How do you know what you are looking for when hiring for your next open sales position? 90% of our clients say they know exactly what they are looking for but what we have found is that the majority of them don’t know what they are looking for at all. To know what you are looking for requires data and data = in person interviews. The reason most companies don’t know what they are looking for is because they approach a search from one perspective, their own. They usually do not take into consideration how the market will respond to their offering. Market trends are always changing and have a huge impact on recruiting expectations and adaptation.

Many companies’ process is similar to the show house hunters. For those of you who don’t know, the show will have a happy couple hunting for a new home. Each couple tells the realtor that they know exactly what they want. Then the search begins. The realtor takes them to the perfect house. It is in the perfect neighborhood, on the perfect street, it has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, granite counters and nice yard, etc. The couple falls in love until the realtor tells them that while this meets all their criteria it is $200k over their budget. They are shocked and move on to house number two. This house is in the right neighborhood but needs a lot of work and only has 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths but its $50k less than their budget. They can use that money to invest and fix the home. They all move on to house number 3 which is 10 miles farther away then they want, it has 3 bedrooms and only 1 bath but it has a big yard, granite counters, needs little work and meets their budget.

The couple thought they knew what they wanted but based on market conditions they now have the data to understand their options and based on these variables they make the best decision for themselves. They can buy the perfect house if they want to pay more, they can buy the fixer upper to live in the neighborhood they like or can move farther away and buy a house that is perfect for their needs. The point is without seeing those homes (gathering the data) they only see their search from one perspective.

Sales recruiters do the same. Place your ego aside and accept that it is okay to become that first time home buyer described above. When searching for sales professionals it is important to understand market conditions. The market is constantly changing so take time to ground yourself and gather some data. Here are a few tips to keep your company well educated and your search realistic.

1. Be open minded and start your search with a wide brush stroke

As your search begins, take some risks and approach your search with an open mind.  Try to take off the blinders and laser focus on one specific background and think outside the box.  Do the people on your sales team have the background you are presently searching for? Where did your team come from? You may be surprised to find that it is not a specific company.  You may also find that the company they worked at before does not define their ability to succeed at your company. It is more likely the intangibles are what makes them a good fit. It is likely personality traits that make them successful. You will not see those traits on a resume and as a result you must keep an open mind and meet with lots of sales professionals.

2. Interview a large pipeline of candidates

If you struggle to build a large pipeline of candidates for your position, get help. Don’t hire the best of the worst because you are not driving traffic to your opportunity. What is your strategy to build pipeline? At Treeline, our sales recruiters interview with more than 300 sales professionals per week. We need to speak with that large volume of candidates to build a pipeline of talent for our clients. While you don’t need to meet 300 sales professionals per week, you need to meet with a large amount of talent in order to qualify them and learn if you are competitive.

3. Gather Data

Learn from every interview. Accumulate data and educate your company on what is happening in the market. Take leadership and do not assume the company knows more than you. Being on the front lines gives you the most insight on what candidates think about your company, your compensation, your team, your office space, etc. Learn from this information and adapt and change where needed.


You might think you know exactly what candidates you want and how to recruit them but unless you have the data, it will be a waste a lot of time and you will find very little success.  If you are having a hard time recruiting and hiring top sales talent, Treeline can help. As the experts in sales recruiting, our sales recruiters can help you find qualified, interested and available candidates within 3 days of your partnership with Treeline.

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Published On: August 19th, 2019Categories: Sales Recruiting

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