Sales Operations: Hiring

Recruiting the best people and enabling them to succeed is one of the top priorities for a VP of Sales, but choosing the best sales reps can be a challenge.

John E. Kosar, III

Recruiting the best people and enabling them to succeed is one of the top priorities for a VP of Sales, but choosing the best sales reps can be a challenge. In fact, according to Bridge Group, employee turnover is between 20-34% in Sales. The next 400 words will discuss best practices to help improve retention and sales.

Sales Hiring Best Practices: The Search for Talent

McKinsey Tech Platform reports challenges with finding talent, and even more problems with finding talent that will stay:

“We surveyed 44 growth companies with an average of $35 million in funding and $40 million in revenue. More than 40% of these companies reported that at least half of the sales reps they hired left within three years.  And successful reps often are hard to retain: 36% of our survey respondents reported that more than 10% of their highly successful sales reps left within one year of joining the company.  This high churn is costly.  Companies must put more effort into the recruiting process to yield successful reps and then must go back to the well when they can’t retain those reps.”

For this reason, the most effective sales organizations are always hiring, and they are always looking to improve their hiring processes. The goal is to drive retention of top talent when possible, or at least hire personnel who are capable of staying and learning.

Three Interview Tactics Reveal the Winners

  • Resilience - This can be tested by asking their methodologies and ideologies to achieve big goals. Follow up with questions to reveal whether they have stuck to their ideologies in the past, or cut and run.
  • Teachability - This can be tested by giving a role pay to sell something and after that let them reflect on that. If they confess their weakness and negatives they are open to coaching.
  • Experience - prior success and passion.

TIP: Incorporate a minimum of three team members that have a direct stake in the sales position, such as HR leader, Sales team leader, VP of sales, Operations personnel, Finance, etc.

Sales Hiring: Onboarding Process

22% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of the new hire. This can be overcome by well structured onboarding programs.

Creating, executing, and maintaining an effective onboarding program takes commitment at multiple levels of the organization.

  • Welcome new employees into the organization at multiple levels
  • Develop a detailed onboarding plan to teach requisite knowledge
  • Execute a training plan that allows top sales reps to apprentice new hires
  • Track data and evaluate onboarding effectiveness
  • Request feedback from participants

By improving your hiring practices and onboarding process, your organization can increase retention, talent, and revenues.

Thank you for reading the fourth blog in our series of What is Sales Operation. Next blog we will discuss Training a) Product and Service Training; b) Sales Training; c) Mentorship and Coaching; d) Marketing Intelligence Training. As always, if you have any additional information you would like to share with us, please email

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