10 Hiring Mistakes that Cost You Outstanding Sales Hires

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Avoid These 10 Hiring Mistakes

Are you having trouble recruiting top sales talent in this market? If you’re like most of our clients, you’re trying to recruit salespeople for your team and you’re noticing how tight the job market is for sales talent.

I’d venture to say we’ll all look back on today’s market and remember it as a time of great opportunity. Recent staffing surveys show 1 out of 3 employees are looking for a new job, and from a recruiter’s perspective, there’s never been a more advantageous time to upgrade your sales team.

With the whirlwind of new hires starting and employees resigning, everyone is busy managing the cyclone of onboarding paperwork, exit interviews, new hire training, and interviews.

In the meantime, exceptional salespeople are choosing to upgrade their jobs and go to work for companies that have a healthy sales culture, are responsive during the interview process, and provide aggressive compensation packages.

There’s never been a better time to upgrade your sales team. Seize this opportunity and avoid making the costly mistakes we’ve seen other companies make in this market. Do whatever’s necessary to get your recruiting system right, otherwise, you’ll miss out on one of the biggest opportunities we’ll see in the next five years to hire top sales talent.

Are You Making These 10 Expensive Recruiting Mistakes?

  1. Molasses is for Gingerbread not Interview Cycles

 Save the molasses for the gingerbread cookies, decisions shouldn’t be made that slow. At times, we all struggle with making decisions. Although you’ve heard the comparison ad nauseam, the interview process is analogous to dating. If you go on a first date, and ten days pass before you hear from the person again, you’re not as apt to book the second date.

Perhaps you’ve moved on to someone else who showed more interest! When interviewing sales talent, it’s important to make a decision. And then communicate that decision to the person you’re interviewing. Set some basic interview ground rules.

One good rule of thumb we’ve seen successful companies use is to decide on a candidate in 48 hours or less. This keeps candidates engaged and/or informed on where they stand and keeps the process moving for the talent you’re interested in learning more about.


  1. You Think You’re in the Software Business


Given you’re in the tech space, you are accustomed to leaning on your company’s technical advantages. After all, this is why your company exists—to get your software out into the world and make your client’s lives easier.

Today’s hiring managers are pressed for time, when you have a thousand things to do investing time and effort into people who aren’t working for you can seem frivolous. But when it comes down to accepting your offer over another one (Yes, my friends, there will be another offer.), the connection between people always wins.

I know you’ve been sitting in your basement during Covid all alone bonding with your computer, but you remember how to connect right?

So, answer me this. What did you learn about the potential new hire you just interviewed?

What can you tell me about them personally? Or were you sitting on the interview call thinking about how you’re going to get your kids to practice on time? Don’t take an assumptive approach that interviewees are endlessly interested in working for you because your company is soooooooo unicorn-awesome.

Did we mention there will be another offer?

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  1. Rescheduled Interviews

We had a client show up to a Zoom interview at least 10 minutes late. It could have been longer, but the candidate dropped off at the 10-minute mark. And our candidate didn’t reschedule the interview. It’s ok, don’t worry. We placed him somewhere else.

But why didn’t he reschedule, doesn’t he need a job? Answer: NO! The candidate was currently working and isn’t looking for a job, he was looking for an environment where he could learn and grow professionally.

After blocking out time in his day for a video call and staring at an empty screen for 10 minutes with zero communication from the hiring manager he left and never looked back. (How about try emailing “Sorry I’m late. Need to reschedule. Sorry for the last-minute notice.”)

From the point of view of top sales professionals, they don’t need another decent job. They need an outstanding opportunity.

They already have a good job at a good company with a funnel full of leads and deals in the works. Don’t let a hectic schedule cost you your dream sales team.  As a rule, most companies aren’t rescheduling interviews for candidates who no show. And top sales talent isn’t rescheduling interviews for companies that no show either. Hopefully, this doesn’t surprise you.


  1. Poor Communication

Here’s the reality, driven salespeople with a track record of success have plenty of choices when it comes to where they work. Consider this, for every top salesperson on a team, there are at least 3+ roles they could easily get an offer for.

If you can’t communicate why someone should take your job and work for you, they will work for someone else.

No matter how great you think your company is, never let arrogance creep in and start believing your job will sell itself. It won’t. Arrogance has killed many a unicorn, don’t let it kill yours.


