General Tips for Recruiting Sales Positions

By Ronny Cheng

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Regardless of the size, industry, or market, businesses will always hire salespeople. After all, without sales, there's no revenue. Without revenue, the business can't stay open.

I've been a part of and have helped several dozen different startups, mid-market and enterprise businesses, and one thing I see them constantly get wrong is hiring sales teams. 

What do companies do wrong? Most businesses use the Wolf of Wall Street mentality. They think a good salesperson can come in and BS his way to success. What ends up happening is a high turnover team. Expectations for sales teams are high but without any support, they ultimately fail. This continues in an endless loop with a constant shuffling of faces until the company either gets lucky, finds some direction, or goes out of business. 

However, there's a better way to hire sales teams.

There are a lot of sales jobs out there, so you need to make your job opportunity as unique as your company and the people who work for your company.

Here are some general tips to hire salespeople:

Offer value

Offer a unique job opportunity at an exciting company, not just another sales job. Promoting your brand is key to building a team that will stick with you for the long haul. Aligning your culture with values of sales candidates also leads to higher retention and employee engagement. Kind of a no-brainer right?

Go where the salespeople go

Post your job where salespeople frequently visit online, network with salespeople in your industry at events and meetups. My typical go-to place to post a job is Glassdoor. I've found that the combination of showcasing your employer brand, with some good 'ol job advertising tends to draw the best quality applicants. However, if I'm going for volume rather than quality, then I choose Indeed. Indeed is great if you're looking for a couple hundred of resumes but the quality of each applicant will vary greatly.

Make connections

If you don’t hire a talented sales candidate, never miss an opportunity to make a connection for future job openings.

Find the right salespeople for your company

The demands put on your company’s salespeople are unique, so screen applicants for qualities that are essential for on-the-job success. Use behavioral based interview questions and test for cultural fit. And please, skip the "sell me this pen" question.

Make your hire

Don’t wait to hire. If a candidate is clearly an A player, they are likely to receive other offers from your competitors. A common mistake is a failure to pull the trigger. Losing out on a great candidate costs you more than just a single hire. Think of the time spent interviewing, screening, reviewing resumes, and more. It adds up.

 

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