5 Steps to Hire Top Sales Talent

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog

recruitment metrics

With today’s low unemployment rates, it may feel impossible to find top talent for your sales openings. This is due to quality-candidates staying under the radar of job boards. According to Your Career Intel and Forbes, most companies face the struggles of having limited available talent. Hiring managers need to keep a steady roster of potential candidates at the ready. Unfortunately, some hiring managers wait until a vacancy occurs to start recruiting, exacerbating their talent search challenges. It can take six months or longer to replace a salaried employee, costing a company as much as $200,000 in hiring and on-boarding resources (Forbes). This figure doesn’t take into account losses sustained when an active sales pipeline is minimally prospected or not at all.

In this article we’ll outline 5 easy steps to position yourself to hire top sales-talent.


Let’s jump right into this one. If you want the best, you have to target the best. Don’t waste time phone screening candidates that have no sales achievements or reputable numbers. Go for the bulls-eye. Here at Crawford Thomas Recruiting we specialize in Sales Recruiting and Sales Staffing. If your efforts are failing, it may be time to partner with the best. Our sales recruiters have a vast network of passive job seekers that may be a perfect fit for your opening! We provide our candidates an overview of your company, the positions description, and we collect their sales numbers and accolades.

According to CareerBuilder, most jobs posted on a Job Board stay open for 12 weeks or longer.

Let Crawford Thomas Recruiting partner with your company to hit the bulls-eye and find top-tier talent.


It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to anticipate which of their sales reps are earning a promotion, retiring, or perhaps falling short of their goals. It is a smart business move to always have a small pipeline of qualified candidates ready to rock. This doesn’t mean you’re dragging them along, rather, let them know you anticipate a spot becoming available in X amount of time. Be transparent and honest with your sales candidates.

Build Rapport

As just mentioned, being transparent and honest with sales candidates is a key ingredient to a successful sales hiring process. Don’t just “spray and pray” your pitches through the job boards and expect a top-level sales rep to bite. If you want the big fish, you’ll have to build rapport. Treat a candidate the way you’d want them to treat your clients. According to Your Career Intel, “As a hiring manager, your mission is to make this talent feel special. Point out why their unique attributes will position them for success at your company. Focus on how your organization can help further their career goals. Finally, remember that sales professionals are motivated by the bottom line. They care about On Target Earnings (OTE) potential. Get specific: what is the average deal size and quote? Don’t try to pad earnings potential. Be clear about what’s attainable and realistic.”

Faster Hiring Process

From the first conversation with a candidate, to the time they step in for their first day is about 3 weeks. The only reason it’s not shorter is because most sales candidates will have to put in a two-week notice to close-out or transfer accounts. The other week is dedicated to interviews and on-boarding. We encourage companies to start high level candidates WHILE the background check is running. This prevents the candidate from finding a competitor while the background is running. Using an executive sales recruiter, such as the ones here at Crawford Thomas Recruiting, will help to schedule interviews, provide feedback, and ensure the candidate is locked into the role throughout the process. This reduces the chance of losing a big fish.

Aim for the Top

Aim for the top-level candidates and don’t take anything less. If you’re wasting time with unqualified candidates, your competition is snagging your top-tier sales rep. Remember that it’s much better to find a sales rep that is good at all facets of business development. Try to locate a candidate that has proven success in business development, hunting, farming, cold calling, and closing. While you may think that someone who built a territory from the ground up, is the person you’re looking for, they may struggle with account management.

Bottom line, keep a small pipeline of qualified sales talent. Use a recruiting firm to ensure you’re hiring the best sales candidates possible.


Don’t forget to follow us:

Facebook Twitter | LinkedIn Instagram Blog

Crawford Thomas Recruiting5 Steps to Hire Top Sales Talent