Find & KEEP The Top Sales Talent (Part One)

  • Finding the Talent – Prepare before starting the search
  • Finding the Candidate – The process

Finding the Talent - Prepare before starting the search

Conduct an evaluation on why you are recruiting - is it expansion or is it replacement


  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • How much will they cost you in year 1 - YES cost you!
  • What will happen to your business if you make the wrong hire?
  • What will happen to your business if you make a good hire?
  • How urgent is it?


  • Why are you replacing the previous/current employee?
  • What is it costing your business to keep the previous/current employee?
  • The big question - Is it them or is it actually you?
  • What went wrong before, there is no point in repeating the same mistakes.

Create a detailed Job Spec:

  • You must spend time on this - 80% of the job specs we see are not fit for purpose.
  • The job spec is as much for you, as the candidate - spending the time on this at the beginning, will help you have a clear picture on who you need.
  • Generic is BAD / Detail is GOOD
  • One job spec does not fit all - In any sales team, you need Hunters/Farmers/Direct and not so Direct/Hard to manage and Easy to manage.

Finding the candidate - The process

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • How important is it to find the best person for the job?
  • How will it impact your business if you don't find the right person?
  • What budget do you have to find this person?
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to finding the person?

How you answer those questions will drive the way you go next:

  • Low-level role with little budget - Adverts/High street agency
  • Higher level role which is important to your business - Use a specialist agency, YES it costs more, but what will it cost you if you don't find the best candidate.
  • If you just don't have the budget, then be prepared to spend a lot of time on it and don't expect much from your single advert on the job board. Of course, you can get lucky, that will happen every so often, but not on a regular basis.
  • You can use your network - This can work, but again you are fishing in a shallow pool, and you can't be sure the best person is in your network.
  • You can use LinkedIn - This works but it is extremely time heavy.

Be flexible, the best sales people come in many forms, and you CANNOT read a salesperson from a CV - DON'T try it as you will miss good people.

When interviewing through an agency - Have a mix of candidates, too often we have clients asking us for one thing, but if you are a paying a lot of money then TRUST the agency to put a few 'outside the box' candidates into the process.

The sales job market just now, especially from our Irish office, is candidate driven. When you see a CV you like, meet the candidate as quickly as possible. Good sales candidates will have a number of options, don't presume yours is the best.

So often we hear 'well if I lose him/her, then it wasn't meant to be'... in this current market this is CRAZY. A top salesperson can make a huge difference to your profits, FIGHT for your candidate, because if you don't someone else will.

Be prepared if you want the best sales talent, you might have to break your salary levels, but in part two I will give you other ways to attract the top people.

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About Us

SevenSteps are able to provide expert advice and support to both candidates and clients. The Directors set up the business with over 50 years knowledge who are fully experienced in the Sales Recruitment market across the UK.

Passionate about SalesRecruitment.

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