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What Not To Do When Hiring Salespeople

Sales are the lifeblood of any business. Without sales, businesses cannot grow, expand, or even survive. It’s essential, therefore, that companies hire top sales talent to help drive revenue and growth. However, many employers sabotage their own efforts when hiring salespeople, which can result in poor sales performance and high turnover. In this blog post, I’ll explore some of the common ways that employers sabotage themselves when hiring salespeople and how they can avoid these pitfalls.

Not having a clear understanding of the role

One of the biggest mistakes that employers make when hiring salespeople is not having a clear understanding of the role. They may not have a well-defined job description, which can lead to a poor match between the salesperson and the role. This can result in underperformance, high turnover, and a loss of revenue.

To avoid this, employers should take the time to clearly define the role and develop a job description that outlines the responsibilities, skills, and qualifications required for success. This will help attract qualified candidates and ensure that the new hire has a clear understanding of their role and what is expected of them.

Rushing the hiring process

Employers may be under pressure to fill a sales position quickly, especially if there are sales targets that need to be met. However, rushing the hiring process can lead to poor hiring decisions, which can be costly in terms of time and money.

To avoid this, employers should take a strategic approach to hiring, starting with a comprehensive hiring plan that outlines the recruitment process from start to finish. This plan should include a timeline, candidate sourcing strategies, interview questions, and evaluation criteria. By taking a systematic approach, employers can ensure that they are making informed hiring decisions and selecting the right candidate for the job.

Focusing too much on experience

While sales experience is important, employers who focus too much on experience may overlook potentially strong candidates who do not have a sales background but pounssess the necessary skills to succeed in the role. Employers who rely solely on previous sales experience may miss out on candidates who have excellent communication skills, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving abilities, which are essential qualities for success in sales.

To avoid this, employers should broaden their candidate search and look for candidates who have transferable skills and a strong work ethic. Employers can also consider offering training and development opportunities to help new hires develop the skills they need to succeed in the role.

Offering an uncompetitive compensation package

Salespeople are often motivated by financial incentives, and employers who do not offer a competitive compensation package may struggle to attract top sales talent. Employers who offer low salaries or minimal commission structures may find it difficult to attract top performers and may experience high turnover as a result.

To avoid this, employers should research industry standards and offer a compensation package that is competitive and attractive to top sales talent. Employers should also consider offering performance-based bonuses and incentives to motivate and retain their sales team.

Failing to provide adequate training and support.

Sales can be a challenging and competitive field, and salespeople who do not receive adequate training and support are more likely to struggle and ultimately fail. Employers who do not invest in their sales team’s development and provide ongoing support may experience high turnover and poor sales performance.

To avoid this, employers should provide comprehensive training and development opportunities to help new hires develop the skills they need to succeed in the role. Employers should also provide ongoing coaching and support to help their sales team stay motivated and engaged. By investing in their sales team’s development and providing ongoing support, employers can build a strong and successful sales team that drives revenue and growth.

In conclusion, hiring top sales talent is essential for businesses to grow and succeed. However, employers who sabotage themselves when hiring salespeople can experience poor sales performance and high turnover.
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Author: Bryan Payne is Chief Talent Scout and Founding Partner at Just Sales Jobs, a recruitment agency specializing in finding top sales talent in Toronto and surrounding areas. He has over 25 years of experience in sales recruiting and leading successful sales teams. You can contact him at 

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