How to Recruit Salespeople Who Will Deliver Dramatic Returns These moneymakers are key players in boosting your bottom line. Here are five tips for finding them.

By Will Staney

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What positions at a company align more tightly with the bottom line than sales jobs? Not many. Yet, a recent How to Recruit Sales Professionals survey by my company, Glassdoor, indicated that 68 percent of sales professionals planned to look for a job this year. That's a huge chunk of the talent pool desiring to make a move.

When recruiting sales professionals, keep the following tips in mind:

Related: How to Recruit and Retain an Impassioned Sales Staff (Infographic)

1. Recruit salespeople on an ongoing basis. In the above Glassdoor survey, conducted in May and June, sales professionals indicated that the top reasons they leave a job are related to salary and compensation, career-growth opportunities and a company's culture.

Don't wait until top salespeople leave to hurriedly hire their replacements. Otherwise, those hired might be merely be the talent available rather than individuals who are truly a great fit for the organization.

Develop a system to attract sales talent on an ongoing basis. That means building a careers website that promotes the company's culture and rewards and explains the type of staff being sought. It also never hurts to link to a job site offering authentic reviews of the company (as Glassdoor provides).

When individuals express an interest in working for the firm, ask for their sales results in past positions and their stories about winning tough accounts. Read through the resumes that arrive (even if there's no immediate hiring need) and keep a file on the apparent high achievers that would fit in well at the company. Sometimes when a true diamond in the rough surfaces, simply creating a position for that person proves worthwhile.

Related: 5 Inside Sales Hiring Tips for Growing Companies

2. Offer referral incentives. Develop an incentive program for current staff members to refer contacts who might be the next sales stars. The people already working at a company are often the best ones to judge who might best fit into its culture.

And the promise of a cash reward for referring a person hired successfully will ensure that staff members will serve as active recruiters. At my company, referrals are No. 1 source of great hires. Candidates found this way tend to stay the longest and report higher workplace satisfaction.

Related: Want to Hire Killer Salespeople? Follow These Steps.

3. Write a detailed job description. Not all sales positions are created equal. Someone may be needed to sell luxury goods to individual consumers or the hire might be targeted for marketing special equipment to large commercial customers.

Different types of selling require different skills and characteristics, so develop a detailed job description and be sure the recruiting team and other employees have access to it.

Related: Could Hiring Snobby Salespeople Boost Your Sales?

4. Use sales assessments. Successful salespeople often share many of the same specific traits and characteristics. During the interviewing process, consider requiring applicants to take a sales assessment or test that can quantify a candidate's demonstration of the characteristics sought. Some aptitude tests used for salespeople include TriMetrix and the Profiles Sales Assessment.

5. Offer paid training. Devise an offer so that if the company's sales positions are commission-only jobs, new hires can gradually work their way toward earning a livable salary. The package should include a paid training period and, if possible, a generous base salary for the first six months or year. Salespeople will be able to perform better if they're not worried about paying their bills and can focus on serving the company's customers and developing relationships with new prospects.

Glassdoor recently found a gender discrepancy among sales professionals in what they value in a compensation package. Women in sales report prioritizing health care benefits and company perks above the commission, which is the second most valued element among their male counterparts.

Related: 7 Must-Know Tips for Managing Your Millennial Sales Team

Will Staney

Head of Global Recruiting, Glassdoor

Will Staney is the head of global recruiting at Glassdoor. Previously he held recruiting leadership roles at SuccessFactors, SAP and VMware. He is a thought leader in use of online-recruiting strategies involving SEO, mobile, employment brand, social media and data analytics. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics


Gary Vaynerchuk on the Power of Authenticity and Accountability

The entrepreneur has built his success by prioritizing these two traits.

Social Media

With This LinkedIn Algorithm Change, Your Best Posts Could Reach New Readers for Years

It's one of many new features rolling out on the platform in 2024.

Growing a Business

A Skin Cancer Scare Led Lois Robbins on an Entrepreneurial Journey. Here Are Her 3 Best Success Tips.

The actor and producer became an entrepreneur when she created a product she needed after skin cancer.

Business News

Warren Buffett's Annual Letter Reveals the Secrets and Lessons Behind $930 Billion Berkshire Hathaway

Buffett wrote about the company's unchanging investment rule and how his sister became "very rich."

Business News

A Popular Online Store for Household Products That Disappeared Last Year Is Making a Comeback

Overstock's online store will reopen in collaboration with Shopify in the coming weeks.

Buying / Investing in Business

Here's Where Venture Capitalists Are Putting Their Money in 2024 — and What Startups Must Do to Attract Funding

Here are the top five industries and projects that are currently leading the market and the steps you need to take to attract investors effectively.