How many times have you had this debate when you have an open spot on your sales team? Should you recruit a seasoned salesperson that knows his or her way around, or new blood that you can train?

We get asked this question everyday. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer and we suggest you don’t flip a coin (..which believe it or not, is how many people treat this decision) The answer lies within a combination of factors including your go to market strategy, management style, expectations, target client, and of course your budget.

An experienced salesperson may have proven she can sell in your industry and sales environment, but in reality there are probably complications that prevent her from bringing an entire book of business. She may, however, be bringing all her bad habits. The other option is a newbie. He may have raw talent, but time and training will be needed to develop skills and contacts and it may be hard to predict whether he will be successful or not. Plus an entry level person may be just figuring out what kind of a career they want …and experimenting on your dime.

Which way to go? The answer to the question always lies in your business. What does your sales plan dictate? Need immediate results? Or can you afford to train and direct someone new? Will your clients tolerate the inexperience of a green rep or will they demand senior talent? Can you afford to invest in someone who might not work out? Can you hire two entry level sales people to compete with each other, then keep the best one?

Whether you hire a junior or experienced rep, the presence of a selling methodology, and the right support will go a long way to making them superior performers.


Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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