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Why Don't All Companies Need an Elite Sales Representative


Published by : Frederic Lucas

Why Don't All Companies Need an Elite Sales RepresentativeOne mistake that can be made when recruiting a representative is to hire an individual who is overqualified for the position that is being offered. Naturally, you might be looking to hire the best salesperson available on the market, however not all roles are calibrated to satisfy the top salespeople.


If today we have objective tools to identify A players, this can lead companies to hire representatives who will quickly leave their positions. Indeed, the latter achieve their objectives too quickly, if not too easily, and thus lose their motivation because of a glaring lack of challenges due to a level of difficulty that is not high enough for their calibre.

While you were reading the last paragraph, it is possible that you could have been knocked down with a feather. Indeed, what was claimed in that paragraph may seem counter-intuitive to you, but everything is very logical and you will understand it through this article.

How to properly calibrate the profile of your ideal candidate


When recruiting, it is essential to properly calibrate the role associated with the position for which you are recruiting. The ideal is not necessarily to find an elite salesperson, but to find the person who combines the right level of skills with the right level of sales DNA to perform his or her job properly. Thus, you must set precise parameters that will allow you to identify the sellers who best meet the requirements.


Let's take for instance consultative sales and transactional sales. Suppose you hire an elite salesperson who is very successful in consultative sales. If you put him in a purely transactional role, it simply won't work. The individual will have a high chance of failing and especially of losing his motivation very quickly since he will not find any interest in his role which does not offer him enough challenges to take up; he will not be able to perform to his full potential.


The same applies to an elite representative who has a hunter profile and is placed in an account manager role. It is a choice that often makes managers enthusiastic, but does not provide any enthusiasm for the representative facing this situation.


Understand the sales environment to better calibrate the profile of candidates


Thus, to find the right calibre of candidate for the role, it is crucial to have a good understanding of the sales environment of the role, for instance knowing precisely which elements of the role make it easier or more difficult. Here are the main criteria to refer to when defining a sales role:

  • The profile of the seller (hunter, farmer, account manager);
  • The level of competition in the market;
  • The level of resistance of potential customers;
  • The role or title of the potential customer to whom you are selling;
  • The length of the sales cycle;
  • The value of an average sale;
  • The price positioning of your products, services or solutions;
  • The type of sale (transactional or consultative).


The essential selection criteria for any sales role


Before assessing candidates on their compatibility with the company's culture, you must ensure that you have calibrated the candidates on the basis of the role they will occupy. Compatibility with the company's culture and the way you feel about the candidate must be the last selection criteria among the remaining candidates who have previously been assessed on:

  • Their real sales skills;
  • Their level of commitment;
  • Their sales DNA;
  • Their experiences;
  • Compatibility with the job profile.


The ultimate filter: the tailored fit


In order to create the most accurate profile possible for your next representative hires, you can create what is called a tailored fit.


Unlike a benchmark analysis that would only analyze the criteria common to the most successful sellers, without considering whether some of these factors are also present in non-performing players, the tailor-made profile takes into account both dimensions and defines limit thresholds on specific criteria related to sales DNA and skills.


This process allows you to be more precise in calibrating the parameters to which the recruited individual must correspond so that he or she performs to his or her full potential, stays in your company as long as possible and helps you achieve your growth objectives.




As a manager who is responsible for recruiting new salespeople, you should not hire a representative solely on the basis that he or she is an elite salesperson. In your recruitment process, always ensure that you have realistic criteria regarding the profile of the salesperson you are looking for, the responsibilities of the position, and remuneration in order to hire salespeople who will perform well and remain in the company.


How to recruit great salespeople


Frederic Lucas

Having founded Prima Resource in 2007, Frederic has helped hundreds of CEOs, executives and sales reps aim higher and achieve their objectives. Clients know Frederic as the person who will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. They value his experience, the science that backs his work and the predictability of his observations and advice.



The blog the science of sale is dedicated to business leaders and sales leaders who are looking for the best practices to build, recruit, coach, train, evaluate, motivate and remunerate their sales teams and improve sales performance.

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How to recruit great salespeople