How to Source Entry-Level Salespeople That Will Be Quota Killers

Of all the entry-level jobs around, salespeople have some of the most uncertain chances of success.

I actually got started in the recruiting business placing these salespeople, and I’ve hired many as well. Some make it, others don’t. Unlike with experienced salespeople, who have proven track records of success, the challenge here is determining which entry-level candidates are most likely to thrive.

Have you ever hired someone who killed their interview but was reluctant to pick up the phone? Maybe they refused to make calls near their coworkers. Or their call volume wasn’t anywhere close to their required daily amount.

Call accounting software doesn’t lie. Salespeople can’t hide from these numbers like they used to now that much of sales is a data-driven game.

How do you know who will pick up the phone and who won’t… before you recruit them?

Here’s how.

Look beyond a candidate’s appearance. Beyond how well they interview, and beyond how much research they did on your company. With a little legwork, you can spot the potential rockstars before they even come in to interview.

Source smart. Find entry-level salespeople with these keywords and activities in their resumes or profiles:

  • Bartenders and Servers. They’re used to hard work and interacting with a lot of people while keeping customers happy.
  • Cheerleaders. They don’t mind attention and will lead in the sales group too.
  • College athletes. Quotas are great motivators to tap into athletes’ competitive instincts.
  • Communication majors. They’ve already shown they enjoy communicating, the key element in sales.
  • Active in clubs and activities. High energy, active students = very active phones.
  • Outbound Telemarketing. This means they have no fear of the phone. It’s a great part-time job for students.
  • Sales Clubs. If they joined a club where they sold for fun, they’ll definitely sell for cash.
  • Toastmasters. People who love public speaking won’t shy away from the phone either.
  • Vector Marketing. Anyone confident enough to sell knives door-to-door can also pound the phones.
  • Large personal and social networks. Usually individuals that actively seek out friends and acquaintances, both personally and online, should be capable of doing the same thing on the phone.
  • Performers. Singing or acting in plays in front of large audiences shows the fearlessness needed to tackle the phones.
  • Leadership. Leaders come in all forms, whether president of a book club or the student body. Give them a quota and they will lead the way to hitting quota.

Use these keywords like filters to find the most promising candidates. The more of these keywords and activities you can find on a single resume/profile, the better the chance they’ll turn into a quota killer.

What are your favorite techniques you search for when targeting sharp young salespeople? We’d love to hear them!

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The Sales Club is a job platform based out of Boston providing a curated list of top companies and jobs for the sales community. We’re taking some of the pain out of your job search and using smart technology to make searching for your next job much easier. Come visit us and see how we do it.

Jonathan Samuels

Hey I’m Jonathan. I created The Sales Club ( and love talent acquisition! I have 20 years of recruiting experience and innovation. I like to work out, watch silly TV shows and maybe have a slice of pizza to break up my healthy eating habits. I hope you enjoy my blog page. Please share them with your friends!

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