Sales Recruiting: 3 Key Attributes of Top Performers

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog

touch- tablet in handsRecruiting sales talent is a core pillar for most businesses. Products or services simply do not sell themselves. For a business to succeed, it needs to have a strong team of sales representatives to build relationships between the company and its clients.

But what makes a great sales talent recruit?

Here are 3 key attributes to look out for in your next sales recruit.

  1. Ability to Form and Maintain Strong Relationships

Sales is all about relationships. Without the ability to build trust and a personable connection with their clients, a sales employee won’t get very far. This means that your sales representatives must be relatable and approachable.

When interviewing prospective top talent for your sales team, look for evidence that the candidate has strong relationship management skills.

  1. Goal-Driven

Sales takes care of the bottom line. Succeeding in sales is key for all levels of the business, which is why setting sales targets is key to effective strategy. Sales representatives need to work to sales targets, and top performers are motivated to exceed targets.

You can find evidence of a goal-driven sales candidate if they talk in terms of results that they have achieved throughout their experience.

A goal-oriented candidate is also highly self-motivated to find and meet targets. Many businesses choose to incentivize sales team members, so top talent is likely to be motivated by incentives and rewards.

Finally, identify whether the candidate is able to envision the steps that are required in order to achieve targets. Strategic thinking will be key to ensure that the candidate is self-driven and focused on goals.

  1. Tenacity, Resistance and Resilience

A day in the life of a salesman involves rejection and obstacles. Even top performers will find that they have to overcome challenges and unsuccessful pitches.

Crucially, a sales candidate needs to be able to bounce back with resilience from rejection. For this reason, look for sales candidates who demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence. This may include a strong sense of self-awareness and strong interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. To uncover a candidate’s level of emotional intelligence, question them on their weaknesses, and what they do to overcome them. If they believe they do not have weaknesses, their self-awareness may be low. Also, discuss emotional management strategies that they may have developed, or how they manage their mental health. These indicators will determine whether a candidate can bounce back on their own steam.

Finally, a sales team member needs to have persistence and determination to frequently see beyond the short-term obstacles to achieve long-term goals for the business. Look for evidence that they can see the bigger picture and are flexible to achieve a goal in their own lives, whatever it takes. Signs that a candidate jumps from job-to-job may indicate a lack of resilience when facing inevitable adversity.

Finding and incentivizing a core, talented sales team on which you can rely to meet targets is the key goal for your sales recruiting. They are the engine of success for your business, so investing in your sales recruitment is key for long-term success.


Crawford Thomas RecruitingSales Recruiting: 3 Key Attributes of Top Performers