Whether you own a big business, a mid-sized firm, or a smaller family business, hiring the right sales talent is key.   This type of talent doesn’t come without planning and patience.

If you have an opening on your sales team (or expect to soon because of an upcoming retirement or relocation of a current team member or because of a new market opportunity for your business), the position and needs of your business should be examined carefully–long before the opening goes public.  You will want to:

Analyze the job description carefully
Is this the same job description you used five years ago before you hired the last sales team member?  Are the functions outlined and required quotas listed outdated or stale?  Surely your business has seen progress and, with that, so should the expectations you have for new hires.  Comb through the description to make sure it reflects your business today!

Build a clear picture of your current sales team
As an employer, if you don’t have a good handle on who your sales team is and what they offer—individually and collectively—it will be hard to know exactly who you would want to join them.  Take the time to assess what you have before you try to determine what you need.

Build a clear picture of your ideal candidate
Are you more interested in someone who can step in to the last guy’s shoes and maintain old relationships, or are you more interested in finding someone to conquer a new territory to generate new sales?  Is it more important that you see an immediate boost in sales or do you have longer-term goals in mind?  You need to be clear on what the primary role for this new hire will be.  With that done, you can begin to build a picture of that perfect candidate, and clear understanding of what traits you must have versus what traits you would be willing to compromise.  Know your priorities apart from your preferences.


Let’s face it.  In an ideal world, you would have the time and resources to go through the steps above for every single hire, but that may not be practical or cost efficient.  Another option for those who simply may not have the time to stop and examine the position, the current team and ideal candidate each time is constant source recruiting.  This model manages and nurtures a current pool of talent, so that when a need arises, it can be filled quickly.

No matter your industry, frequency of hiring needs or business size, keep in mind that transition is the perfect time for restructuring and changing what may not have worked before.  Take the searching and hiring period as an opportunity to define and seek what is best for the future of your business.

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