10 Reasons You Fail to Hire Salespeople And How to Fix It

Are you looking to grow revenue but struggle to expand your sales organization? In this article I will discuss the hidden dangers that plague sales organizations as they look to hire. The main goal of this guide is to identify the pitfalls in the sales recruitment process and make sure you do not fall victim to these common mistakes. This information is based on Treeline’s sales recruiting expertise and an antidote to these challenges is included in a video below. Let’s get started.

1. You don’t meet enough people.

Most companies struggle to understand what top sales talent looks like because they simply don’t meet enough people. This may be for several reasons.

  • Internal resources are overwhelmed with other requisitions.
  • Internal resources have little time to source talent and as a result only process inbound applications.
  • Budget restrictions prevent hiring managers from seeking alternative solutions.
  • Sales Management lack budgetary empowerment and have little control over the search for their most important asset.

As a result:

  • Your hiring team doesn’t develop efficiencies qualifying and interviewing candidates.
  • You don’t have enough candidates in the pipeline to be able to judge the best fit comparatively.
  • You make a bad hiring decision to fill the role.


  • Management empowerment. Find and fight for a solution that works.
  • Learn about alternative solutions that can help you hire. (Treeline DADOMATCH Solution)

2. You take too long.

Companies lose talent because it takes them too long to uncover the most relevant information needed to make a good hiring decision.

  • Your hiring teams require too many interviews, dragging out the process.
  • There are too many decision makers and a lack of leadership.
  • You have an urgent need to hire but your process holds you back.
  • Managers are on an endless search for the perfect fit but fail to see it sitting in front of them until it is too late.

As a result:

  • Talented sales representatives decline your opportunity.
  • You hire the best of the worst.
  • Your brand loses credibility in the market.
  • Your ability to attract top sales talent diminishes.


  • Transparency will escalate the speed of the process because top producers have little to hide.
  • Set candidates’ expectations that the process moves quickly and hold to it.
  • Take leadership. Do not leave sales hiring decisions in the hands of
  • others.
  • Streamline the process with solutions like the Treeline DADOMATCH resume for a more transparent 3 dimensional view of the candidates’ background. {See DADOMATCH Resume}.

3. You don’t have time to recruit.

Hiring managers and recruiting departments struggle with time management and are challenged to allocate time to recruit. Why?

  • Sourcing sales candidates is the hardest and least satisfying part of the job.
  • Activity-driven, thick-skinned, and resilience are not typical personality characteristics of your internal recruiting resources.
  • Inbound inquiries overwhelm the recruiting team and distract them from outbound activities that find relevant qualified sales talent.
  • Your team becomes complacent and lacks the creativity and desire to find the sales talent you need.

As a result:

  • Hiring managers lack a pipeline of qualified sales candidate activity.
  • Human Resources is distracted with other departmental roles because subconsciously they are easier to fill.
  • The team is frustrated with the struggle to recruit sales talent. Companies fail to develop consistent candidate flow.
  • Because of the high expectations, your internal recruiting team finds recruiting salespeople to be stressful and painfully challenging.


  • Shift resources with one intention, motivate sales recruitment resources to recruit and build a sales pipeline.
  • Promote your department and convince the executive team to support your effort with more resources.
  • Run sales recruiting like you run your sales team. Develop metrics of success and hold the team accountable.
  • Hire external resources and services to support your current efforts and build positive momentum for the department.

4. You ran out of network.

You called everyone you know and everyone they know, and have not made a hire.

  • Hiring managers are in denial and believe their network can support their hiring needs.
  • Your network, even though it is very strong, is not effective.
  • Ego delays the discovery process and realization that your network will not produce the results you need.

As a result:

  • Your network alone is not a sustainable solution to hiring sales talent. You lose touch with the talent pool you need most.
  • Your career grows and your network changes.
  • Your past colleagues actually compete with you for the sales talent you need.


  • Invest time and effort in the weakest part of your network. Consistently connect with sales talent on LinkedIn.
  • Find trusted partners to share your brand and build your network.
  • Build a distribution model around your sales recruiting and leverage social tools to build your network and personal brand.
  • Access larger networks by building partnerships with companies like Treeline.

5. You’re advertising, and job posts do not work.

Advertising, emails, websites, etc. may drive some traffic but when you are in the people business the best way to get others excited is by having a conversation.

  • New generation of recruiters rely too much on technology to build rapport and in turn lose credibility.
  • Your recruiters find the path of least resistance. It is much easier to advertise than cold call.
  • Top sales athletes are focused on hitting their number, not searching online for a new position and as a result they are never found.
  • Advertisements are one dimensional and have no energy or excitement.
  • No one is selling the sizzle.

As a result:

  • Your recruitment strategy is reactive so your team fails to get you in front of the right audience.
  • Advertising limits control over your company’s perception in the market.
  • Top sales representatives exude confidence, your team does not, so they struggle to produce.


  • Salespeople respect confidence, persistence and hard work.
  • Create a repeatable sales sourcing process that gives your team the confidence they need to get top sales representatives’ attention.
  • Pick up the phone and engage your audience. Phone calls and voicemails show effort and hard work which builds credibility.
  • Think about what you like to hear when a recruiter calls you. Then train your team on their positioning.

