

  • Referrals from current employees
  • In-person networking at career fairs
  • Using an experienced sales recruiter

Top sales people are hired quickly, so you don’t want to miss an opportunity to hire the best sales people because they already accepted an offer. Using one on one contact instead of a standard application helps ensure that your firm is on your ideal candidate’s short list.

Look for These Traits in Candidates

The best sales people consistently bring the same characteristics to the table. This isn’t necessarily to say that good sales people are naturally inclined to sales; with coaching, even withdrawn individuals can learn to become more outgoing. However, unless you want to be training your candidates on how to sell, look for these traits shared by the best sales people:

  • Elevated sense of personal accountability
  • Ambition driven by personal goal setting
  • The ability to overcome negativity without losing stride
  • High comfort level with making cold contacts


Offer Competitive Benefits

If you’re looking to hire sales people, but the best sales people don’t seem to be showing interest, it might help to examine your current benefits package. Frequently, the reasons star candidates are not applying to an open position is a mismatch between the compensation offered and the rest of the market.

Additionally, offering a high base salary can also discourage the best sales people. Average or unmotivated sales people frequently pursue positions with high base salaries so that they can coast in a position without actively helping the company pursue new opportunities in sales. Top candidates will assume that positions with high base salaries don’t offer competitive commissions, which is what really drives these motivated sales people’s interest in an opportunity.

Have A Comprehensive Training Program

Once you hire the best sales people, you need a program to get them up to speed on your company history, not to mention the products, services, and goals the sales department is working with. No matter how experienced a successful candidate may be, when you hire sales people they will require at least some training to succeed. Remember that every sales department is different, and your new hire will need assistance integrating with your sales team.

Even in a high volume sales department with a lot of sales hiring experience, you are probably only filling positions on a quarterly basis. Sales recruiters fill positions on a daily basis. Finding the best sales people to meet and exceed sales your sales department’s goals is sales recruiters’ core business. Using this expertise, sales recruiters can find sales people who are a good fit and will proactively work for you to hire sales people and drive your sales further.

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.