How to hire top sales talent!

2 May 2019

Are you struggling to find the right sales people for your business?

Don’t worry - you’re not alone.

Top performing sales professionals will invariably be well remunerated and will be made to feel important and valued by their employers, which in turn makes them very difficult to hire.

Here are some tips on how to hire the very best sales people -


The best sales staff will generally already be in employment and earning well, because they’re good at what they do. That doesn’t however mean they’re completely satisfied with where they are.

Important factors to job satisfaction for top performing sales professionals include career progression, product or service passion, leadership relationships, company culture and the excitement of a new challenge.

It is imperative to seek out their real motivations and passions, this is the key to unlocking engagement with your industries top performing sales talent. You may think it is purely based on earnings, and whilst this is important for sure, it is not always the main driver behind them considering a change.

Focus on what’s important?

Experience comes in many different forms, and some of them are more helpful than others. Think about the type of experience and more importantly personality attributes that are important to you.

Whilst certain experience is important and, in some cases essential, invariably most product and service knowledge can be learned in the short-mid term.

What can’t be taught is determination, self-motivation, desire, focus, competitiveness and hunger and the ability to build and manage client relationships.

Ask the Right Questions

Create a well-rounded list of interview questions that give you a clearer picture of your prospective hire, including their motivations and personality attributes.

“How would you describe your sales style and approach?” This helps you understand whether your candidate has the confidence and enthusiasm to sell and that their style is a good fit for your culture and customers.

“What do you enjoy about working sales?” Responses will help you assess whether people genuinely love the sales profession and are driven to succeed.

“What drives and motivates you to succeed?” This will help you understand their motivations for wanting to succeed. Usually there are internally motivations driving successful sales people.

Sell to the opportunity

An all too common mistake made by hiring managers and companies is to assume that a sales professional is desperate to join their company, especially in the early stages. Just because they are sat in front of you it doesn’t always mean they are desperate to join your company at this stage.

Whilst they need to impress of course, it is equally important that you sell the company and opportunity to the candidate, make them leave the interview feeling that your opportunity is ‘the one’!

You can be absolutely assured they will be considering other opportunities with other companies, including your competitors, so make your opportunity is the one they want!

Be Decisive

Indecisiveness while filling a core sales role often means you will miss out on the best sales talent.

The very best sales professionals are rarely on the job market for long. Do you need to be considered and thoughtful in your process? Absolutely. But you also need to be decisive.

Hiring managers often find a candidate who has the required skills and fits the values of the company but ends up losing the candidate because they take too long to close.

Whilst you are deliberating, your competitors are acting, they are acting quickly and decisively. Meaning they are hiring the best sales talent for their business.

Don’t snooze and lose.

Offer a Competitive Package

Top sales professionals will want an attractive package. Remember, you get what you pay for and good people will give you your money back many times over.

Create an attractive commission structure with no upper limit on how much they can earn, the more they earn, they more you and your company earn. If possible, add in an attractive benefits package so candidates know you care about the overall well-being of your employees.

Find out what your competitors are offering. Beat their offer, and you’ll attract top sales candidates to your team. As industry experts, MarkJames Search can help you to understanding market rates and competitor offerings.


Written references will only confirm the basics (dates of employment & job title). They don’t give an insight in to employee’s performance or general conduct.

It is always worth contacting the relevant people for a confidential verbal reference, assuming they are willing to provide one.

This can often highlight any potential red flags in the employees’ character or performance.  MarkJames Search can assist in seeking ‘off the record’ references.

Are you hiring?

MarkJames Search represents a large, talented and diverse network of sales professionals, so if you are currently looking to hire talented sales professionals contact us today -

Reading – 01184 670 671 –

Windsor – 01752 362 230 –

London – 0207 993 1368 –

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