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Every company needs good salespeople. Without salespeople, an organization cannot survive. As a recruiter for salespeople, I have seen them all. I would say hiring tenured salespeople is all about your network and catching the salespeople at the right time. It is easy to identify them on LinkedIn and they usually have a resume. What I am seeing more and more of in 2016, however, is the need for new sales talent within organizations. Companies are really looking for people with 0-5 years of experience.

Hiring salespeople with little or no sales experience can be very challenging to an organization. Some candidates have LinkedIn profiles, but a majority of them have DO NOT have a compelling LinkedIn profile. The resumes of junior sales people are very basic.

So how do you find junior sales people? When I talk with companies, they are asking for salespeople they can “mold” to their culture. Companies want to teach new hires their way of doing things rather than hiring salespeople who are set in their ways and their sales process. There are certain companies that have excellent training programs like Enterprise Rent- A- Car and Aerotek. There are other organizations that are just too small. The smaller organizations lack the time and resources to train salespeople.

SO what profiles usually lead to successful sales representatives? Who are the sales people that usually have longevity with an organization? Here is a place to start:

  1. Referrals are the best hires. People within an organization have friends. Employees are already sold on the company and want to attract the best to come work WITH them. If an employee refers a candidate, then chances are the referred candidate does not want to disappoint the employee. There are older employees in the workforce who know of college graduates and people they know and respect. These are the hires you want to make.
  2. They are or have been athletes. Athletes are competitive by nature. They don’t like losing. They may have played a sport in college. They may have been involved in inter-mural sports. They may be runners. They may play tennis. Regardless, they have a competitive edge that others do not have.
  3. They care about staying in shape. Seriously. Someone who likes hitting the gym and cares about the way they look will be more successful than someone who eats Pop Tarts for breakfast and a bag of Cheetos for lunch. They will have more energy and will present themselves better in front of customers. You can usually find a picture of the candidate on Facebook or LinkedIn and learn a lot about how they take care of themselves.
  4. They have a military background. Hiring someone with a military background really does make a difference. They care about their appearance and they have a regimented schedule. They usually will work longer and harder than most. I love hiring veterans.
  5. They have graduated from college. Not everyone I know has graduated from college. Some of the best salespeople I know haven’t graduated from college. That being said, the people that are successful and have not graduated are the exception, not the rule. There is a lot to be said for someone who sticks it out through college. It is hard and it costs a lot of money. Someone who really cares about their career will have finished college.
  6. They were involved in extracurricular activities and clubs. An individual who is driven by SOMETHING is worth talking to rather someone who is not driven. Were they in a fraternity or sorority? Were they involved in a math club? Were they on the debate team? Were they involved in the ROTC? What differentiates them from the other candidates?
  7. They are driven by money. Since college is expensive, many candidates have debt. They want to pay the debt off quickly. I am impressed with a candidate who is not concerned with a base salary, but the potential of earning money from commissions. A commission driven individual will always work harder than the average sales representative.

There are many other ways to identify salespeople and this is by no means the only way to identify the best, but it is a good start.