Why Businesses Keep Failing at Sales Recruitment

why do so many businesses fail to get sales recruitment right

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Have you ever made a bad recruitment decision? You were certain they would be a sales superstar, but six months later you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of them? Sound familiar? 

Well before embarking on your next journey to find the salespeople for your organisation, it’s important to understand why so many hiring managers get it wrong. If you can identify with even one of the points below – then it is time to reassess your sales recruitment.


Without the right tools, experience and knowledge, most sales leaders are hiring someone based on a guess that the individual would do well. ‘Hoping’ may be a more accurate description for when the final decision is made. But there is no solid guarantee that this will result in a great candidate coming on board – particularly since only 26 per cent of salespeople have the right skills, attitude and aptitude to be successful. And once you’ve hired them, there is really no way of going back without a lengthy, complicated dismissal process (as well as realising you’ve wasted a huge amount of time bringing on board the wrong person).

2. Emotion and feeling

It is human nature to judge a person’s ability by the ‘feeling’ we get about them. But following our ‘gut instinct’ is a dangerous trap to get caught in when it comes to hiring a salesperson. Naturally if we like someone’s character when we meet them, we look upon everything they do favourably – so it is easy to miss any red flags, or things that would identify that they aren’t actually a good salesperson. And on the flip side just because we don’t have anything in common with an individual or aren’t particularly fond of them personally, it doesn’t mean they can’t be a very good salesperson.

3. No process

Without a thorough process to follow when recruiting, you are likely to miss key steps, and not have a consistent way of hiring new salespeople – which is likely to result is less-than-average results most of the time. It is important to have key elements locked in place – like selection criteria, time frames and outcome objectives –to ensure you stay on the right track and every new hire goes through the same screening process.

4. Not enough people in the candidate pool

When it comes to sales, we know that numbers matter maybe you need 100 leads to get 20 prospects, 8 qualified and that are closable customers. And recruiting the right salesperson follows the same criteria – you need a sizeable candidate pool to be able to uncover the ones that will best suit the position.

5. Lack of experience

A lot of sales managers are in their position because they were good salespeople – but unfortunately this doesn’t always equate to them having the right knowledge and experience to lead a sales team, or hire the right new people to come on board. If a manager is unable to identify and recruit the best salespeople, then this will ultimately result in a failed hire.

6. Not using a sales-specific assessment tool 

You can’t manage something if you can’t measure it –and that is where a sales-specific assessment tool comes into play. This allows you to capture important information around a candidate’s sales ability, enabling you to have a more accurate way to understand their level of competence.

7. Ineffective process after hiring

Yes, of course this happens after the fact of recruiting – but an ineffective on-boarding/ramping up process has the potential to completely derail the success of a new salesperson. And through minimal fault of their own, the new recruit is seen a fail.

Download a SAMPLE Sales Candidate Assessment and see for yourself the incredible insight that you can gain when assessing your next candidates.


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