One Type of Salesperson You Should Think Twice About Hiring

Want to poach sales reps away from one of your biggest competitors? Sales management strategist Lee Salz explains why that may actually be the last thing you want to do.

In many companies, executives dream of hiring top sales talent away from their biggest competitors.
The vision is that those candidates — because they sold a similar product in the same market — will bring their book of business with them and won’t require any training or onboarding, leaving those executives with plenty of free time to perfect their golf game.
Unfortunately, rarely does that dream come true. In fact, according to sales management strategist Lee B. Salz, success is anything but a guarantee and can even turn into a nightmare.

Why Poaching Sales Reps from Your Competitors Can Be a Bad Idea

“The presumption is that a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and sales style will naturally transfer between competing companies,” says Salz, whose new book, Hire Right, Higher Profits: The Executive’s Guide to Building a World-Class Sales Force, takes a deeper dive into this topic.

Lee Salz“The reality is that the factors that lead to success or failure vary from company to company — even within the same industry. Company culture, market position, and sales support are just a few of those factors.”

— Lee Salz, Sales Architect

Then, there’s the somewhat bogus theory of bringing the book of business.
While it’s true that top sales candidates often boast impressive rolodexes, it’s dangerous to assume that prospects and customers will change suppliers for the sole reason that the salesperson changed business cards.
“Changing vendors isn’t exactly a simple exercise and most customers won’t follow a sales rep just because they like that person,” Salz explains. “So, if you’re hiring a salesperson away from a competitor thinking it’s all of a sudden going to double your bookings, you’re probably in for a rude awakening.”
“Before you consider candidates, take an introspective look at the role and identify the factors that lead to success or failure. Evaluate candidates against those performance factors whether they have prior experience or not” Salz says.

Additional Sales Hiring Resources

Do you agree with Lee? Has stealing sales reps from your competitors ever blown up in your face?

 Photo by: Flazingo Photos

Kristin McLeod
Kristin McLeod
Senior Digital Marketing Manager

Kristin McLeod is Senior Digital Marketing Manager at OpenView where she focuses on all aspects of digital marketing. She previously served as Director of Digital Marketing at Cayan, a payments technology company, running their demand generation programs via paid, organic, social and affiliate marketing.
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