How to Hire a Results-Driven Sales Team

By: Jack Reamer |
 January 30, 2023 |

Hiring a winning sales team that obsesses about results might seem like a tall order. (Maybe you were burned in the past by sales reps who didn’t perform well enough.) 

After all, it takes a special kind of person to do sales. 

A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of scholarly articles on the personality traits that a driven salesperson should have. (Some of them being confident, subtle, extroverted, and resilient. )

BUT this is where the question comes in.. 

How do you hire a sales team that encompasses all of these traits and more? How do you hire a driven sales professional that wants results for your business? 

Because, as you can imagine, the wrong person could cost you and your business. 

In this article, we will discuss how to hire a sales team that will scale your company this year.

Find the best talent.

Finding sales representatives is easy. Most people simply place an ad on a job platform and wait for SDRs to come to them.

The problem? Are you really getting the best sales talent out there? You might find hundreds of applicants and maybe narrow down the interviews to the top 5… Which is fine… 

But if you really think about it, some of the top performers are most probably already hired by other companies. 

This is where a great strategy will come in handy. 

How do you find the best talent

Below we will look at various options that some of the top leaders in their industry have used when it comes to hiring sales reps

(Remember these are just suggestions that founders have found useful for their companies. You could always mix and match different ideas, and see which option would work best for your business.)

We will be sharing information from the likes of: 

  • James Schramko, founder of SuperFastBusiness 
  • Luke White, The Director of Sales and Onboarding from Force Manager
  • And Kate McKibbin, founder of Hello Funnel. (Bringing in 6 and 7 digit figures for her company.)

Option 1: Simply Ask Your Employees

What some founders have found helpful, is to actually ask their current salespeople if they know of anyone who would be an ideal fit for the position. 

More often than not, employees might actually know of someone who would be an ideal candidate, especially because they know the ins and outs of your business. 

For example, some companies have set up special referral programs that include incentives. Therefore if they refer a top candidate or salesperson, they get rewarded for their efforts. 

Option 2: Go Head Hunting

As we mentioned above, if you post an ad in a job forum, the chances are that you are going to get hundreds of applicants. 

Some might be great candidates for the job, and others not so much. What Luke White suggests from Force Manager, is to actually scour Linkedin for the best salespeople. Salespeople who are ALREADY employed by a company. 

Why?

Think about it.

If a salesperson is already hired by a company and has been there for a while, he/she most probably has the expert know-how, and the skills to generate leads.

(Some companies have had the same sales reps for over 10 years. Therefore you can only imagine the skill that they have when it comes to lead generation.) 

So, the strategy here is to actually go after these high-profile SDRs who have the sales experience needed to get results. 

If their current bosses are truly taking care of them (Which they should be) then you might not get a “yes.”

But in some cases employers are not doing all they can for their employees, perhaps lacking in certain benefits, pay, and company culture.

It could be as simple as you offering something valuable, such as 10 days paid holiday, or remote work.

This could be all you need to land the right salespeople, who are going to bring in results, who are going to make money for your business.

But how do you go about headhunting? Surely finding top talent is tough?

It’s as simple as using Linkedin to find sales leaders

Why Linkedin?

Because this is where some of the best SDRs have their profiles. If you would like driven team members, this is where you should start. Plus Linkedin is free to use. 

Here’s how:

Step 1: Use Linkedin’s Advanced Search Filter

By using Linkedin Advanced search filters you can narrow down your list of ideal candidates during the hiring process

For example, you can filter by:

  • Location
  • Employer
  • Education
  • Past companies 
  • Years of experience
  • By using these filters, you will be able to find the right people, instead of wading through hundreds of applicants. 

Another option here is to look at past colleagues in your Linkedin connections and ask them if they know of any salespeople who stood out to them, or who currently stand out.

More often than not, people are quite happy to drop a few names. 

Step 2: Narrow down your list with candidate screening

Once you have built a list of potential sales people, you now need to narrow that list down. How do you do this? 

Well, you need to check every single Linkedin profile and see who fits the bill. 

You can do this by asking some of the following questions:

  • “How many years has this salesperson been at their previous company?” 

Look for SDRs who have been at a company for at least a few years. 

The reason for this is that no “middle of the road” salesperson will be able to stick it out for at least 5 years.

If they have been at a company for some time, it means that they probably enjoy what they do, and secondly, their employer must be happy with their results. 

Be wary of salespeople who only stick around in their role for a few months.

  • “What’s the candidate’s experience like? Do they have experience in your market?”

You also need to think about what you are selling and who you are selling to.

For example, if you’re selling parenting courses, choosing an SDR who has experience in selling SaaS products, might not be the best fit.

Have a look at the sales candidates, and see which niches they are experienced in selling. Choose someone who has experience selling in your market.

In this way, they will feel comfortable selling your product/service, and the amount of training that you will need to do won’t be too much because they already have an understanding of the market.

  • “Do they LOVE what they do?”

You can quickly pick up from a person’s Linkedin Profile if they have a passion for their job. Have a look at the profile below.

 

As you can see from the above info, this person really loves what they do. You can compare it to the next screenshot. The next person, for example, doesn’t have much going on in their profile. 

