Hiring Great Sales Teams – And Where You’re Going Wrong

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Hiring a great sales team is hard, but it isn't if you know where to look.

Sales teams are important parts of any organization. These teams build strong relationships with customers based on trust. They help with brand recognition and awareness by being our companies’ loudest cheerleaders. Most importantly, they bring in valuable revenue that helps nurture the growth of our businesses. This poses the question: if we know that sales teams are so important, then why are we doing such a bad job of hiring salespeople?

When looking at the numbers, it’s clear that the typical approach to hiring for sales roles often fails. In fact, sale hires fail 75% of the time within the first year alone. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are great strategies and tools you can utilize right now to improve your sales hiring strategy.

What Makes A Great Sales Hire?

We often tend to view successful salespeople as extroverted, larger than life individuals. While this might be true for certain sales roles, the real answer to this question is that it depends on your specific and unique business needs. Not every sales role is going to need the same type of salesperson.

A study by Wharton School of Business professor Adam Grant proved just that. Using the same “Big Five” psychology that Bryq talent intelligence uses to assess candidates, Grant discovered that there were no fundamental differences between the likelihood of success when comparing extroverted and introverted salespeople.

You’ll need to ignore any biases you might have about what you think a salesperson should be. To make the best sales hires, focus on the personality traits that are proven to actually help them succeed. Instead of focusing on extroversion, assess candidates for qualities like warmth and outgoingness. Qualities like assertiveness and enthusiasm also go a long way when hiring great sales teams – and these are all measured accurately with the right tools.


Hiring great sales teams is a difficult challenge that often fails.


How Are You Getting It Wrong?

Hiring for sales roles has always been a challenge for employers – especially now. And when we make the wrong hire, we often pay the price at a high premium. When we hire the wrong person, we waste money on resources, training programs and miss out on opportunities to create more revenue. So where are we going wrong?

The one thing that is certain is that there is too much bias within the typical hiring process. We too often “go with our gut” when making hiring decisions. What we should be doing is making decisions based on science and data wherever possible.

Through the use of things like artificial intelligence and skill assessments, we can begin to hire based on fit and not intuition. Resumes have been the industry standard for decades, but the 21st century has shined a light on the inaccuracies they contain and the biases they allow. By assessing candidates based on actual data and human psychology, it’s much easier for employers to find an actual fit for a sales role.

Some talent intelligence platforms are also capable of mapping your company culture. This allows you to find candidates whose values align with those of your company. If a salesperson is essentially the face of your company, it should be a company they truly believe in whose values match their own.

You’re Looking for the “Right” Candidates in All of the Wrong Places

We all have our own idea of what makes a great salesperson. Just remember that what makes an employee a great performer at one company could be vastly different from what makes somebody a top performer at another. Sometimes it comes down to simple traits that can be easily identified if you know where to look.


Hiring great sales teams is a difficult challenge that often fails.


The Bryq talent intelligence platform takes the guesswork out of finding the “right” salesperson to hire. Bryq helps customers identify which salespeople will hit their quota with 90% accuracy*. We’re able to predict this through internal data like customer satisfaction scores, performance ratings, and call times. Combined with our science based on psychology like the “Big Five”, it allows our artificial intelligence to build an effective and highly accurate performance prediction platform.

Hiring for performance is one of the many benefits of using Bryq talent intelligence. Learn how to match leaders with teams that are built to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, get coaching, mobility and development insights that help keep your teams engaged and successful. Reach out to our team and book a demo to start hiring great sales teams today!


* Figure based on retroactive analysis of actual customer sales teams.

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Book a meeting with our team today to find out!

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