5 Tips for Recruiting Sales Superstars!

As a consultant who has worked in the media industry, there are certain questions that I hear that indicate a larger problem (or opportunity).  One of those questions is “How do we recruit top salespeople?”.

The answer isn’t as simple as Indeed.com or how to post a good job description.  Struggling in this area often indicates other issues in the company.  The good news is that if you choose to address these issues, you will not only be able to recruit better sales people, you will also run a better company that is more profitable.

Here are 5 tips to help you attract better salespeople:

1) Make your company a better place to work. 

Did you know that 77% of potential new hires will explore your website before they accept a job with you? 72% will actually call someone who already works in your company to find out what it is like working for you.  More than ever, employees are shopping potential employers and they are really good at getting at the dirt.

As an employer, you should always work to make sure that most employees have a good experience working for your company.  Gallup calls this the Employer Value Proposition and defines it as ‘what an employer offers to its employees’.  Develop a strong Employer Value Proposition and you will find more, better applicants knocking at your door.

2) Create a high performance sales culture. 

Culture is like a habit.  Is your sales team in the habit of not performing very well?  Do you regularly allow non-performing salespeople to “hang out” on your sales team?  When a high performing salesperson is considering joining your team, they will often look at the other people on your team.  Is this a team that will challenge them?  If not, a lot of really good potential salespeople will walk away.  Winners don‘t like to be on losing teams.

3) Support / Manage your sales team.

Salespeople need coaches.  They need someone to hold them responsible and, from time to time, help them overcome obstacles.  Who is supporting your sales team?  Who is holding them accountable?  I’ve seen good managers help average salespeople become really good salespeople.  You might be losing some good candidates because they aren’t being managed well.

4) Put the “team” back in sales team.

Sales teams are often more like a loose confederation of independent operators.  Even your lone wolf, hunter-killer salesperson secretly wants to be part of a good team.  We all want to feel like we are supported.  Everyone wants to celebrate mutual successes.  We all do better when we solve problems together.  Pull your sales team together and ask them “What kind of a team do you want to be?”.  Better teams attract better talent.


5) Ask for referrals.

The best place to find any employee is through a trusted referral.  Post your job postings on social media and use universal language (not industry language) describing the characteristics of the person you are seeking.



Don Harkey

More about Don: Don Harkey is the Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at People Centric Consulting Group. People Centric partners with clients to help them to create and implement high performance cultures through clear direction, effective systems, and engaged employees. Don learned the power of fostering a culture that creates high employee engagement when he was a senior-level corporate engineer overseeing millions of dollars in capital projects.


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