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May 24, 2018


Sales People Are the Reason Your Company Exists

I’m going to share right up front here that the company I work for is a sales led company. The salespeople are the highest paid in our company. That’s the fact that the senior management says with pride. It’s the foundation upon which the company was built and honestly, probably a big reason for the continued year after year growth. In this company, operations report into sales which is not typical. 50 years in business with nearly every year reaping double-digit growth can’t be a fluke.

To me, this makes complete sense. It almost doesn’t matter how great a product or service you have if you don’t have excellent people out telling customers about it. Yes, I know, online marketing can do much of that, but salespeople are essential to your businesses growth. A lot of people don’t feel warm and fuzzy about their preconceived notion of the used car salesman, and I get it. That being said my experience with higher level sales folks is they are successful because they are incredibly smart, innovative, and always looking for the best solution for their clients. Recruiting for salespeople pumps the lifeblood of your company.

Recruiting is Super Similar to Sales

I might be biased because I got into recruiting by way of being an agency headhunter. I had to get the clients and the candidates. I had to find a perfect fit for both sides or I didn’t get paid. So maybe I learned I had to get the buyer and the seller. To me, sales and recruiting share a lot in common. Here are several ways that recruiting is eerily similar to sales:

  • Filling the pipeline – whether you are in sales or in recruiting you have to be continually working to fill your pipeline. For sales this is prospects, for recruiters, this is candidates, aka building talent pipelines.
  • Enjoy talking to people – both salespeople and recruiters like talking to people. A recruiter is speaking with someone to see what they bring to the table as an addition to their company; a salesperson likes talking to a prospect to ascertain if they’ll be able to help them with their product or service.
  • The thrill of the chase – a salesperson, loves landing a big account. To a recruiter, there’s nothing better than finding and recruiting a fantastic candidate. It’s dopamine for both.
  • Even Keel – the best salespeople know not to get too high or too low. While it’s astonishing to land an excellent account, there’s plenty of “NO’s” before that happens. The same thing for recruiters, you know it can surely take 100 outreaches before you get a great candidate in the process. Therefore you have to keep plugging away and not get too excited or too down.
  • Building your brand – salespeople know that success doesn’t come quickly. They have to knuckle down and put in the work consistently to produce something of value. Recruiting is the same, you have to create your brand on a regular basis and in time, candidates will seek you out.

Sales People Characteristics

One of the reasons I enjoy recruiting for salespeople is that I find the majority of them to be very engaging. I mean, that’s their job right? Many of them are easy to talk to and are great communicators. I have to admit I’ve known more than a few that can speak for an hour and you walk away more confused than when you started. That being said here’s a few characteristics I believe most great salespeople possess:

Entrepreneurial – they enjoy building and solving problems. They are good at looking at ways to grow and get new deals done and figure out new solutions for their clients.

Driven to succeed – the best salespeople are driven to achieve over and over again, not just once they hit a particular target. This makes them invaluable to your organization; they keep bringing the magic.

Goal oriented – they set consistent goals for themselves and are great at steadily working towards those goals.

Work a plan – exceptional salespeople have their schedules managed to the quarter hour. They know how to guard their time for things such as prospecting and making outbound reaches. They end each week with a plan for the following week.

Creative – the best salespeople know that they have to come up with innovative solutions to their client’s challenges. This makes them a consultant, a partner in their client’s business.

Resilient – a strong sense of resiliency allows the great salespeople to continue to soldier on in the face of adversity and obstacles. They keep on keeping on, knowing they have to push through to succeed.

Your Company Need Great Sales People

Great salespeople can thoughtfully impact a company’s growth. The technology of course plays a significant and prominent role in a company’s growth trajectory. That being said when you bring a consistent effort to recruiting, onboarding, and developing great salespeople, it fuels the lifeblood of a company. Great salespeople are the ones who put together deals like the Nestle and Starbuck’s partnership I just read about that is valued at $7.1 billion. That takes some diligent sales finesses to close a deal like that.

Finding and recruiting top salespeople is incredibly fulfilling because of the impact it makes. When you can source and land a rainmaker, you are helping your company grow. And you’d be crazy not to like that.

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