We recently interviewed 171 sales leaders about the results they are getting recruiting a sales team and targeting sales candidates. Their feedback surprised us.

Many Sales Leaders (SL) admit a growing frustration with the results they are getting.

Job Boards, Headhunters and Staffing Agencies have become increasingly more costly. But the increased prices have not improved their ability to target sales candidates who hit the ground running, resulting in more recruiting, but lower retention.

In our interviews, many Sales Leaders told us that when they are hiring salespeople they are not really confident that they are targeting the best applicants. Too many candidates have had their LinkedIn profiles and resumes professionally edited, making it increasingly harder to tell the superstars from the duds when selecting candidates to be interviewed.

Then we followed up with the few Sales Leaders who indicated satisfaction with the sales recruiting process. What are these Sales Leaders doing differently? How are they recruiting sales candidates who turn out to be stars?

We asked these SLs exactly that and here is what they said:

1. Make sure your ad tells the full story.

The best sales applicants are looking for a career, not a job. Make sure you’ve taken the time to review and update your Comp Agreement. Make sure it is realistic and rewards top superstars who are looking to apply their extraordinary talents at a company that values them. When top sales talent reads your ad, they need to know if they apply their 110% effort, your company will make sure they are compensated accordingly.

2. Use profiling tools.

The most successful SL’s all use profiling tools. They report having often switched between various testing services until finding one that consistently identifies the “diamonds” among the flood of applications. Todays “click and apply” environment means applicants make no effort when applying. Successful SLs find profiling gives them a better understanding of who are the best candidates. They have a realistic understanding of what makes a true top performer and avoid the “previous sales experience” search which rarely, if ever, succeeds.

3. Interview with purpose.

In our interviews, SL’s told us their meetings with sales talent having a clear, meaningful set of questions, presented in the right order. And they talked about how the “make them sweat” overly long interview results in less, not more accurate sales hiring. These SLs use the interview as a getting to know you with the candidate. Every SL said they never hire with less than three interviews, but because the interviews are scripted, they can keep them shorter without losing the ability to find whether the candidate is a match for their company culture.

Share this feedback with your SLs so they can hire more quickly with greater accuracy. If you'd like to learn how to find new high quality sales team members check out our 4 Things You Must Do To Consistently Hire Top Talent


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