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How To Recruit The Best Sales People

Oakstone International Executive Search how to recruit the best sales people

It’s no secret that salespeople are serious about money. They’ll sweat blood to hit your target so you’d better hit theirs.

But cold hard cash is not the full story. There are other factors that must be right if you want a sales superstar to quit their team and join yours.

The environment must be as close to perfect as possible. At the risk of sounding poetic, the stars must be aligned…

Get The Key Elements Right

Offering a great basic and OTE is not enough. All the other benefits must be right – all those extra goodies that salespeople love to talk about.

You must also structure your offer the right way. Is the OTE right for the sales target? And how does this stack up against rival offers?

You must also be able to offer great career development. What is your new star performer likely to want as they progress onwards and upwards through your organisation?

Is your company’s leadership right for them? Do you have quality and depth of management needed to attract the very best players? Everyone thinks they do. Few are brave enough to admit it when they don’t.

Every team wants a top striker to lift their performance – so you must have the quality and depth of management that will make them choose yours.

This means being able to command their respect. Sales superstars know they’re good and they need to know you’re better. Spoiler alert: if you have to ask for their respect, you haven’t earned it.

You also need to be able to work the typical triggers that will make them want to jump ship and join your crew…

What Makes Salespeople Move

Your offer will be important but what often makes salespeople want to leap is a negative change in circumstances at their present company.

All the factors most likely to make their feet itch relate to trouble at work:

  • compelling events – such as a downturn in the company’s performance or a retrograde change of management

  • territory dilution – no-one wants to see their happy hunting ground become less happy

  • lack of technical resources locally – back-up resources can be vital in helping them to hit their target (flying them in is not always viable)

  • a decrease (or feared decrease) in their earning opportunities caused by any or all of the above.

Do They Really Want To Leave? Red Flags To Look For…

Make sure they’re serious about their reasons for leaving – and not simply grumbling in the same way farmers bellyache about the weather.

Are they emotionally committed to leaving or are they just tyre kicking? Their reasons must be rational – and they must pass your ‘gut feel’ test.

Be certain. Constantly requalify your target’s interest to ensure you’re not losing them. Make sure you’re able to deal with any of their queries head-on, promptly and unequivocally.

Beware These Pitfalls…

Every delay makes it less likely that the big move will go ahead. Deals that drag on have a nasty habit of petering out. So don’t let them.

That means maintaining momentum. Failure to do so reduces trust and can damage your company’s reputation.

Lose trust and you and you will lose the lead in negotiations – if you have not already lost the candidate.

Superstar salespeople are a rare commodity and they know it. They didn’t get good at selling by not being able to sell themselves.

So you have to be equally good at selling your company culture and remuneration package to them.

The question you should be posing yourself is this: do you actively use what you know as an integral part of your recruitment process to ensure maximum effectiveness?

Most hirers don’t. But if you do…if you can get the stars to align…then you will increase your chances of hiring stellar performers.