Building the Best Sales Team


Most businesses would say that a good sales team is the key to success. Despite this, sales is typically the most difficult department to recruit for. Recruitment agencies can certainly provide the most qualified and experienced candidates, but only you can decide who best fits the role. Ultimately, the company with the most top players wins the game, so finding the best salespeople is essential – or to look at it another way, making the fewest hiring errors is essential. A rigorous recruitment process is the simplest way to avoid hiring the wrong person, and here are the top tips for building an outstanding team.

Always be recruiting.

Just like star salespeople are always prospecting, recruiters should always be looking for the next big talent. That means always having your eyes and ears open – at meetings, conferences, industry events, even in your social life. By staying aware, you give yourself the best chance of meeting star players.

If you’re a manager or sales leader, be sure to engage with HR and recruiters.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but a good relationship between the two parties is paramount. However, employers often complain that the relationship is strained, with recruiters providing candidates who are not matched to the role. Conversely, recruiters are often unhappy with the responsiveness of managers and sales leaders, with some of the main problems being the postponement of interviews, poor communication, and a failure to express exactly what they want in a salesperson.

This isn’t a blame-game, so be sure to foster an environment of communication, precision and reliability – after all, internal processes are all about collaboration. If you’re working with an external recruiter, perhaps consider a service level agreement, so both parties are accountable.

Analyse your recruitment.

As with any endeavour, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Unlike most business activities – call rates, financial forecasts, executive reports, invoicing – recruitment isn’t something that is expected on a certain day of the month. At best, recruitment is analysed quarterly (and that’s being optimistic); at worst, turnover forces a company to concede to a recruitment review. However, by keeping tabs on the talent pipeline with regular reviews, you avoid getting caught off-guard with unexpected resignations.

Make a plan.

Whether you’re developing, growing or replacing a sales team, you need a strategy. First, you need to start with the model salesperson – what do you want from a salesperson’s personality and appearance? Define your target candidate, but be objective about what you are looking for. Using subjective or unrealistic ideals to pick a sales superhero will only lead to disappointment.

Talk to the experts.

Finding the right external recruiter can seriously relieve your recruitment woes. Recruitment has undergone somewhat of a revolution in recent years, with new practices making the service more practical and straightforward for employers. Working with a flat fee recruitment agency is one way to avoid a long and costly recruitment process. But don’t just look for a recruitment agency that’s low cost; make sure it has a good track record of providing relevant and qualified candidates too.