Hiring Strategies to Build a Top Performing Sales Team

by Staffer Team

To consistently achieve your sales targets, you need the right sales talent. Here are some sales hiring strategies you can implement to ensure you hire the right salespeople for your selling environment.

1. Build Ideal Candidate Profiles to Match the Requirements of Your Sales Strategy

One of the biggest issues happens before candidates are even assessed: As a sales leader, you haven’t defined what you need from your salespeople. Do you need a hunter who can penetrate the market and close net-new business, a lead nurturer who can close warm leads, or someone to overtake and farm existing accounts?

To attain the candidates who will excel in your selling environment, create a clear outline of the skills, experience, and profile your ideal candidate will possess then build your job description and recruitment efforts around this.

Traits of your ideal candidate may include:

  • Behaviors required to sell your product or service
  • Attitudes required for best cultural fit
  • Skill set necessary to excel in your environment
  • Personality characteristics like competitiveness, resilience, conscientiousness, persistence, or drive

2. Showcase Your Company as an Employer of Choice

Top performing salespeople are picky when it comes to choosing who they work for. And they should be: they have the luxury of working for the best because they are the best at what they do.

Some tactics to attract the best salespeople may be executed in these ways:

  • Online – this is likely the first place that potential candidates will look, so make sure your website is professional and the content is up to date.
  • Offices – make sure your offices look like a place of where success is celebrated and top performance is expected.
  • Interactions – when speaking with candidates, discuss marquee customers you’ve done business with. This is a way to demonstrate your company’s pro sales culture and the value it places on customer relationships – something top sellers want to to see in an organization they work for.

3. Use Cash to Attract Top Candidates

One of the secrets of talent acquisition is that great salespeople know other great salespeople. Salespeople that demonstrate the skills, attitudes, and behaviours that make them a great fit for your company will likely know other people with a similar profile.

To capitalize on your salesforce’s personal networks, develop and implement an internal referral program. The key to making these programs work is to make it lucrative for your team by giving large cash rewards that not only payout when a referral hire is made but when the person referred hits quota. 

Salespeople are motivated by money – incentivize them to bring the talented people they know to you.

4. Build a Strong Employer Brand 

In the same way that consumers evaluate a brand before they purchase, potential employees assess the brand of a company before applying for or accepting a job. They will research you as much as you’re researching them. Ensure they are wowed while they are researching your company online.

  • Position your company as a market leader
  • Showcase core company values
  • Include testimonials of how your employees are living your values
  • Share success stories of personal growth, role expansion or promotions
  • Post employee rewards and recognitions

5. Introduce Science

Effective hiring leverages the power of science; this may involve using psychometric testing to assess candidates. This is a learning tool for you to objectively assess candidates’ communication and behavioural style. Its purpose is to predict the behaviour, performance, and motivating factors of an individual in a specific context. 

Typically, psychometric assessments measure:

  • Aptitude
  • Mental cognition capabilities
  • Behavioural skillsets
  • Motivating factors

Using the data from each candidate’s results, you can identify how someone will fit into your team culture and how they will be received by your customers. 

Ultimately, psychometric testing is key to understanding if someone is naturally “wired” to handle rejection, ask difficult or challenging questions, or possesses the necessary persistence to successfully sell. It’s an objective tools that can be an invaluable part of hiring the right people for your specific selling environment.

6. Don’t Overvalue the Resume

Resumes are not the best source of information about how a candidate might perform in a given role. They are a good source of information on a candidate’s education, years of selling experience, and verticals sold into, but fail to provide more insight beyond that. Recent research supports this finding, reporting no clear connections between resume contents and employee performance.

7. Start Conducting Exit Interviews 

As counterintuitive as it is to make effective exit interviews a tactic in your hiring strategy, conducting proper exit interviews can help create lifelong advocates for an organization. They may provide invaluable information about your sales leadership’s effectiveness. This helps you lower turnover rates, understand where there are leadership gaps, and reduce the cost of sales turnover. 

Conducting effective exit interviews that aim to understand the employees’ experience also has an additional benefit of breeding ambassadors for your brand. Employees regularly leave company reviews on sites like Glassdoor.com after their tenure at a company. When they feel heard and understood, they are more likely to share approving reviews which results in a channel of organic, favorable online content about your company.


While your sales hiring strategy is the key to building a better sales team, excellent strategy that’s met with poor implementation results in failure.

Looking for help with building your top performing sales team? Check out Staffer.cc