7 Tips for Hiring the Best Salespeople

Over the past few months, there’s one question we’ve received more than any other: How do I hire sales talent? 

Investing in your sales team is one of the most important things you can do to grow your business. But as we all know, finding (and retaining) great salespeople is no easy task. Here are a few of our tips for hiring the best salespeople.

Create a competitive sales compensation plan 

To attract and retain the best talent, create a  compensation plan that motivates your sales team. From bonuses to commissions to quotas, understand how to remain competitive in your industry and drive the behavior your business needs to thrive. Put together a detailed plan, even down to the timing of bonuses, to keep the team engaged throughout the year. 

Keep in mind how important retention is when it comes to your sales team. Studies show the annual turnover rate in sales is 25 to 30 percent. Losing a great salesperson is expensive and time-consuming, which is even more reason to make sure you’re making a great hire. 

Determine your business needs 

Before you hire, make sure you know exactly what skills and tasks your business needs. Does your organization need a hunter or a farmer? Is there a heavy focus on customer service, consulting, presentation, travel, or communication? To find and attract the right candidates, you first need to be clear about the job they’re trying to fill. 

Look beyond the resume and interview

Of course reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates will be a part of your talent search. But to find the right salesperson, it can’t stop there. First, consider using assessment tools to help evaluate a candidate’s skills. Also make sure to thoroughly check references to determine if sales goals have been consistently met in the past. 

Consider candidates from different industries 

Industry knowledge is important, but don’t let it narrow your search to exclude great candidates. A point of view from a different industry could be the hook needed to get in the door with new customers, in addition to bringing new ideas to your company.  

Sometimes, a candidate from a different industry may have experience selling into the same markets. For example, there are many industries that sell into healthcare. Broadening these parameters may allow you to find top talent. 

Build up your brand and company culture

It’s attractive for talented salespeople to work for companies with established brands, positive company culture, and industry credibility. To bring in a top performing sales team, your company should consistently invest in its own brand. 

It’s likely that your next great hire will be a passive job candidate–someone who isn’t currently looking for a new job. That makes it even more important that you’re able to sell your company and the job to potential candidates. 

Dig into what motivates your candidates

To build a high performing sales team, there’s almost nothing more important to understand than motivation. During the interview process, figure out what motivates the candidate. Then, make sure that it aligns with your company values and culture. At Risch Results, we use an assessment tool called MotivIQ to help us dig into motivating factors. 

Create a training plan

Be prepared for a thorough training on your products within the first week.  A new salesperson will probably already be familiar with lead tracking and research. What they’ll need, however, is an intimate understanding of your product and what makes it special. 

Talented salespeople will seek jobs where they know they can be successful. A robust training program with ongoing opportunities for professional development will bring in motivated candidates looking to grow with your company. 

Need support in hiring your next top performing salesperson? 

Risch Results is here to help. From the candidate search to assessment tools to interviews, we walk our clients through every step of the hiring process. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help. 

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