Sales Staffing Checklist: Steps in Recruiting the Right Sales Talent

As pioneers of the outsourced sales industry, we have inadvertently become experts at sales staffing as well. We have always said that our sales representatives are the best, and it’s due in no small part to our rigorous sales staffing efforts. But we’re not greedy – we understand that knowledge is power and we’ll share a few of our sales staffing secrets with you!

  1. Never stop searching – We are CONSTANTLY on the look out for great sales talent. The worst time to hire a salesperson is when you need one. If you do wait, you are more likely to make a rash decision and hire the wrong person. Just as in the sales cycle, have a full pipeline – ALWAYS.
  2. Clear Job Description – trying to gussy up a job description to lure people in does NOT work. The secret to sales staffing is to be upfront and honest from the get go. Don’t sugar coat the fact that your sales person will need to cold call if that is an essential part of the job. Identify the challenges your salesperson must be able to overcome. These are crucial for filling your talent pool with the right candidates.
  3. The Compelling Ad – this goes hand in hand with #2. The ad is actually different from the job description. When sales staffing, the ad should not be just a description of the job, company or the opportunity. Describe the candidate you wish to hire; their attitude, their accomplishments, their goals. “If you describe it, they will come”.
  4. Source wisely – Big job sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com definitely aid greatly in sales staffing, but you’ll get more of the right candidates if you learn how to use their sites. In addition, there are other sites such as Craigslist, Facebook, Linked In and Twitter that can greatly help you find the right passive candidates. Get creative. Join groups, tweet jobs and encourage others to do the same for you.
  5. Filter, filter, filter – Resumes contain very little information that will help you predict whether or not a candidate will succeed in your particular sales position. Just because someone answered your ad does NOT mean they fit the bill. The first thing I always look for is an objective statement, then I look at past successes. They might not have ever worked in “sales” before, but if they were president of their fraternity, started a club in college, excelled in athletics or fundraised – you better believe I’ll give them a call.
  6. Phone Interview – we have saved HOURS of interviews when sales staffing with a very simple 20 minute phone screen. Because a lot of what we do is actually inside sales over the phone, how people come across on the line is VERY important. If someone sounds bored or like they just woke up, I’m off the interview within 2 minutes.
  7. Face to Face Interview – this goes without saying. I cannot imagine anyone hiring a sales representative sight unseen. We usually sit our candidates with at least two or three of our people. It’s important that they are consistent and that we all get to ask questions. Also, keep it to an hour or two. How one person can interview another for three hours or more is totally beyond me. Overkill.
  8. Final Interview – This is where you get to line everyone up and see how they match up against each other. For our business model, this is also where our candidates get to meet the client company. We save only the best for them. This is also the opportunity to sell the job to the candidates you want to hire.

Sales staffing is not easy and it takes a tremendous amount of time and resources if you want to do it right. Hopefully these eight steps will help guide your team in the right direction!

Happy Selling!