Tips for Hiring High-Performing Sales Reps

By Maddie Davis | February 26, 2019

There is no single solution or one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to successful hiring. Especially when recruiting for sales positions, the search for top talent is a constantly evolving process. In order to build a high-performing team, your organization has to fine tune your recruiting, onboarding and retention strategies. In this article, we’ve presented a few best practices to get you started on the path to finding the best candidates.


With heightened competition, it’s important to keep in touch with what prospective employees are most interested in. Attracting the right people for the right job is the main goal of a successful recruiting campaign. In order to meet that goal, you must develop a thorough understanding of the types of people you want to target. As business innovator Mark Hurd points out, this process is rapidly changing as millennials begin flooding the workforce. Because millennials are projected to make up 46 percent of the workforce by 2020, companies will have to integrate emerging technologies into their recruitment processes, so they can recruit millennials on their home turf. Businesses will have to adopt and leverage technology tools to recruit the best candidates.

Artificial intelligence

AI-based technologies such as chatbots can help ease the workload of recruiters and facilitate interactions with a larger number of applicants by assuming the responsibility of answering various candidate questions and completing repetitive tasks. In turn, recruiting teams save time and resources while the overall applicant experience is improved.

Social media

Social media has dramatically evolved from a simple socialization channel; today, about 94 percent of talent acquisition managers use social media for recruitment. Networking via social channels is an easy way for recruiters to seek out potential candidates in a broader scope.

Video interviews

As businesses become increasingly interconnected regardless of their geographic locations, there is no reason recruiters need to limit themselves local talent. Teleconferencing makes it possible for recruiters to seamlessly interview applicants face-to-face without inconveniencing either party.


The onboarding process is arguably the most important step in the hiring process. As research shows, 69 percent of employees are more likely to stay with a company for upwards of three years if they have a great onboarding experience. Thus, building the best team relies on the effectiveness of your onboarding process. The onboarding process shouldn’t end after a few weeks or months. You should allow new hires about 8 months to fully complete onboarding and reach their productivity potential, depending on your sales cycle.
In a general sense, there are a a few goals effective onboarding programs should include:

  • Form relationships with coworkers and managers – Encouraging veteran sales reps to engage new hires through informal mentorship programs can help establish productive relationships and benefits the professional development of both parties.


  • Develop necessary skills for high performance – Teaching new sales reps how to sell your product is most effective when it’s facilitated in a hands-on environment.
    • Have new reps sit through a sales presentation and analyze the method and details that made it successful.
    • Offer opportunities to sit in on sales calls at different stages of the sales cycle, (e.g., cold calls).
    • Have new reps give a sales presentation and mock sales calls with experienced reps and have the experienced reps offer feedback.


  • Develop in depth understanding of sales product – High-performing sales reps can deliver because they have a thorough understanding of the product. Immersing new sales reps in your product offerings, informing them on how you differ from competitors, and sharing why customers choose to work with you will set them up for success.

Onboarding is an ongoing process that requires continuous evolvement to best suit the success of your company and the experience level of your sales reps. Seeking feedback from new employees throughout the onboarding can highlight areas for improvement and maximize the impact of onboarding for future hires.
“Smart leaders know that diversity of thinking, skills, and approach to selling is what leads teams to achieve their goals consistently.” – CEO at Social Selling, Barbara Giamanco


According to a CSO Insights report, the average annual turnover for for sales teams is nearly 17 percent. After you’ve earned a top-performing team, losing them to a competitor is not only discouraging, it’s also expensive. Avoiding this risk and retaining your best reps is achievable through implementing a few beneficial strategies. Here are some of those retention strategies.

Long-term career developmental support

Motivated talent is focused on bettering themselves and their production. When you offer growth opportunities to your team, you prepare them to drive greater value. When you offer a growth plan that benefits the company and your team members, you have the best shot at holding onto your most valuable employees.

Continuous, honest feedback

Sales reps crave feedback — when they’re doing well and when they’re not doing well. Offering sincere performance reviews on a regular basis demonstrates your investment in your reps and their professional growth. Keeping the lines of communication open between reps and managers is crucial for offering praise, as well as getting ahead of potential struggles.

Financial and non-financial reward

Everyone appreciates recognition for a job well done. You should assess the motivations of your team and align them with the proper incentives, whether monetary experiential, to keep your reps happy.
Whether your hiring for an enterprise level sales team or a small business, the key pillars for successful hiring remain the same. Through the implementation of these best practices and a strong recruiting team, forming your ideal sales team is possible.