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Why Work for You? How to Recruit Top Sales Reps

According to CareerBuilder’s Q4 2015 Job Forecast, hiring for permanent positions “is projected to be the most robust since 2006.” With this intense level of competition for talent, we’re seeing sales leaders struggle to recruit top sales reps. Often, they’re the problem as they approach the recruitment process as if they hold all the cards.  Yes, there are plenty of sales candidates out there but very few are top sales performers. Fewer still are a good fit for their company (for a visual, watch this video)… and all of them have choices. It’s imperative to understand that you may only see one true superstar after scores of interviews. That’s the pitch you have to hit. Based on the lessons learned from observing sales leaders that get it and those that don’t, we’ve compiled a how to recruit top sales reps:

How to Recruit Top Sales Reps Starts With “Why You?”

If you’re recruiting seasoned sales professionals, most will have experience working for both excellent and poor managers. They’ll understand the difference a great one can make in their sales career. To that end, savvy reps want to know that you will be there to help fight the inevitable internal battles, increase their skill set, advance their career and treat them with respect. Unless you are able to articulate how you can help them achieve these aims, you’ll be left to hire the guy or gal that just needs a job.

Get Social to Recruit Top Sales Reps.

Before interviewing with you, top sales performers research you and your employer on Linkedin and Google (We know this because they tell us). What picture does your online presence paint?

  • Is your Linkedin Profile and picture professional?
  • Do you come across as approachable and likeable?
  • Do you have recommendations from current or former reps that speak to: your ability to develop reps? lead? be fair and a pleasure to work for?
  • Have you looked at your company’s Glassdoor.com ratings? Are you prepared to effectively and honestly address any concerns that candidates will find there?
  • Do you “get” social selling? (Top sales reps, especially Millennials do.)

Speed Kills.

Should you interview an A Player, will you prepared to move them through your interview process quickly? Absolutely do not skip interview steps (you have them for a reason) but do expedite the process. If this candidate is good, they’re in demand. Further, don’t make the mistake of not speeding up the interview process when the candidate isn’t actively looking. In our experience, once someone decides to go on one interview, they’ll listen to all offers. Finally, don’t make the mistake of waiting to see more candidates when you have an A Player in front of you. With today’s tight job market, you might not interview another superstar for a long time.

Can You Close Top Sales Reps?

If you sincerely have your sales reps’ best interests at heart you’ll have a fan base that can sing your praises. A smart sales leader will arrange a call between the prospective sales rep and one their current reps. You telling them how good you are is a lot less effective than one of your reps sharing with them how good you are.

How to Recruit Top Sales Reps Starts With Intentions.

More important than any getting any of the details above right is the sincere intention to see your people do well. Without that, your “sales talent attraction” problem will become a “sales talent retention” problem when you can’t deliver on your promises.

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Chris Carlson

My name is Chris Carlson and I’m the founder and President of Sales Talent. This blog grew out of my desire to document and share what I’ve learned in my two plus decades of sales recruiting and leading Sales Talent. We post a new blog once a quarter on the 3rd Thursday of every January, April, July and Oct. These posts are aimed at sales professionals and leaders that speaks to talent selection, team building, or career advancement. If you have a topic that you’d like my take on, please reach out to me.

You can find Chris Carlson on LinkedIn or contact him directly at: