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why building a sales team is so challenging: comon mistakes in hiring sales people

, , , | February 21, 2024 | By

Building a sales team? The right hiring strategy can help you find candidates that raise your company’s growth to the top. But the wrong strategy can make you sink.

It’s no secret that recruiting sales professionals is an ongoing struggle for today's companies. But by identifying these obstacles — and challenging outdated hiring tactics — you can tackle them head-on.

The Challenge of Hiring Salespeople

Building a sales team is an uphill battle for many businesses, as they deal with low talent and high turnover levels.

The statistics speak for themselves:

  • Hiring Salespeople with Talent Matters

Sales reps can get better with time and practice, right? Well, one Gallup poll begs to differ. According to the poll, the bottom 50% of the sales talent pool isn’t likely to improve their sales skills, even with extra training. Another Forbes article cited that 55% of sales professionals lack the essential social sales skills needed to succeed.

  • Research Shows Most Customers Aren’t Happy with Sales Reps.

Hiring salespeople with skill matters. Surveys show only 3% of customers trust salespeople, and 85% of all customers are dissatisfied with their conversations with the sales team.

  • Building a Sales Team Costs

Recruiting sales costs. In fact, it can cost you 1.2.-1.4 times a sales rep’s salary to hire and onboard them, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. But having a gap on your sales team can cost the average business $20,000 — per week. Unfortunately, the Sales Acceleration Survey found it can take an average of 4-5 months to fully replace a sales rep after they quit.

Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Recruiting Sales Candidates

Recruiting sales professionals with skill can change the course of your company’s growth, charting it toward continual, compounding success. Just the same, recruiting the wrong salespeople can cost you in profits, reputation, and time.

Here are the far too common mistakes companies make when hiring salespeople — and what you can do to avoid them:

  1. Reliance on Traditional Hiring Methods When Building a Sales Team

A traditional sales recruitment agency relies on basic assessments, personality tests, and interview questions that only show a glimpse of the candidate’s actual skills. Standard resume and interview assessments are often biased and surface-level. Candidates only show you their strengths, not their weaknesses, leaving you in the dark about a rep’s true potential. We needdata-driven, customizable systems  that dig deeper.

  1. Ignoring Data-Driven Approaches When Recruiting Sales

When building a sales team, too many recruiters don’t take the time to understand candidate data. Yet, this very data can estimate and predict how committed, effective, and talented a candidate can be.

Tools like AI-powered assessments  can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s abilities. These systems can crawl through potential candidates, quickly identifying and comparing each individual’s potential based on vital sales-specific data you simply can’t find in a resume, interview, or personality test.

  1. Working with General Recruiters Instead of a Sales Recruitment Agency

The truth is, most recruitment agencies are cubicle farms. They’re operated by someone who’s likely never walked in your shoes or experienced your specific frustrations when hiring salespeople.

However, recruiting sales is different from recruiting for other roles and specialties. That’s why it’s essential to opt for a sales recruitment agency over a general recruitment agency.

Working with a sales recruitment agency  with hands-on experience can help you target your distinct objectives and tackle your unique obstacles. 

  1. Ignoring the Effect of Unconscious Biases on Hiring Salespeople

The traditional recruitment process is corrupted by biases, even if hiring managers don’t realize it. On top of these issues, there are 10 unconscious biases that can impact the hiring and interview process, from affinity and beauty biases to gender and racial biases.

The statistics speak for themselves: A blind hiring process can increase your chance of hiring more racially diverse candidates by 29%. Even more, companies with diverse teams perform 35% better than others.

Fortunately, leveraging data-driven, AI-powered sales assessments and interview questions can help reduce and even remove unintentional bias when recruiting sales professionals.

  1. Not Understanding the Sales Candidate’s Mindset

When building a sales team, you must consider the candidate’s intentions — not just their experience. Whether actively searching for a position or casually applying, their mindset makes a difference.

Having the tools and data to analyze and interpret this information when scouting talent can help you evaluate candidates and build a sales team that lasts.

  1. Hiring Salespeople for Their Experience, Not Their Competency

Too often, a sales recruitment agency will just look at a candidate’s experience. We’ve been taught that experience is the #1 most important factor.

But it’s different when recruiting sales.

A smart, strategic sales recruitment agency  knows that long-term success means finding people with potential. Sales roles require skill. They require a certain kind of mindset.

Being able to directly evaluate these competencies with innovative sales assessments can help you target the talent that can bring in the deals and growth your company needs.

  1. Not Narrowing Down the Top Talent

As we’ve learned, building a sales team takes time — and, too often, it wastes time. When utilizing data-driven processes, you can narrow down the top candidates. From there, you’re only screening and interviewing the cream of the crop instead of the bottom of the barrel.

Traditional hiring methods naturally draw out the process, while smart, AI-powered processes streamline it. In the end, you can save time and money while more accurately identifying the best candidates.

Overcoming These Challenges with an AI-Powered Sales Recruitment Agency

Building a killer sales team isn't easy on your own. But with the latest technology, targeted data, and proactive strategies on your side, you can set yourself up for success.

Fortunately, each of these obstacles can be reduced — and even removed — with the help of an AI-powered sales recruitment agency like Biz Dev DNA .

By combining decades of sales management experience with smart sales assessment systems, you can…

  • Harness the data you need to get the bigger picture of the candidate’s potential.
  • Test the specific competencies proven to indicate a successful sales professional.
  • Reduce and remove unconscious biases from the hiring process.
  • Understand the candidate’s mindset and how it can affect their success.
  • Narrow down the top talent to cut back on wasted time, money, and energy when hiring salespeople.

Interested in learning more? Have any questions about how our unique AI-powered sales assessment works? Give us a call at 704-292-0166, and we’ll answer your questions to see if it’s the right fit for your company.