7 Effective Ways to Attract and Retain Great Sales People

Reading time:  5 min  |  Time to finish this chapter: 12 min

Sales roles are the second most difficult to hire for. The fact is that companies usually take excellent care of their top performers. Not only the best people in sales don’t browse job offers, but it can also be tough to lure them into your company if you manage to get in touch with them in the first place. The advantage of a smaller company can be the flexibility and the new energy inside. Bigger players profit from their established name.

Getting great salespeople on board is going to require way more than just approach and branding. You may already know that a sole job posting doesn’t attract great salespeople, and instead, you need to go out there and hunt them yourself. In both cases, you need to create mutual interest.

Luckily, should you lack some attributes of the market’s “ top employers”, people in different stages of their lives search for different things. It’s essential to be genuine and authentic because not only do you need to attract great salespeople; you also need to retain them.

The cost of losing an employee is extreme.

What salespeople want from their potential employers

Throughout our lives, preferences may vary. But we can divide them into 4 main groups, which, of course, combine:

  • Working for a market leader

  • Working for a company with a great mission and/or value proposition

  • Having a high earning potential

  • Having many growth opportunities

Obviously, people usually want to work for well-known companies. Honestly, it’s easier to sell a solution that’s already been established on the market. Also, there’s stability and perks. However, some sales representatives seek challenge; they want to ditch the corporate and, for once, be a part of something new, fresh or revolutionary. Even if you’re not one of the biggest players on the market, but you’re a professional, you’ll always be relevant.

Try to look at your company with an outsider’s eyes, with no rose-colored glasses on. Seeing yourself in one of the groups listed above is a great start!

Then you need to realize that top performers won’t just fall into your lap. Top performers are content at their current jobs and need to be approached first.

Don’t let your strategy be posting a job ad and wait. You’ll wait forever.

Check our headhunting strategies, and go get them.
7 tips to attract the top sales performers.

Before you start hunting or even just recruiting, make sure you have or are ready to follow these:

Hey, I know you!

Employer Branding

Be visible and a place to be. Care about your reputation as an employer. Let them peek among your sales team. Salespeople should feel your company treasures, recognizes, and supports the sales team. Show the possible career advancement. Display the customers you cooperate with.

Those important things

Competitive Salary and Bonuses

Sales representatives are motivated by money. However fulfilling, challenging, or thrilling their jobs might be, there must be an appropriate financial base + motivation bonuses. Don’t even think about capping the bonuses. Check the industry and the local market’s standards, and match the offer to the required skills.

Like a glass window


People value transparency. They’ll be only able to identify themselves with your company, solution, sales team, and culture only when having a complete understanding. By telling things the way they are, you’ll save some mutual disappointment after the reality of their new job hits.

Two sides of the same coin

Give and Get

It’s not just you looking to strengthen your team. It’s a two-way stream. With each candidate, you basically have a sales meeting. They also came to offer and get something. Show the value your company could bring into the candidates’ life and expect the same from vice versa. You both offer, negotiate and match. 

This guy knows that guy


Go to the source. Ask your current sales team whether they know a suitable person for the open position. Most probably, a person they refer will fit in the team culture-wise. Even though you trust your team, make your regular sales interviewing with all rounds of calling, meeting in person, assessment, etc., anyway. Better safe than sorry. 

Keeping the mind open


Don’t limit your pick to people with a sales background only. Many great people come from different parts of the business. If you see the potential and predispositions for sales, go for it. These candidates will be suitable for junior positions only, so consider whether you have the time to train them. Your enticement is sales education.

Don't forget the mission

Company Mission

Your mission should be communicated many times, in many places. Show people who they’ll be helping and why, so they see the meaning of their job.

newsletter icon


Get weekly dose of your sales wisdom. Subscribe and we will send you one article each Friday. Just give us your email.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Learn RAYNET CRM'S unique pipelines and start to orchestrate your new biz like no one before


As a sales leader, pay attention to:

Reasons people leave companies

To understand how to retain employees, you need to know why they leave. Check these reasons collected globally in a LinkedIn survey on the topic of “Which of the following contributed to your decision to leave your previous employer?

I was concerned about the lack of opportunities for advancement
45 %
I was unsatisfied with the leadership of senior management
41 %
I was unsatisfied with the work enviroment/culture
36 %
I wanted more challenging work
36 %
I was unsatisfied with the compensation/benefits
34 %
I was unsatisfied with the rewards/ recognition for my contributions
32 %

The reasons people left should reflect your focus when hiring the next sales representatives. Strive for creating a thriving environment not just for newcomers but the people already in. 

Let's stay together

How to make sales representatives stay in your company

You’re making your sales employees stay already when hiring them. Their feelings from well-done interviewing and onboarding process influence their decision to stay in your company significantly; they’re 82% more likely to stay with your company for the next three years.

So, give them a great experience from the beginning; it’s an investment worthwhile.

Stick to these, and you’ll lower the chances of them walking out on you:

  • Challenges - Give them new, more challenging tasks and ownerships. Involve them in strategical decisions.

  • Leader - People leave managers, not companies. Maintain integrity. Listen to, communicate with, and support your team.

  • Culture - Provide a safe and inspiring culture.

  • Money - Set their KPIs and bonuses clear, adequate, and achievable. 

  • Education - This goes hand in hand with new duties. Give them the tools to succeed.

  • Victories - Celebrate and reward the successes of individuals and also teams.

Wrap up

The ideal scenario would be you having excellent outreach, communication, sales skills, company reputation, and compensation scheme.

Most probably, and also because your reading this article, this is not your case. If you can’t provide the full package, just give people something competitors can’t.

When you get great salespeople on board, don’t slow down. Keep them interested in their job and make it a nice place to work.

Then you’ll be a great employer to them.


How to build a sales team: Who to hire and when

Each salesperson can be a valuable asset for your sales team, each for different reasons. Read this chapter to learn how to put together the best possible sales team.


"SALESDOCk is one of Startup Wise Guys' trusted partners in working with early-stage technology businesses. Their involvement has succeeded in helping teams to excel.