Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hiring Top Sales Talent

Hiring Top Sales Talent

If you’re hoping to hire the top sales talent on the market then you are looking for people who are working for someone else. The top sales talent is not the candidate that is walking through your front door, replying to your ads or placing their resume online. Finding the best possible sales talent who can fit within your culture and contribute within your organization is a real challenge and requires a lot more time and effort to find than you might think. The following are some specific actions you might want to consider to recruit the top sales talent you need to grow your business.

Here are ten tips for better recruiting of top sales talent.

1. Invest time developing relationships with recruiters and executive search firms. Recruiters and search firms have the ability to contact competitors and companies in similar industries and can open doors that you cannot.

2. You should participate in industry tradeshows and conferences where top sales talent is likely to attend. When top sales talent looks for a new career often they will attend trade shows and mingle with other sales executives during the show trying to learn more about particular companies and their sales organizations.

3. Join networking and leads groups. This is where most successful sales talent spends their time looking for new leads.

4. Use industry association websites and magazines to advertise for sales professionals.

5. Don’t forget to look at in-house candidates. There may be an individual that is ready to move up to the next level of sales. From training prospective, it is cheaper and easier to promote someone from within.

6. Get your existing sales team involved in the talent hunt. Most top sales talent know their competition and can tell you who they most fear going up against. Figure out how to approach those individuals. With the help of your existing sales team, reach out to these individuals by using multiple touches from different individuals from within your firm.

7. Don’t be afraid to hire a top sales talent away from another industry. When considering sales talent it is much harder to find someone with solid sales techniques than it is to teach them product knowledge. A solid sales performer will be successful regardless of the product they sell.

8. Forget about the thoughts of finding someone with a ready-made “Book of Business”. Top sales talent rarely comes with a substantial book of business. Most top sales professionals have signed a non-compete and will not be able to immediately call on their existing clients. However, most non-compete agreements do not prohibit former clients from calling on top sales talent. So hire the best and promote where they are to the best of your ability.

9. Make sure that you have a Sales Plan and Compensation Package that promote both the company’s goals and the candidates’. Sales people are different from everyone else in the company. They are driven by only one thing and that is making money. Anything you do that gets in the way of this objective will hamper the relationship.

10. Make sure that you have given some thought as to how you will “bridge the compensation gap” between your base salary offer and what the candidate is currently making. Accurately knowing when the candidate will begin earning commissions based on your average sales cycle is critical in the hiring process. Top sales talent will not be willing to take a step backward in their monthly earning potential while they are ramping up new sales in your organization.

If you would like more information on hiring top sales talent contact us today at

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