5 Key Categories to Consider When Coming to Understand a Sales Candidate

There’s nothing better than finding your dream sales candidate. Someone who displays emotional intelligence, has a solid track record, and most importantly, has the drive to deliver the best results possible in your sales environment.


Of course, potential sales reps have their own interests at heart, too—and no two candidates are alike. A mix of key benefits often plays a crucial role in determining whether or not someone will join your team.


The value placed on these categories will differ from candidate to candidate, but as you use the hiring process to understand a potential hire’s priorities and values, you’ll be better equipped to make an offer they can’t refuse.


1) Base Salary


While a solid base salary is an important factor for many job candidates, some employers give it a bit more weight than it really deserves.


Depending on the candidate and the other compensation categories you have to offer, the base salary may not need to be as high as you’d expect. This is especially true of sales, where commission bonuses and other benefits can serve as even greater incentives.


2) Equity


For some employees, equity options can serve as an intriguing compensation category—but only if your company has a solid history of consistent growth. When you can offer a valuable equity package, however, your employees can become even more invested (quite literally) in your company’s success.


It’s unlikely your candidates will be interested in equity if your stock has been all over the board, but you also need to demonstrate that your equity options will deliver true value to your employees. Helping employees mitigate their taxes, as well as providing high-class stock options and fair vesting options can make a huge difference for a potential sales rep.


3) Performance-Based Bonuses


Sales-based bonuses are the most important compensation category for many sales professionals. However, it is essential that your incentive plan is not only fair, but will also continually drive your sales reps to gain more customers for your business.


Performance-based bonuses can also allow you to offer a lower initial base salary, providing further incentive for your sales talent to do their best work. With a solid bonus system in place, your company’s success becomes your sales rep’s success—and then everybody wins.


4) Genuine Value & Personal Growth


For many sales reps, your company’s ability to provide them with growth opportunities and career advancement can be even more important than a competitive salary or compensation package.


Demonstrating the potential for growth and promotions within your company can serve as a powerful motivator that will help your sales reps become their best self while also generating better results for your company. Showcase opportunities for personal growth, and ambitious sales reps are much more likely to be intrigued by what you have to offer.


5) Company Culture


At the end of the day, your company culture can make or break your ability to hire and retain top sales talent. Top sales professionals want to work with supportive managers who make them feel valued while also pushing them to achieve greater levels of success.


Even something as simple as celebrating great results can have a tremendous impact on creating a work environment where employees feel appreciated. If you’re unable to demonstrate how your company has been able to create a positive environment where people enjoy coming to work, you’ll have a hard time appealing to your dream hire—no matter how good the rest of your compensation package may be.




When you get to know your potential sales reps during the hiring process and adjust these and other important categories accordingly, you’ll be able to make the right kind of offer so you can snag top sales talent.


While I’ve found these factors to be among the most important considerations when extending a job offer, I know they’re not the only things that matter. What benefits and offerings have you found to be most helpful when appealing to potential hires?


I can’t wait to hear about your experiences!