Hiring great sales people is not a case of advertising a role and waiting for applications to drop into your inbox. 

Hiring great sales people requires approaching some of the most passive candidates. Sales people are motivated by money and the ability to earn a lot of it, so if they are good at their job and are currently in a role that recognises their achievements financially, they aren't going to be actively looking to move.  The problem is, that's exactly the type of candidate that you want to hire into your sales team.

So how do you go about approaching them to tell them what you've got on offer and why it's worth hearing about? 

  • LinkedIn is the obvious place to go because this is where Sales people spend their time doing their own role. However it's also worth attending events where you might meet people, finding people's email addresses to contact them directly, sending them snail mail and asking your network for recommendations.  Passive candidates are more likely to respond if it's via someone they know and trust.
  • Differentiate your approach/message - remember sales people are approached every day, so make your approach of value to them.
  • Create some digital content such as a video or a podcast to bring to life what it's like to work at your company and why they should consider it.
  • Target them with some written content that is relevant to them.
  • Demonstrate with examples how they can progress their career and listen to what they want to achieve.
  • Ensure you can explain the compensation package and how the commission structure works. The best sales people want to see a well organised structure.
  • Be able to demonstrate consistent growth, strong financial backing and why your product is desirable to the market.
  • One final tip, a passive candidate whom you have to influence to engage with you does not negate the need to maintain a rigorous interview process. Any strong candidate would also do the same with a company so don't fall at the final hurdle and not do your due diligence.