  1. Lackluster Offers

If you want to offer the same money for the same job for average sales performers, fine. Hopefully, it works out. But if you’re after the top 25%, you’ll need to pay a little more.

You’ll need to sell the opportunity a little harder, and you’ll need to run a smooth interview process that demonstrates to Mr./Ms. Top Seller that you have your sh** together.


  1. Inability to Unlock Your Greatness

It can be hard to describe your company’s key distinguishing factors.

Other times, it’s hard to describe them without sounding like every other SaaS company that claims all you have to do is jump on the rocket ship and hang on. But when the final decision is made, people work with people they like, know, and trust.

All the logical reasoning that’s given is a bunch of noise. So, what are you doing in your interview process to demonstrate these qualities?

interview funnel

  1. Lack of Teamwork

Top salespeople want to join a winning team. They know greatness doesn’t exist in isolation and no one closes big deals alone. Believe it or not, one person can mess up the company’s ability to attract top talent.

Ironically, most of the time, this one person happens to be the hiring manager. We know one very large well-known and highly regarded company that couldn’t fill a role. In fact, it went unfilled for over 12 months. Come to find out the process fell flat after the first meeting with the hiring manager—every single time.

The hiring manager was cold and robotic in the interview. She left the candidate feeling uncomfortable working for her. When candidates asked her questions, she’d give one-word answers. This didn’t happen once or twice. But every single time with every single candidate.

Do you have someone on your team that’s costing your company great talent? Find out their knowledge deficiencies and get them interview skills training.


  1. Zero Sense of Urgency

Back to our dating analogy. If you went on a date and didn’t hear back from Mr. Great, you’d move on with your life and start dating someone else. As in dating, candidates’ interest grows cold over time when communication stalls.

When you go more than a week without connecting with a candidate, don’t expect them to be waiting by the phone.


  1. Weak Offers

We’ve had clients offer candidates what they felt was a good offer, referencing internal equity and years of experience as reasons for the compensation numbers. However, the external market does not care about your internal equity nor your thoughts about years of experience.

In fact, if your “internal equity” is far from market, it tells candidates staying with your company for the long term is not a financially smart decision.

Out here, in the “job market” we’ve come across several very “inexperienced” salespeople who have made more money in one year (because they are top 10% sales material) than five experienced 20+ years of experience veterans put together.

After all, sales is supposed to be about results. A salesperson’s ability to make commissions comes down to their internal commitment to be the best. And years of experience have never dictated one’s commitment.

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  1. Interview Blunders

Flubbing up parts of the interview process can cost you a good new hire. Avoid showing up to meetings late. Try asking more questions and get the candidate talking. This will help you find a way to make a connection. When you don’t prioritize the recruiting process –you’ll sabotage your ability to get talent in the seat.

It’s a competitive job market for sales talent. You probably have seen people leaving your own company during this time. So now’s the time to treat your interview process with the same attention you do the sales cycle.

You won’t regret it. Just imagine the kind of team you’d have if everyone worked together to bring the best and brightest on board. Make that vision a reality by doing your part.


Shorten the Interview Process to Recruit and Hire The Best Sales Talent

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10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drag Out the Interview Process

TBST is the very best sales talent. These are the highest-performing reps of any team. These are the people who’ll make the most significant impact on your team. They are the salespeople who have the highest probability of helping you achieve your revenue goals. These are the people who will help you compete and win.

But if you’re stuck in long interview cycles and assuming you’re interviewing TBST at all, you’re probably losing TBST to the competition. And it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to rethink the interview process. If you absolutely must reach your sales goals, you can’t afford to get stuck in long interview cycles with TBST.

Long sales cycles will only waste your time and increase your chances of hiring average-performing sales talent. And today’s average-performing sales talent is probably not hitting quota and definitely not exceeding it. Their chances of suddenly performing for you and your team aren’t bets you want to make with your career.

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10 Reasons why TBST isn’t joining your team if you have a long interview process


1.       TBST loves to decide and start. They know what they want, and if they want to work for you, they want to work for you now. If they’re interested in your organization and your role, they’ll want to work with other decision-makers.  They’ll lose interest if you delay connecting them with the right people in your organization or if you put off making a decision. They will move on to other opportunities and land with companies that can put together a firm offer.

