How do you hire great salespeople and keep them?

Let's talk about selling smarter!

Hiring the best salespeople and retaining them is crucial for the success of any sales team. With a little planning and process, you can improve your ability to hire and retain great sales team members. Here are some key areas you can focus on to hire the best salespeople and keep them:

Smarter Selling - Recruit and Retain Outline:
Create an outline like the one below and start to fill in the details for your team and organization. Once you follow these patterns, your team will notice and stay more engaged with you moving forward.

  1. Define the role
  2. Use behavioral interviewing
  3. Look for fit
  4. Offer competitive compensation
  5. Provide ongoing training and development
  6. Foster a positive work environment
  7. Recognize and reward success
  8. Provide a clear path for growth



1.  Define the role
: Before hiring, define the role, skills, and experience required for the position. Create a job description that accurately reflects the requirements of the role.

2.  Use behavioral interviewing: Use behavioral interviewing techniques to assess candidates' past behavior and experiences. This type of interview focuses on asking questions that require the candidate to provide specific examples of how they have handled various situations in the past. The interviewer will ask questions that are designed to uncover the candidate's approach to problem-solving, decision-making, teamwork, communication, and other key skills and qualities required for the job. This will help you to gauge their ability to perform the job effectively.

3.  Look for fit: Hire for fit as well as skill. Look for candidates who share your company's values and culture and who have a passion for sales. Ask the candidate to talk about their past sales experience and what they enjoyed about it. This will give you insight into whether they are truly passionate about sales or just looking for a job. You can ask the candidate about their sales goals and what motivates them to achieve them. Look for candidates who are self-motivated and driven to succeed.

4.  Offer competitive compensation: Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages to attract top talent. Consider offering commission-based pay structures that incentivize performance.

  • Straight commission - salespeople earn a percentage of the sales they generate.
  • Commission plus salary - combines a base salary with a commission on sales.
  • Tiered commissions - increasing commission rates as sales targets are met or exceeded.
  • Commission plus bonus - team members earn a commission on sales as well as a bonus for achieving performance goals.
  • Performance-based commissions - different commission rates based on the type of product sold or margin generated.

It's important to regularly review and adjust commission structures to ensure they are motivating salespeople and achieving the desired results.

5.  Provide ongoing training and development: Provide ongoing training and development opportunities to help your sales team continuously improve their skills and knowledge. The most impactful approaches are built around a daily, weekly, or monthly cadence. This demonstrates to team members that you are investing in their growth and development.

6.  Foster a positive work environment: Foster a positive work environment that promotes collaboration, communication, and teamwork. It is important to set clear expectations and have your teams celebrate successes. Encourage open and honest communication and provide opportunities for feedback.

7.  Recognize and reward success: Recognize and reward success to motivate and retain your sales team. Recognition can take many forms. Here are some examples:

  • Public recognition: Publicly recognize salespeople who achieve their targets or go above and beyond in their work. This can be done through company-wide emails, announcements, or public displays of appreciation.
  • Incentives: Offer incentives, such as bonuses, commission increases, or extra time off, to salespeople who achieve their targets or exceed expectations. This provides a tangible reward for their hard work and motivates them to continue performing at a high level.
  • Performance-based promotions: Consider offering promotions or opportunities for advancement to salespeople who consistently perform at a high level. This not only rewards their success but also provides a clear path for career growth and development.
  • Peer recognition: Encourage team members to recognize and celebrate each other's successes. This can be done through peer-to-peer recognition programs or team-wide celebrations.
  • Personalized rewards: Consider offering personalized rewards, such as gift cards or experiences, that align with the individual preferences and interests of each salesperson. This shows that you value them as individuals and can be a powerful motivator.
  • Non-monetary rewards: Not all rewards need to be monetary. Consider offering non-monetary rewards, such as a personalized note or a day off, as a way to recognize and reward success.

8.  Provide a clear path for growth: Providing a clear path for growth within an organization is important for motivating salespeople and retaining top talent. Here are some ways to provide a clear path for growth:

  • Set clear expectations: Clearly outline the expectations and performance standards for each role within the organization. This includes setting clear goals and providing regular feedback on performance.
  • Provide development opportunities: Offer development opportunities, such as training programs, mentorship, or leadership workshops, to help salespeople develop new skills and advance in their careers.
  • Offer promotion opportunities: Provide opportunities for promotion within the organization, such as new roles or leadership positions, to salespeople who consistently perform at a high level.
  • Create a career path: Create a clear career path for salespeople within the organization, outlining the skills and experiences needed to advance to the next level. This helps salespeople understand what they need to do to achieve their career goals within the organization.
  • Encourage internal mobility: Encourage internal mobility by offering opportunities for salespeople to move between departments or teams within the organization. This provides opportunities for new experiences and career growth.
  • Provide regular feedback: Provide regular feedback on performance and career development, including setting clear goals and providing guidance on achieving them.