18 Things Your Boss Expects You to Know About Recruiting Sales Professionals

The first time I saw my boss, he looked at me with steely eyes, and told me to find the best talent for my clients, or pack up my desk and go home. I had 30 days to figure out this business and put up some numbers, or get out. A line of contenders a mile long wanted entry into this lucrative cubical kingdom, and if I couldn’t do it, I’d have to give it up to the next guy who was willing to make more calls, endure endless criticism, and review resumes until his eyes bled. This is when I quickly learned what my ferret of a boss already expected me to know about recruiting.

What to Look for in Top Software Sales Candidates

1.  Find people who’ve never met face-to-face with satisfaction.

2. Recruit salespeople who want something badly.

3. State school graduates and people who faced struggle early in life have a high probability of knowing how to really work to get what they want.

4. People who aren’t afraid of looking stupid are willing to practice the skills required to win new business. This means they will fail many times before they hit success, they’re okay with that. They enjoy the challenge.

5. Find people who are humble and polite, they know how to build baseline relationships quickly.

6. Smart people who can learn quickly and adapt.

What it takes to Locate and Hire High Performance Software Sales Professionals

7. Get used to the dirt, because lots of digging in the weeds is required.

8. Put yourself out there in the marketplace and let everyone know you are hiring.

9. Take the time to stay in touch with sales professionals at various levels in their careers: up-and- coming, mid to senior-level and those on the way out of the business.

10. Sell: yourself, your style, your company and the job.  In order to sell it, you must understand what’s important to the candidate. Is it the company? Is it the opportunity? Is it the technology?

11. Ask. Get good at asking every good salesperson you’ve ever met in your industry who’s the best salesperson they’ve worked with. Then put them on your recruitment list.

What You Should Know about Top Software Sales Talent

12. Good salespeople have choices, and plenty of them. Their bosses move around, and come to them with new opportunities.  Their coworkers move around and come to them with exciting technologies. Recruiters hear about high-performers and come to them with new companies, technologies and opportunities. Get my point? What’s your strategy?

13. Great salespeople don’t look for jobs that often, sometimes they have to be wooed away from current employers. If you want a good salesperson, you have to try harder.

14. All around sales athletes are great, that’s what makes them attractive to the general population. However when you need a quarterback, don’t hire a running back. You’ll only be disappointed in the end.

What You Should Know about Being the Sales Boss

15. To attract good people, you have to be a great leader who can train, inspire, and bring value to the team. If you can’t, great salespeople won’t want to work for you or stay with you.

16. Recruiting is like selling, you need to be able to attract top talent by learning about what matters to them. Strong leaders understand what drives their people, how they can add value to the selling process, and challenge top salespeople to become better at their craft.

17. Your ability to hire good people will make or break your sales management career, so decide to get better or get used to being beaten by your competition.  

18. Fight hard for an all-star compensation program; this will help keep motivation at peak levels for your sales team.