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Recruitment is a problem common to so many sectors right now, and sales is no exception.

Hiring good sales people isn’t easy; it takes skill, finesse and good judgement, and maybe a touch of luck along the way.

Here are our recommended 8 steps for successful sales hiring:

  1. Define Your Ideal Candidate

A typical job advert will generate ten’s perhaps hundreds of responses which means a huge amount of sifting is going to be required.

If you take time to carefully define the ideal qualifications, experience and attributes up front, then the sifting process becomes simpler.

  1. Write Effective Job Adverts

 Make sure that your advert appeals to the persona you’ve just defined. Try to use key words that your ideal candidate may be searching for, but take care to make sure that the wording remains straight forward and accurately describes the role.

Provide some idea as to what the role consists of on a day to day basis and set out any perks or benefits on offer.

  1. Pick The Right Candidate For Interview

 Sounds obvious doesn’t it, but you’d be surprised how often hiring managers get it wrong. Ask for a covering letter and then check to see if the candidate has taken the time to think about their suitability for the role, rather than just sending some standard letter they’ve used on every other job application.

Start with phone interviews and check if their previous experience is relevant and whether they’ve taken the time to learn about your company and how quickly they think when put on the spot. This will help you identify the strongest candidates you can the invite to a formal interview.

  1. Check Who Reaches Out Before The Interview

 Reaching out to an interviewer before the interview can be a sign that the candidate is outing extra effort into the process.

They run the risk of appearing pushy, but if they ask the right questions such as whether there are specific elements to prepared for, who they’ll be meeting or what the a[propriate dress code is, then they’re demonstrating that they’re diligent and confident enough o do their homework.

  1. Ask Thoughtful Questions

 During the interview, don’t just run through a set of standard technical questions; you ned to challenge the candidate to thin outside the usual professional context.

Questions like “tell me about a time you messed up” or “what proportion of your current colleagues wouldn’t rate you” can give some interesting insights.

Try to ask questions that don’t allow them to boats about themselves. That way you’ll get an idea of how they function as an individual and as part of a team. Crucially, remember that if the individual won’t fit in with your culture or team, then it won’t matter how good a sales person they are… you’re just creating problems for the future.

  1. Make Sure They Ask Thoughtful Questions

 By asking good questions, the candidate is showing that they’re trying to understand your business and they’re also demonstrating the ability to ask questions when they get stuck in a sales call or meeting.

Someone who asks questions beyond what they can read on your website will often turn out to be a skilled sales person.

  1. Be Transparent About What You Need

Explain exactly what the candidate can expect from this role. If they don’t fully understand what it entails and what’s expected from them you may be hiring the wring person from the outset.

Tell them about what might be difficult, what the pitfalls might be. You want them to stay for the long term, not give up when they discover the role isn’t what they were expecting.

  1. Follow Up Good Candidates Quickly

 If a candidate performed well, tell them straight away. Keep them engaged with the process and let them know that they’ve impressed you and explain the next steps.

Good candidates are rare, and sought after. If they don’t think you’re that interested, they’ll be pursuing other opportunities so don’t risk missing out on a good fit.


Hiring can be challenging and time consulting. If you need idea of questions you can ask to filter out the good from the bad, check out our article “30 Sales Interview Questions To Gain Insight”.


And once you’ve hired the next sales superstar if you need to hone their skills, then maybe our training and coaching programmes might make the difference.

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