What The Best Salespeople Are Looking For in a Job|What The Best Salespeople Are Looking For in a Job

What The Best Salespeople Are Looking For in a Job

The sales game is changing. Companies can no longer get away with the “warm bodies in seats” approach (although some are still trying and failing).

How do I know this? My company helps high-performing salespeople get hired by innovative, fast-growing technology companies. To qualify to join as a candidate, each professional must go through a sales assessment, writing test, and screen with an actual recruiter before being officially admitted. We only work with the best on both the candidate and company side. Because of our work in this space, our team has a front row seat to the war for sales talent every day. As more and more tech companies land big funding rounds, the competition is only getting stiffer.

There is hope. I have noticed a few habits amongst our best companies that have been echoed in recent survey results from our candidate community around what makes a company a great place to work (and stay). I wanted to let you have a peek behind the curtain and give you an advantage on the competition for these amazing professionals.

What is the #1 thing salespeople are looking for when evaluating a new job?


Takeaway: Company culture isn’t just a hyped catch-phrase, but it has become the primary consideration point for this new generation of salespeople. Employees are no longer just looking for their next paycheck, but a place to build a career with people they care about.

What is the #2 thing salespeople are looking for when evaluating a new job?


Takeaway: Money still talks. This probably would have been #1 a few short years ago, but it has taken a backseat to culture now. The fall to #2 is a short one, though, and monetary reward matters to competitive salespeople.

What is the minimum base salary candidates would consider in a new job?


Takeaway: If you’re not in the $35k-$45k range, you might have trouble attracting the right talent. By offering $45K, you are able to attract 73% of the sales market. An additional note, uncapped commissions have now become the industry standard.

What is important to candidates when considering any job?


Takeaway: Opportunities to grow with the company and good management are the clear standouts here. It should encourage you that quality salespeople are more loyal than you think and are truly looking for somewhere to build their career over the long-term. In order to do that, they need to see upward mobility within the company. Be careful to not bloat your entry-level roles and then leave limited room in your upper ranks for high performers.

How important is it to candidates for the company they work for to have a household name?


Takeaway: Being a startup or young company doesn’t actually put you at a disadvantage. You can no longer blame losing sales talent on the fact that “nobody knows you”. Talented salespeople aren’t scared by that. In fact, it’s a challenge they’re willing to take on.

What are some ways a company has or can impress candidates in the interview process?

Here are a few responses directly from the candidates:

“The easiest way to impress me is immediately [discuss] the culture, the expectations and salary.”

“Take a lot of the formalities out of the interview and make it more of a conversation.

Be friendly, not standoffish.”

“Show that the culture is dynamic and regardless of age, individuals that perform are recognized accordingly.”

Be very straight-forward when it comes to the expectations of the role.”

“I really enjoy interviews that are a conversation rather than a strict question/answer style.”

What are some turn-offs/red-flags candidates have encountered during an interview process in the past that made them decide to go a different direction?

“When the company talks down to you.”

“Being very secretive about what the job entails -- like not saying that the job will be a lot of cold calling or door to door sales.”

“Interviewer was very cold and extremely uninterested. I unfortunately felt that she did not like her job at the company, and it gave me a bad impression of the company culture.”

“Trying to be intimidating to gauge a reaction.”

“Unrealistic expectations to meet quota.”

“In the past I have experienced a lack of complete transparency from the company regarding the job description, salary, work hours, and management roles.”

Takeaway: The “why do you think you’re worthy of working for us” attitude doesn’t work anymore. Make every candidate that interviews with you feel respected and valued for their time. Candidates talk, so it’s important for every person, even if they are not a fit, to have a favorable impression of your company.

Also, be sure to have the right people conducting the first interview. First impressions are permanent impressions. And, again, be honest about what the job is like. It’s better to turn someone off to the job in the interview than have them accept the job and leave 1-2 months later.

What’s next

If you’re ready to affordably hire the best salespeople, feel free to reach out to our team. We’re happy even to just have a conversation on how to improve your sales process, structure, or team.