Prepared to Land A Sales Job? Advice from a Recruiter - CloudCall

Prepared to Land A Sales Job? Advice from a Recruiter

By October 16, 2014Sales

Paul has found countless professionals a sales job

Are you looking for a sales job? Do you know what recruiters and companies are looking for when searching for a new salesperson?

This week’s post is from Paul Manning, Principal-Executive Recruiter at The Bowdoin Group, an executive search firm based outside of Boston, MA.

During his tenure, he has completed over 350 searches with clients that range from venture backed pre-IPO to Fortune 100 in size.

Read on for a valuable view into what he looks for when placing a sales candidate.

What does a recruiter look for when trying to fill a sales job?

When looking for a person to fill a sales job, there is no exact recipe to consult; however, there are traits that serve every sales rep well. With these traits, they have the foundation needed for a successful sales career.

Personal motivation

In sales you will have success and failure no matter how good you are as a sales person, the key is motivation. Your successful sales people generally have a personal motivation that will help them push through the failures by learning from them and not stop trying when they are having success.

Love of competition

In sales someone will get the business and others will not. If someone is highly competitive, they will be searching for ways to beat the competition. This can be a very powerful motivator and when used properly can be a key factor in a successful salesperson.

Desire to learn

Desire to learn is demonstrated in two ways: desire to become an industry expert and desire to learn more about your prospect or customer so you can provide value to them. Good salespeople are always trying to be the most informed person in the room no matter how much knowledge they have.

Relentlessness pursuit of excellence

High energy is a must in sales. However it is not the type of energy that has someone bouncing up and down in an interview. You want a focused energy that allows someone to pursue their goals throughout the day, week, month, quarter and year.


People buy from people they trust. Even if you have the best product that will solve the customer’s problem, any situation (big or small) that calls into question your integrity or trust will forever change your buyer’s perception of you and your company.


In today’s service driven world great sales people must have the ability to relate to the customers’ needs.

Communication skills

Effective communication skills are essential for a salesperson. It is not only the ability be articulate and speak intelligently about the product, market and business situation, but is also about the ability to ask the right questions to get the person on the other side of the desk to share information.

Thanks to Paul for his useful advice for all sales candidates. Don’t miss the other article in this series 5 Qualities of a Good Salesperson: Insight from Our Head of Sales.

Paul has filled countless sales jobs, and has successfully placed professionals in senior level sales, marketing and sales management roles in the technology industry since 1991. He joined The Bowdoin Group in 2000.

For six years prior to joining the firm, Paul served as founder and managing associate of Open Solutions, a boutique sales and marketing technology placement firm. Prior to Open Solutions he spent three years as a top producer for a thirty-year-old East Coast-based executive search firm. Paul has received numerous awards throughout his career for sales successes, as well as for his contribution to the success of the company. Paul is a graduate of Roger Williams University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing with a minor in Business Information Systems. He is married and has two sons.

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