6. You have no idea why candidates say no.

Candidates that reject an opportunity are almost never 100% truthful about why they declined.

  • Hiring managers don’t ask candidates why they do not accept a position.
  • Managers are blind without feedback and deceived when trying to get candidates interested in their opportunity.
  • Companies are out of touch with the reality of how sales representatives view their company.
  • Companies rarely tweak their message to ensure success.

As a result:

  • Sales talent is turned off by poor messaging.
  • Sales talent is confused and don’t understand how they fit into the organization.
  • Candidates talk to other candidates and spread an unflattering and negative message that deters top talent from looking at your company.
  • Candidates don’t tell the truth and prefer to flatter you in case they need to reconsider.
  • Candidates play it safe so they do not burn any bridges.


  • Get information on how the talent pool is responding to your company and job opening.
  • Use this data to refine your recruitment process.
  • Ask why candidates do not accept your job with anonymity.
  • Hire third party resources to get market research and information on candidate opinions.
  • A third party recruiting firm will provide market insight, candidate feedback, market data, and much more.

7. You’re trained to focus on “how to qualify out” instead of “selling in.”

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a hiring manager is to think that everyone wants your job and as a result . . .

  • You don’t sell the positives, but negative sell the opportunity to a fault.
  • You project a negative sales culture and turn off qualified candidates.
  • You lose touch with the sales market.
  • You forget to sell the opportunity and company to the candidates.

As a result:

  • Companies lose touch with their target audience and what motivates them to join a company and accept an opportunity.
  • Sales Managers don’t attract new talent with old techniques.
  • New generations that enter the work force are not attracted to your company because you are not adapting to a new market.


  • Adapt to market conditions.
  • Learn how to sell to a new audience.
  • Discover the selfish motivations that inspire the next generation and sell to them.
  • Change is good, embrace it.

8. You have little social brand.

You have your open positions posted on your website but you share nothing about the culture, benefits, or team.

  • Managers aren’t using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and are at a disadvantage.
  • Social brand recognition takes time to build. You must have a strategy and be willing to foster an online community.
  • Companies don’t leverage their social brand to assist in the recognition process.

As a result:

  • No one knows who you are and can’t connect with you in social communities.
  • Sales professionals don’t have an understanding of your company and you appear as a “faceless” brand.
  • Sales professionals don’t feel like your company is a strong brand they can stand behind.
  • Job seekers cannot relate to your company or find anything positive being said on social media.


  • Work with a team to actively promote your social sales brand.
  • Take advantage of that momentum and share corporate pictures and videos to promote your company and culture.
  • Find a partner to make a high recommendation to a large network of sales professionals so that you increase exposure and ultimately get access to more talent.
  • Find a positive promotional voice in the market that helps separate you from the rest.

9. You have a biased or complacent opinion.

Have an open mind. It is your job to sell your company and if you are forming opinions before ever talking to someone, shame on you. Biased opinions lead to less activity and missed opportunity.

  • Sales Managers forget where their team came from.
  • Sales Managers forget what their top producers resume looked like before they were hired.
  • Sales Managers develop and expect requirements that are too specific and unrealistic.
  • Sales Managers become complacent and want new hires to walk in the door with no ramp up and immediately produce.

As a result:

  • Talented sales representatives are turned off by the opportunity.
  • Talented sales representatives go to the competition.
  • Managers get psychologically mixed up and forget how to build a sales team.


  • Get back to basics. Begin every search with an unbiased opinion and open mind.
  • Don’t skip an opportunity to sell your company to a sales representative because you don’t know who they might tell about it.
  • Do not be so quick to disqualify a person based solely on a less than perfect resume. Be willing to pick up with the phone and find out more.
  • Word travels quickly so make sure you are helping to spread a positive message.

10. Your fear of turnover derails a hire.

Lack of activity forces management to oversell opportunities and poorly place unqualified sales professionals into positions of failure.

  • Fear of turnover is a side effect of low activity.
  • Low activity results in sometimes overselling an opportunity, which results in turnover.
  • Fear of failure weakens your sales leadership team.

As a result:

  • Without that constant flow of talent you will have little flexibility to hire the best.
  • Without ample resources and lots of sales talent you will always face the fear of failure and making a bad hire.
  • Without confidence and activity, you will not be able to build and sustain a successful recruitment process.


  • Meet as many people as you can to build confidence.
  • Sell your opportunity and create excitement.
  • Reduce turnover by setting honest and accurate expectations.
  • Drive a consistent volume of candidates in order to be educated and have the luxury to weed out those that may not succeed in your environment.

At Treeline we understand how devastating these 10 pitfalls can be to a growing sales organization. If you are in need of hiring sales talent to grow your business, please consider speaking with one of our Consultants to discuss your strategy and how to overcome these challenges. We know how to add an abundance of sales talent to your pipeline and invite you to watch this video.

{Click here to see sales recruiting revolutionized}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *