Your 2018 New Year’s Resolution: Recruit Top Sales Performers

By Jack Daly

It is that time of year.

As 2017 comes to a close, people are looking back at the successes and failures of the last 12 months and making plans for the year to come. Businesses are reviewing their annual performance, setting goals for the future, and outlining priorities and action plans for Q1.

If you are a sales manager, your New Year’s Resolution remains the same every year: recruit top sales performers.

At every workshop I host and every sales presentation I give, I hear the same refrain: “It’s really hard to find good sales performers.” I won’t suggest that it isn’t, however, I don’t believe many sales managers give this important activity its proper attention and time. Perhaps 2018 is an opportunity to take an honest look in the mirror.

For starters, before the end of the year, sit down and ask yourself: how much time are you committing each month to recruiting? Do you have a target list in writing of at least 15 candidates who would qualify as “top sales performers?” Do you have a touch system in place, with a minimum of two touches per month for each recruit on your list? Have you identified the profile of what a top performer looks like in your company, and in your industry?

When I ask struggling sales managers if they have a list of potential recruits, their excuses typically give away their deficiencies:

“I’m fully staffed.” (You always have room for top performers.)

“Yes, I have a list, it’s 2–3 people.” (This is equivalent to no list at all.)

Further, are you looking beyond your industry for candidates? I have found it is easier to teach your business to a top performer from outside your industry than it is to improve the industry-knowledgeable sales performer who has consistently been in the bottom half of performers.

Do you have an incentive or bonus program offered to all employees to help you find candidates for your list of recruits? If so, is it enough to get people to take action?

These are just a sample of the questions of integrity we should be wrestling down when we say, “It’s really hard to find good sales performers.”

All too often sales managers begin the recruiting process when they lose a member of the team. Inevitably, they are rushed and compromise on the new hire. This is not recruiting, this is absorbing, and indicates the sales manager is functionally AWOL.

Your company’s key to success next year—as with every year—is predicated on the quantity and quality of the sales team. That’s job #1 of the sales manager.

2018 is the time to TAKE ACTION.


Jack Daly is a serial entrepreneur, international sales expert, and author of Hyper Sales Growth with ForbesBooks, the exclusive book publishing imprint of Forbes Media. Learn more at jackdaly.net.