It appears that the unemployment rate is going down. That’s a good thing, right? It means the economy is growing. Consumption is up causing demand to go up, which will help sales teams sell more. This is good news right? Well, yes and no. While it may make it easier on salespeople to sell when demand increases, it makes it harder on sales managers to find quality salespeople to do the job.


I hear the cry of many an employer stressing over the difficulty they have in hiring good quality salespeople. I have witnessed countless clients struggle with this. Even during the last several years when unemployment rates were through the roof it was difficult to find, attract and hire good quality salespeople. Mostly because the good ones stayed put, and the not-so-good ones were easily available. The hiring manager who has been unwilling to put the extra effort into finding the right candidates has suffered. The pull is there to just hire somebody rather than be patient and hire the right somebody.

By the way, the typical cost of “just hiring somebody” as opposed to the right salesperson is estimated to be between three to five times their annual compensation. 

The worst news about this is that the real expense doesn’t come from the hard costs of training, pay and benefits. Rather, the biggest cost to an employer of making a sales hiring mistake is usually the opportunity cost associated with missed business. That missed business is what may have carried you over the next economic bump. If you want to calculate your own sales hiring mistake costs use this quick and easy calculator. We will send you the results instantaneously and I will make myself available to discuss your situation if desired.

What concerns me is that as the economy continues to improve and the tide rises, so to speak, employers will settle for mediocre and sub-par candidates. Which means that they will:

a) Miss out on opportunities to maximize revenue;

b) Limp along instead of experiencing fantastic growth; and

c) Still be in the same fragile situation when the economy either doesn’t recover as expected or takes another hit.

They will be left with salespeople who can’t get it done in a tough economy. This means the company will fall into the same cycle they experienced this last recession. Their competitors will outperform them. They will fall further behind and they will be scrambling to find good salespeople who may be unwilling to leave their stable existing situation.

Please don’t make the same mistake that so many employers made prior to the recession. Be precise about your recruiting and hiring activities. Be clear in the qualities that are necessary to be an exceptional salesperson in your company, not just a “somebody.”

I will be discussing the topic How to Hire a Sales Superstar on behalf of Security Systems News in a webcast on October 23, 2014 at 2:00pm ET.  Please join us for this in depth look at actions you can take immediately to improve your sales hiring success.

You may also be interested in these related posts:

Hiring Hunters: Don’t Rely on Luck to Hire the Next Great Salesperson

Six Steps to Effective Sales Talent Hiring

For additional information about how to hire quality salespeople,
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