The Top 10 Strategies for Recruiting a High Performing Sales Team
When clients evaluate your business, the first thing they associate with your company's value is your sales team. Your sales team is the face of your company and the key to long-lasting fiscal growth. Therefore, establishing a team of next-level sales professionals is one of the most important pillars of success in your business.
Finding high-quality salespeople isn't always easy. If you're experiencing trouble building a high-performing sales team, you may want to examine your recruiting strategy.
There are dozens of techniques for recruiting salespeople; however, we've narrowed it down to the 10 top strategies based on scientific research and data-based analysis.
Learn about the top 10 strategies for recruiting a high-performing sales team here.
1. Use Objective Measurements Over Intuition
Evidence-based decision-making is proven to be much more reliable than intuition, especially when it comes to hiring. Intuition-based hiring is rife with bias which can lead you to hire the wrong type of salesperson.
Using objective measurements such as predictive analytics to accurately project individuals’ sales performance is essential for hiring the most talented salespeople. Our AI utilizes insights from your company's data and measures human attributes that research proves to contribute to high sales achievement. PerceptionPredict’s Performance Fingerprints use machine learning to predict sales results in whatever KPIs matter to you, from appointment or transaction numbers to units sold and exact revenue generation.
2. Delve into Knowing Your Business Better
Collect data on what has led to success so far. Involve employees across all departments in gathering information about employees, customers, products/services, the market at large, culture, and areas to improve or problems that need solving in the organization.
Piece together a fuller picture of your company’s inner workings to ascertain what does and doesn’t work and build a foundation for exactly what you need to level up. Use this as a basis for a guide towards whom you need to bring on board. Describing accurately your company and the type of person that will succeed (or fail) will attract candidates who see this role as a reflection of themselves. Making sure you know your business well, will ensure that this reflection is accurate and the fit perfect.
3. Interview Candidates that Match Your Profile Requirements
To acquire candidates whom you can confidently trust will perform well in the selling environment and properly execute your sales strategy, create a brief but detailed draft of the ‘sales DNA,’ or role- and business-specific substance your ideal candidates must have.
Some key traits in an ideal candidate might include:
- Attitude and disposition that fit the role and culture
- Specific behaviors required to sell to your client successfully
- Personality traits like drive, persistence, resilience, competitiveness, or diligence
4. Test Candidates
As you narrow down on your selection of candidates, remember that you’re looking for people who are going to represent the business and sell your company to clients. Asking them to pitch the company during interviews can indicate things like confidence, preparation, or sales expertise. Are they good at talking about topics they're not familiar with? Do they give honest answers to difficult questions? Use "pressure interviews" which place the candidate in the simulated environment they'll be selling into.
But the usefulness of this approach is limited unless you also use a decision support platform like PerceptionPredict to screen the potential hires’ for necessary attributes, job behaviors, and company-specific KPIs that will underly and support the efficacy of their efforts.
5. Don’t Rely On Resumes
Instead of basing your entire opinion of a candidate on their resume, refine and simplify the traits you’re looking for in people and distill the raw skills you equate with success at your company. Resumes can be replete with misleading information distracting from the true, hands-on performance of candidates. Focus on gaining insight into single talents, skills, and traits, like making and meeting realistic goals, communication skills, adaptability, or extraversion.
6. Evaluate Based on Criteria Beyond Experience
Choosing a candidate with some familiarity with sales is usually inevitable, but overemphasizing the value of experience can backfire. In the sales industry, the relevant experience depends on numerous aspects, possibly reflecting variables like:
- Customer group
- Division of the selling organization
You should analyze your candidate on criteria that correlate their past experience with the specific attributes and proficiencies that will boost your team.
7. Position Your Company as a Market Leader
When learning how to recruit sales professionals, remember that high-performing salespeople have the freedom to pick and choose who they'd like to work for. If they're the best at what they do, they should also have the luxury of selecting the best company for them.
Be sure to present your company in a way that would be appealing to high-performing sales candidates. Below are some techniques for drawing in the top salespeople to your business:
- Offices—Ensure professionalism, branding, and culture of core values within the office environment. Top candidates will want to work in a place that rewards achievement, expects strong performance.
- Online—Since this is likely the first place candidates will look, making sure your website is appealing, easy to navigate (and mobile-friendly), and exudes professionalism is critical. Consider extending your online presence to social media and online recruiting platforms.
- Interactions—When interviewing candidates, talk about leading customers with whom you’ve done business. This helps draw attention to your company's high reputation and value on customer relationships.
8. Bring Psychometrics into the Equation
For a number of years, businesses have been conducting psychometric testing to determine if a candidate is “wired” to perform well in their working environment. Recruiting agents use this method as a learning tool to assess candidates’ behavioral styles, performance, and communication skills.
Typically, psychometric tests measure:
- Mental cognition capabilities
- Behavioral skill sets
- Motivating factors
While helpful. Standard psychometrics as a stand-alone product have reached their limitations. Using next-generation approaches like PerceptionPredict Performance Fingerprints brings the realm of psychometrics to the next level by combining these insights with actual historical sales data to help inform what you should look for going forward, and who might be a liability hire despite the resume.
9. Offer Beneficial Compensation Plans
When learning how to recruit salespeople, you must offer a beneficial compensation package that competes with the current industry standard. In most cases, salespeople have a bigger appetite for risk, so including a rewarding pay plan can help attract high-performing candidates.
10. Promote Appealing Retention Efforts
Your sales representatives will largely be motivated by money, which is a given. However, motivating in ways other than just cash is crucial to retaining them as future employees. The benefits you choose to offer could make all the difference in your employee value proposition.
Below are just a few retention efforts you might want to promote when interviewing candidates:
- More challenging accounts
- Professional and personal growth opportunities
- Negotiate time-off options
- Additional flexibility in the work environment (like remote work)
Building a High-Performing Sales Team
For both current and pre-hire sellers, PerceptionPredict Performance Fingerprints carefully measure the ‘sales DNA’ necessary to perform well in specific sales roles. Before you hire or promote someone, we accurately gauge how individuals will perform across various KPI measures like how much revenue a sales candidate can produce or how many units they can sell.
Once prospective hires complete the questionnaire in 20 minutes or less simply press a button to access AI-based data insights that use predictive intelligence to inform your decision.
To learn more about PerceptionPredict's potential to help you build an all-star sales team, book a demo today.