Football players in business attire in football stadiumHire Different – Sales Talent Management

What can college football coaches teach us about sales hiring?

Head coaches from the top college football programs spend about 20% of their time recruiting talent.  They also have a team of scouts and assistant coaches who spend significant time looking for talent.

The top VPs of Sales know this and are always looking for the next two or three producers.  They understand that head count is required to grow revenue.  

The President of a company with a sales team under ten, and one sales manager does not have the VP or the ability to spend 20% of their time scouting talent.  Yet, they need to upgrade their sales team more than anyone.

Hiring recruiters for sales is typically not the answer.  It is expensive and difficult to dial in to what you need.  

The truth is that attracting the right candidates, hiring sales talent, onboarding them for quick ramp up, and retaining them is difficult.  Every company has unique needs, but the reasons for failure do fall into the same big buckets.  

The remainder of this blog will provide you with actionable steps to hire salespeople differently because if you are hiring salespeople the same way with the same style of ads you use to hire everyone else in your company you are likely experiencing: 

  • salespeople who are not not moving the needle;
  • finding it difficult to hold them accountable to the activities you need them to do;
  • giving your current experience, you wouldn’t hire the rep again

Here are 3 actionable steps you can take to hire sales talent.

ONE Understand the Sales Role.

Who do you need and What do you want them to do?  This chart breaks down what a business development (Hunter) rep must be able to do. Farmers and Account Managers need different skills.  

The first step is to think about what they must do to be successful.  If the role you want to fill has overlap, go with the more difficult part of the blended role, e.g. Hunter vs Account Manager.  

You interviewing process must address uncovering these skills. 

Chart about who you really are looking to hire

TWO Constant Recruitment

I am not suggesting you have an ad running every day on a job posting board.  However, there are several things you and your team can do constantly.

  • Maintain an account on a platform like that allows you to run an ad once a month for three to five days. 
  • Use LinkedIn to share with your contacts that you are hiring.  Have the team send out posts that share with the community that your company is hiring, and how they can inquire.  
  • Give your employees an incentive to recruit their network.  Something small, and if you hire their candidate – give them or even better, do something for them that is a little more significant.
  • If you attend a conference, or trade show, work the booths looking for salespeople that look and sound like the type you would want on your team.  
  • The same goes for your vendors. Ask your team if there is a salesperson who does a great job.  Ask him/her out for coffee. 


THREE Sales Talent Acquisition Routine

The core purpose of Helix is to elevate the sales profession with collaboration, and deeds.  Nothing pisses me off more than to experience a salesperson who makes it difficult to buy, or just wants to pitch rather than help me.

So, I am teaching business owners, Presidents & CEOs as well as senior sales leaders who want to learn how to hire salespeople differently.  Yes – differently because salespeople are different from all your other employees; if you want different results hiring sales talent, you might consider changing the approach. 

I teach STAR which is aproven step by step process in a Free 5 Day STAR Hiring Challenge.  1 hour a day, and you get everything you need to start hiring sales talent who will sell to your customers at your price points against your competition. 

I don’t hold anything back, sharing templates, scripts, and tools to make the process simple.  This is the system I was introduced to when I was struggling to hire sales talent as a Director of Sales 15 years ago.  

Sign up free here.  There is a guarantee and prizes. 

The mindset shift alone is worth the time. 

I want to thank you for subscribing and reading the blog.  The entire team at Helix Sales Development is working hard to deliver value to as many entrepreneurs as we can.  We do not and cannot work with everyone who reaches out, but we are building offerings to give you access to great tools.