How To Hire The Best Sales People – Hire A Top Performer (Not A Dud)

By Peter Roberts

I’ve hired many sales people over the years.

I’ve trained many who went onto to become top performers.

But I’ve also hired people who showed a lot of promise but never made it.

Sales can be tough.

When it comes to finding your next top performer there are a few things to keep in mind so you hire the best.

There are a lot of things that make a top performer, but of those, the top 3 are that top performers-

  1. Are ambitious
  2. Overcome fear
  3. Are committed to success


A sales person who has a burning desire to be in the top 10% or 5% of their industry is someone who is going to find a way to get there.

They’ll need company support but if they’re motivated to be a top performer they will find a way.

When hiring for sales people, find out how ambitious they are. High ambition can be a great sign. You can gauge how ambitious someone is with questions like-

  • Where do you see yourself in 12 months, 2 years, 5 years?
  • What is the toughest sale you’ve made? Why was it tough? How did you close the sale?

Overcoming Fear

Sales can be scary.

It’s not surprising that the most disliked part of sales for most people is cold prospecting.

Top performers understand this is one area that can make a big difference to their sales figures. As a result, when required they spend a large part of their day prospecting.

Top performers understand that prospecting needs to be ongoing, part of their daily / weekly activity, not something that happens once in a while or when sales seem to be slowing.

Some great questions to ask regarding this are-

  • What percentage of your day / week is spent prospecting?
  • What are your best sources of clients / customers?

If the sales person has a PLAN for their week that includes a dedicated amount of hours each week prospecting, that’s a great sign.

Commitment To Success

The best sales people are committed to success. It’s important to them.

Success brings financial rewards and social status.

Some revealing questions around this are-

  • Why are you in sales? Why not another profession?
  • What motivates you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
  • What is your end goal? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 20 years? When you retire?

The best sales people can be hard to find however if you know the type of person you’re looking for then it makes the job much easier.

On the rare occasion you find a top sales person who is available, make sure they are as good as they seem to be. Ask them for evidence of their sales performance. A top performer will be able to provide it.

And finally…

Always Be On The Lookout For Top Performers

You should be looking for top performers all the time.

They can add substantial revenue to your business. You never know when a great sales person will appear. By being on the lookout all the time you increase your chances of securing the best.

Connectzapp is great for a ‘set and forget’ search for any new employee. It matches the role with the most suitable candidates, then ranks each candidate with the best candidates at the top.  It’s quick and easy. You’re also notified when new candidates are identified.

Good luck with your new hire!

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