5 Insider Tips to Recruit Top Sales Candidates

By Tim Peters, MBA
Vice-President of Marketing at Ideal Candidate
AceTech Ontario Executive Member


Job applicants think they have it hard. But anyone looking to grow their sales team knows they also have to put in a tremendous amount of effort to attract, evaluate and hire top sales talent. The perfect candidates that can build strong, trusting relationships and sell your company effortlessly are hard to come by, especially when you don’t have a coherent plan in place.

Candidates in the interview room can range from nervous to overly-excited, and assessing a quality applicant at first sight can be extremely difficult.  To get you on the right track, here are 5 insider tips to help you find those sales people who will help you crush your team quota in 2016:

Have a Strategy

When should you start recruiting? The answer is always! Once you need a sales person… that’s when you’re in trouble. Recruiting should be an everyday activity and there are several ways to accomplish daily recruiting. Establish a consistent hiring mentality with your current sales team. You would not believe how many amazing candidates can come as referrals from your already established sales team. Give an incentive for hired referrals and you will never be in want of a new resume to review.

Phone Screen Before

This pre-interview step can save time and energy when it comes to interviewing potential candidates. Phone screens (done by yourself or a recruiting agency) can give a company more in depth knowledge about a potential candidate. Resumes do not tell the whole story like personality and ease of communication. Set up a 15-20 minute phone screen to allow time for an applicant to tell you more about themselves and ask questions.

Have Them at “Hello”

“Hello.” It’s a simple greeting, but you can identify a quality candidate by their response to it. Sales are built around conversation and personality. In most cases a candidate should be able to greet and build rapport effortlessly without the interviewer pushing for a conversation. If they can’t sell themselves, what can they sell? By being aware of how a candidate responds to your greeting, you can identify who has natural talent for conversation and ultimately, success on your sales team.

Ask Them THE Question

Ask what motivates them. Is it the compensation? The challenge? The people? Successful sales representatives have internal motivation that challenges them to be the best at what they do. Finding an applicant that can coherently identify what drives them will help you find self-motivated talent and give you ways to retain them. The biggest difficulty in hitting sales targets can often be employee turnover, so asking THE question can help you find amazing talent and keep it.

Check the Data

Gut feelings should be considered when it comes to interviewing, but the data tells all.  Modern recruiting agencies like Ideal Candidate utilize the science of psychometric assessments to identify candidate strengths and then match them to companies where they will be most successful (all while streamlining the recruitment process for the organization looking to hire). “Often, recruiters have completely missed the mark on matching potential employees to our corporate culture,” says Philip Gude, Director of Sales at Bonitasoft, a global technology company. Human error is real, and there is no excuse to not be incorporating data into your recruitment process.

Recruiting top talent for your sales team will not always go smoothly, but with the right tools, and with a data-based approach –  you can dramatically increase your odds of building  a successful sales team in 2016.

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