There isn’t an “about section” or much information about their experience. 

A sales candidate‘s profile isn’t the be-all and end-all, but social media profiles can tell you a lot about how the person feels about their role.

Are they passionate? Is their Linkedin profile professional? All of these factors should be considered before putting them through the recruitment process

“Do they have any awards or endorsements on their Linkedin page?”

If a rep has a few endorsements and accolades then this is a good sign that they are willing to go the extra mile in their sales role. And if you would like to build a results driven team, this is something that you should be on the lookout for. 

Step 3: Reach out to the candidate

Now that you have the top sales candidates that you would like to reach out to, you can send them a personalized message on Linkedin. You could see if this candidate has any shared connection with you, and if you do, you could always ask for an introduction from your shared connection.

You could also send them a private message on Linkedin if they are not in your network. 

Here is an example below:

Here is an email template example from Luke White that he has used when trying to find the right salesperson:

At Salesbread we always use the CCQ method in our cold emails or Linkedin messages. 

  • Compliment
  • Commonality
  • Question

The same principle applies when trying to recruit employees. 

Especially high-performance sales reps who work for other companies. 

You want to really stand out so that they will contact you back. And the way in which you achieve this is by either a compliment, a commonality or a question.

But also notice that in the example email, the job offer is subtle. The employer is asking for a referral, even though they actually want to offer them the position. The pitch isn’t super direct, which might help the candidate feel less guilty for responding to your mail. 

Option 3: Hiring salespeople -Think of using ex-college athletes

The first thing you might be thinking with this approach is “are you crazy?” 

But bare with me. 

We once interviewed Lukas Mikelinich, the VP of sales from Negotiatus, and he hires ex-athletes as SDRs for their team. 

You can check the interview out here:

You might think this is strange, but what Lukas mentioned in the podcast, is that the number one quality he looks out for when it comes to a new hire, is coachability. 

He brings out how these ex-athletes have never sold anything in their lives and their sales pitch is usually off. 

Then during the interview, Lucas will tell the candidate “Hey that was good but can you try saying…. XYZ next time, let’s do it again.” 

So, can these candidates implement the feedback that’s been given in real time? If they can, then you know that coachability is a trait that they have.

Why is coachability so important? Well in the business of sales, things change.

 These candidates need to be able to change and pivot along with the industry. If they can, they will be great SDRs

Another reason why ex-college athletes might be great salespeople is that they have the sheer desire and drive to win. 

Option 4: Make candidates “jump through hoops.”

The information in this section is from Kate Mckibben, founder of Hello Funnels. She uses this interview process when she is looking for a new salesperson

When she has a list of applicants, she initially makes the interview quite difficult. She makes these new candidates jump through hoops so to speak. 

She doesn’t want to see a CV but rather have the candidates fill out a very detailed and lengthy form. 

Why?

Because those who REALLY want the job will perform the best and do whatever it takes to get the sales position. This extra step will also scare away those who aren’t the ideal fit for your company.

You only want to hire people who will stop at nothing to get the role. 

These complex interviews filter out candidates who don’t have the drive needed to be SDRs

This is especially true if you want a results-driven team because you want SDRs who have fire and zeal. You want to hire someone who won’t back down from a challenge. 

Another thing that Kate does, is make these candidates fill out personality quizzes. 

Whether it’s the:

This gives her greater insights into the sales reps‘ personalities and if they would be a good fit. 

As you can see above, “The Individualist” or the “Investigator” personality type, wouldn’t be the best hire for the role of an SDR. Numbers 3 and 8 would be better choices, as their core personalities are more driven and confident. 

Kate also uses video screening assessments during the interview process. Each candidate is asked a few questions which they have to answer in a video interview. Kate then watches each video and filters out those who she feels would be the perfect sales candidate

This also allows her to almost “pre-meet” each sales rep, which makes the actual interview easier. 

You can tell a lot about a person from a video interview just by watching their reactions. This also shows whether the candidate can follow instructions and it helps quicken the recruitment process

Some extra tips for hiring the cream of the crop from the experts 

  • Have an exciting company culture – Try to steer away from boring old corporate culture. You don’t want to hire people who just need the money. You want the cream of the crop, the golden unicorns of sales reps. The best in their field have options, so they will be looking for perks. 

  • Offer new candidates something worthwhile that they will actually be excited about. (You want to target the best person for the job, so make it worth their while.)

  • Choose the best recruitment platforms like Linkedin, Seek, or even Indeed.com. If you have to pay for the ad post, that’s ok because it’s a small investment you have to make to find the top talent. 

  • Always pay the new hire as well as you can afford to. This will help the new salesperson feel valued. It will make them want to stick around and work with you for years to come. Because employees start looking around for other jobs when they don’t feel valued for their hard work. And a decent salary is where this starts. 

And if hiring an entire new sales team isn’t for you….

Schedule a free 15 min consultation with Salesbread. 

We guarantee 1 lead or booked meeting per day. 

In the past 24 months we have generated close to 7000 qualified sales leads for our clients.

Just click the button below and let’s get on a call. 

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