How Recruiters Effectively Determine a Candidate’s Sales Potential during the Recruitment Process

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog


The sales potential of a candidate is defined as the capacity that the individual has, to develop his/her sales skills and be productive to the company. Thus, the professional’s sales potential is defined as the aggregate sales that the individual can realize within a specific and pre-determined period. For sales professionals, productivity is measured in terms of:

  1. The number of items or products the individual sells/ the number of contracts they get signed
  2. The amount of money the salesperson brings into the company

These two areas are inter-related.

Potential is often very subtle because it means that the sales recruiter will look past documentation and into the candidate’s personality, value system, skills and qualification. While the candidate’s past accomplishments and experience are important, effective sales recruiters also recognize that these often do not portray an accurate picture of what the candidate can do.

In the professional’s past, their performance may have been adversely affected by a number of factors. These include:

  • Inability to seamlessly integrate into the company’s culture
  • Lack of proper and individualized motivation

As such, here are the qualities that recruiters and Houston headhunters consider while assessing the sales potential of any candidate:

1. Assertiveness

An assertive candidate stands out to sales recruiters. This is because these sales professionals are able to communicate clearly and with confidence. Additionally, they are firm when the situation calls for it. For instance, a potential client may be negotiating a deal that would not be in the best interest of the company. An assertive salesperson is able to firmly stand his/her ground without antagonizing or alienating the client. In sales as in other areas of business and life, people pay attention when an individual speaks with confidence and assertiveness.

2. Initiative

Companies usually look for salespeople who can take calculated risks for the benefit of the company. This is why recruiters and Houston headhunters seek out sales candidates who can look at a problem and come up with multiple ways in which to tackle it. Even in most companies where the sales department has been running successfully for decades; fresh input, ideas and approaches are encouraged and sought after. The very nature of sales requires professionals to go out and get things done, as opposed to sitting and waiting for things to happen to and for them.

3. Self-Awareness

It is important for the candidate to be able to clearly articulate the following:

  • Their strengths
  • Their limitations
  • How their strengths work for them
  • How they ensure that their limitations do not represent an obstacle to their productivity and consequently, that of the company

Sales recruiters and Houston headhunters understand that it is only when an individual is able to demonstrate comprehensive self-awareness that they are able to work independently. The sales industry is one that requires professionals to read people and situations, and then develop a way to close the deal. It requires every salesperson to come up with a structure and approach that works for them. This is impossible for candidates who are not self-aware because they are not able to use their strengths to their benefit or leverage their limitations successfully. These salespeople often end up delivering robotic pitches and sabotaging their own success.

Crawford Thomas RecruitingHow Recruiters Effectively Determine a Candidate’s Sales Potential during the Recruitment Process