2.       TBST needs to know your 100% in on them. They are used to producing results and focusing on delivering on their commitments. When they meet with you, and you meet with them, they want to know if you’re in or out. If you’re in on them, they want you 100% in. They don’t want to hear you’re going to decide in a few weeks. In a few weeks, they’ll have other offers that are likely to be better than the one you planned on extending. We can tell you from experience we’ve seen sign-on bonuses ranging from 25K-35K for the top 10% in 2021.

3.       TBST gets multiple offers. When TBST dips a tiny toe in the market, they don’t last long. And word gets out fast that they’re entertaining offers. They have more choices than most salespeople, so the longer you delay, the more time they have to generate competition.  Keep in mind; you’re competing with their old boss, former colleagues, and everyone who knows what they bring to the table. They can and will get multiple offers quickly, so don’t delay. It will only make the competition worse for you.

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4.       TBST will go to the company that makes a quick, decisive, and generous offer. This means you may have to think about draws, sign-on bonuses, and generous base salaries. If you’re under the impression that natural salespeople are commission-hungry, it’s true; they are. But they want generous commission payouts in addition to guaranteed compensation. They’re proven, and they could, but have no need to, work for less. So they don’t. If you drag out the interview process, you’ll be letting TBST slip away to your competitors. So unless you want to compete against them, put together your best offer.

5.       Unlike mediocre sales talent, TBST are some of the most decisive salespeople you’ll meet. They know their worth, what they want, and what they can deliver. Now, isn’t this the kind of sales talent your team will enjoy working with? This is the kind of mindset that energizes sales teams and brings in clients that may have been inaccessible to you before hiring TBST.

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6.       TBST runs with TBST. If you can win one of the best, they’ll help you hire more TBST. The sooner you stop interviewing and start hiring TBST, the sooner you’ll be able to hire more. Once you get the momentum going, you’ll have a whole team of TBST, and life will become more manageable. You’ll generate more revenue, you’ll win more significant deals, and you’ll have more fun doing it.

7.       TBST won’t take their next job based on a brand name. If you think TBST will go to Google, Amazon, Facebook, or Microsoft over your organization, reconsider. TBST bets on themselves. They know their best chance of hitting it out of the park with a high-growth software company. So if you bring equity, market-relevant products, and strong leadership, they can deliver the rest. The only time you’ll get beat by the big guys is if you start moving slowly like a lumbering elephant. If you’re a growing organization, it’s best to conduct your interview cycle swiftly and strike a deal quickly.

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8.       TBST will bring you, clients, you never dreamed you could land. Many companies with less than 200 people can land large and significant Enterprise deals with the right salespeople. We have clients under 50 employees that have won deals with 40,000+ employee organizations. Don’t let TBST slip away because of a lengthy interview process.

9.       TBST needs less time and resources from you. If you hire TBST, they’ll require little hand-holding from you. They’ll work well with your team, bring in resources to help advance deals, but they won’t keep tire-kickers in the pipeline doing demo after demo with prospects who aren’t serious about buying. But if you scare them away with indecision and lengthy interview rounds, they’ll go elsewhere, and you’ll wind up hiring the leftover sales talent.

10.   TBST remains hungry. Even when they have a great year, they’ll approach the next year as if they lost all their money in a house fire and they need to rebuild. This kind of hunter loves speed and is drawn to action. So if you can move your interview process along, you’ll have a better chance of hiring them.

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Don't Miss Out on TBST

Every week that passes in the interview phase is a week of pipeline that’s not being built. Other companies have swooped in on TBST and made generous offers, including sign-on bonuses for a quick YES decision. So stop losing out on talent. It will cost you for years. Understand what long interview processes are costing you, and decide and take action on candidates quickly. Otherwise, prepare yourself to hire the middle of the pack, which will require an investment in continuous training and yield mediocre results.

If you’re not seeing enough TBST, and you’re probably not, perhaps we can help. Reach out to us, and let’s discuss your recruiting situation today.

How to Ensure You’ll Recruit the Best Sales Talent for Your Growing SaaS Company

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Because we help recruit the heart of any company—it’s people— recruiting remains one of the most challenging and rewarding positions inside any organization.

Companies grow and die based on the people they hire. It’s the people who develop innovative ideas. They create new solutions to solve problems. It’s the PEOPLE who build partnerships, develop relationships, and help each other learn new skills.

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