Best Practice For Sales Recruitment


Best Practice For Sales Recruitment

For today’s Sales Insight blog post I’d like to discuss best practice for sales recruitment when it comes to building your world class sales team.

For a new sales person on a base salary of £50K, their total cost in year one is actually closer to £100K – therefore, it is essential that we recruit the right people and onboard them effectively, so that we can start to see a return on that significant investment as soon as possible.

The two key areas to look for during recruitment

There are two essential elements we need to look for during recruitment:

Competency – do they have the skills to do the job, as shown through their demonstratable experience?

Character – do they have a winning mindset, are they a team player and customer focused?

Competency is learnt and developed over time, and it’s relatively easy to change. Character on the other hand is different, it’s formed early on in the individual’s life as a result of nature and nurture, and is therefore difficult to change.

As such, my first tip is to always recruit on character over competency. Of course knowing that the individual can do the job is important, but you can always ‘fill in’ any lapses in competency with training once you have the right recruit.

Utilise your connections

If I were to give you a further tip for a speedier and more efficient recruitment process, I’d say make sure you fully leverage employees’ social connections. It’s becoming a very crowded marketplace which can make it hard to find the right sort of talent. Your own team may know somebody who could actually be a great addition to the team. So let’s make sure we’ve got a process in place for leveraging those connections wherever possible.

See people in action

Make sure you’re using profiling tools and observations of candidates through the sales recruitment process. It’s not enough to simply rely on their CV or your own gut feeling, you need to see these people in action in order to really test their ability and ensure they can deliver in front of customers.

Treat all candidates with respect

Whether you’re going to recruit the candidate or not, always ensure you treat everyone you speak to as respectfully as you would your customers. You never know whether one of those candidates will go out and talk about you based on the experience they’ve had with the organisation and, if you want to keep that tap of talent open, you need to make sure people only have great things to say about you, your business and your team.

Don’t take the whole recruiting process on yourself

Make sure you’re either outsourcing or nominating an individual within the organisation, who can give this process the appropriate amount of time and attention. Many sales managers find they’re too busy, therefore it’s critical to have a process in place which ensures the best experience and outcome for all parties.

The onboarding process

Now it’s not enough to just recruit the right sort of people, you also need to onboard them effectively in order for them to become productive as quickly as possible. Not only that, but the onboarding process is one of the very first opportunities to engage your new team member. A poor onboarding process is likely to set your new recruit off on the wrong foot.

  • Make sure you’ve got a centralised onboarding process in place so that it’s a consistent experience for candidates coming on board.
  • Ensure there’s accountability and strong communication with all the stakeholders involved in the onboarding process. There’s nothing worse than a new sales person just being given the car keys, a telephone and laptop and told to get on with it; it’s no wonder so many fail.
  • Invest in onboarding training for both the stakeholders involved in the process and those who are joining the organisation.
  • Define the key metrics, in advance, that meet both the HR and business objectives. It’s really important that new recruits are clear on what success looks like in terms of targets and objectives, and it follows that, having these clearly laid out, helps when it comes to achieving them.

By putting in all this effort, you will not only start to see a return on that £100K sooner, but you’ll also find that by delivering world class onboarding; first year employee retention is much higher, new recruits are able to hit performance milestones more effectively, and finally, your personal satisfaction levels are higher knowing you’ve found a competent and ‘good-fit’ recruit.

If you’d like to chat a little bit more about this topic please contact me at

Enjoyed this post? Read about the most effective ways to build rapport here.

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