Quality Vs. Quantity When Hiring Salespeople

Whether it comes to selling and hiring (and dating, for that matter) most people argue it’s quality not quantity that matters.

focus on quality over quantity when hiring salespeople

So why do so many salespeople still use a “sales is a numbers game” strategy for prospecting? Well, because they might not have a choice: not every company has a healthy influx of inbound leads.

So while focusing on the volume of leads is a viable selling strategy, given the choice, every salesperson would prefer to have a smaller number of qualified leads instead.

Why quality of leads matter

It’s the same thing when it comes to hiring. The problem with hiring isn’t in the ability to attract job candidates, it’s in the ability to accurately identify whom out of the potential hundreds of applicants are the best fit for your role. 

Does it really matter that your job posting attracts more than 250 job candidates if the majority of them are unqualified? If you’re hiring one salesperson, that translates into a 0.4% conversion rate. No salesperson would be happy wasting time on 250 leads just to convert one of them. Why would you be happy doing that with your hiring?

Every salesperson knows how inefficient it is to convert unqualified vs. qualified leads. Glassdoor found the average time to hire a salesperson is 40 days. Every day that you delay hiring a salesperson, you lose potential revenue and market share.

time to fill for sales hiring

So why do employers use an objectively inferior spray and pray method of attracting as many job applicants to their sales position as they can? Well, because they think they have no choice.

How to attract only qualified job candidates instead

When you’re hiring salespeople, you should be focused on getting qualified leads. How? By using a tool that provides you with a pipeline of only qualified job candidates who have already been assessed to have the right fit for your company culture and the personality traits required to be successful in that particular sales role.

So when is “less is more” true? When you spend less of your time and effort on hiring salespeople because you focus on a smaller quantity of higher quality sales candidates to find the right salesperson for your needs.

Is the recruiting and sourcing tool you’re using for your sales hiring able to make that claim?

Comment below and let us know things you’ve learned when making assessments or follow @ideal for some more tips on hiring the right candidate!

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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min