Four Things to Look for When Hiring Your Next Rockstar (Video)

In a recent study conducted by entitled, “State of Sales Development 2018 Report,” one of the items included on the study was an analysis of organizations’ annual turnover.

The report indicated that between 2017 and 2018, turnover remained fairly flat at 28%. However, the challenge of turnover was even greater for companies with smaller deal size. This is perhaps because these companies have a more transactional, rapid-paced, and volume and velocity sales approach.

With about one-third of your sales development workforce transitioning out of the company or into different roles, the challenge is placed on hiring managers, frontline managers, and sales leaders. Employee turnover has an associated cost with the employee exit, and the cost to backfill the open role, recruit, and train new team members. In addition, the other side effects of losing one-third of your sales development team might include decreased productivity, knowledge loss, and a decrease in moral of the team that stayed behind.

So how do I improve my recruiting efforts in order to improve the retention of new hires?

During your next hiring process, consider the following:


Business acumen is defined as “keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a ‘business situation’ (risks and opportunities) in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome.” It is the proper understanding of the company’s potentials, rules and regulations so as to make the company successful, profitable and also to be able to treat customers satisfactorily. During your hiring process, look for individuals that have great situational awareness and understanding of how an organization works, operates and generates revenue. Ask questions such as:


    • What are the biggest problems the industry is facing today?
    • If your company gave you a large amount of money, what would you do and where would you invest it?
    • How can your experience or field of interest help our company today?
    • Are there any role models in the technology or commercial industry you follow and admire?
    • Was there an instance when a customer was satisfied with your work and service?


Understanding the answers to these questions, will give you a sense of your candidate’s business acumen. It would also be a good idea to have an interview scorecard to weigh the responses and determine if you want to move forward with this candidate.


Looking at this dimension of the candidate will give you insights into their understanding of the sales process and how it maps with the customer buying cycle. For sellers focused on the front end of the sales cycle, you need to look for their ability to manage time, leverage omnichannel approaches to reach clients and gain commitments. You might want to incorporate an assessment as part of the interview process. This assessment will give you the opportunity to identify other things not clearly outlined on the resume, or in the interview. The assessment will give you insights on your candidate’s motivation. It will also give you insights into their personality type, as well as his/her ability to overcome difficulties, build relationships, and handle rejection.


This is the segment of your interview process where you look for signs of cultural fit—things like collaboration, teamwork, energy, and initiative, amongst other things. The best way to look for cultural fit is to ask situational questions, hear the examples and identify them against your company’s core values.


Assessments are becoming more widely used during the sales hiring process. Companies are finding them useful and candidates are learning to expect them as par of the interview and selection process. When conducting your assessment, work with you provider to ensure you have the assessment that is specific to the sales job. The sales development role in your organization might be the candidate’s first job. Many of these candidates don’t have a lengthy career history, some will have none. Before you look through a pile of resumes, the assessment will give you a more finite number of candidates, and will give you those that are more likely to succeed.

Following these recommendations for hiring your next candidates will get you ahead of the curve when it comes to turnover challenges. It will increase retention and reduce churn that comes from missing the mark on your hiring process. In our next post, we will review ways to improve your onboarding process, which is another way to reduce employee turnover, minimize cost and improve results.