How to Hire Top Sales Talent

Carolyn is the founder of Betts Recruiting, a leading recruitment firm specializing in revenue-generating talent. 

People = Revenue

In order to hire the best candidates, you need to make sure that you have a great hiring pipeline. The top 5 challenges that I see with companies hiring talent are –

– Candidates suck

– HR Team isn’t delivering

– Agencies are not delivering

– Interview Process is too long

– They feel like they’re failing

Based on my experience hiring and helping others hire, here are my tips for hiring better:

Own the Process

You need to own the process of hiring. To do this, you need to ensure that you are developing partnerships with HR and external agencies to vet strong candidates. Additionally, you should reach out to your affinity networks to grow your hiring funnel. Reach out to graduates from your alma mater, fraternity, or other organizations that you have a close affinity to.

Provide Incentives For Referrals

Referrals are a great way to get strong candidates for your business. You should provide incentives for current employees to reach out to their networks to get great talent. Provide incentives for successful hires like bonuses, trips, dinners, etc.

Based on my experience in recruiting, referred employees have: 1 – higher retention, 2 – are a better cultural fit, and 3 – are more likely to become a strong performer.

Lead Generation

Lead generation works for finding new customers and for finding new employees. Post your jobs on job boards, attend networking events, use social media, leverage your network, and hunt down people that you think would be a good fit. You need to own this process and make creating a hiring funnel part of your job.

Employment Branding

The competition for finding good hires is tough. To hire the best talent, you need to make sure that your company is an attractive place for talented individuals to work. Think about what makes your company unique? What’s exciting about your job offering and why should people work for you? One way that we brand ourselves at Betts Recruiting is with video that shows how creative our team is.

Leadership Branding

Prospective hires are going to Google you and your brand when they see your jobs postings. What will potential employees find when they Google you? One way to improve your sales funnel is with branding and leadership in your marketspace. Write and blog about topics in the space, show your personality, and highlight how working for you is going to be a great opportunity.

Know Your Interview Process

I’ve spoken with many clients who have really long interview processes. In general, shorter is better and you need to set clear expectations. Involve different members of your team and get them engaged.

One great way to vet your interviewees is to have them do the job. For example, have them do a product demo over the phone or in person. They may not be perfect but you can use this as an opportunity to test their coachability. Finally, make sure to sell the opportunity during the sales process. You may not want every interviewee to work for you, but you want everyone to want to work for you.

Best Practices

Here are some additional best practices for finding the best candidates:

1 – Bring people into your office

2 – Be clear about what you’re looking for and set clear expectations

3 – Give detailed feedback

4 – Run the process yourself as much as possible

5 – Give clear timetables and timeframes for things.


Sales Hacker Conference is a meeting of top sales execs sharing the unique sales hacks they’re using to attain nine figure revenues in B2B sales. Sales Hacker Conference was held on April 24th, 2014 at SPiN in New York City.

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