SalespeopleWhen it's time to expand, and you're looking to bring on new hires, knowing how to choose top-performing salespeople can help you build the right team quickly, and lead to considerable revenue growth.

Large account sales consultant and contributor Tom Searcy outlines a list of six critical traits that he wants to see in the best salespeople.

Superstar Salespeople: Get to the Top

The best salespeople know how to get to the top of the executive chain, says Searcy.

“For big sales, the support of the senior-most decision maker, those who make the real decisions of size and strategy when selecting vendors and partners, will be necessary.”

To identify key decision makers, seek out salespeople who demonstrate strategic thinking and know how to quickly navigate org charts.

Speak “Senior Exec”

Speaking the language of the buying group is an important skill, and large account salespeople must be able to speak to senior executives on their own terms with confidence and relevance. Pain points between the person using the solution you sell and the person who is cutting check are very different.

“The issues of a senior decision maker and a frontline user may be aligned at a high level but measured and experienced very differently in their individual roles.”


“Companies and their subject-matter experts are wary of solutions that are complex in their description and execution,” say Searcy.

Top-performing salespeople can distill complex product and technical information into tangible benefits and concise explanations for the customer.

When hiring salespeople, look for those who can easily work as intermediaries between internal subject matter experts and the customer seeking resolution.


In large account sales, the relationship doesn’t end when the contract is inked and the first check received. Individuals who demonstrate a natural ability to manage projects can be very successful in sales. Complex sales often involve multiple departments, so look for salespeople who keep everything moving according to schedule.

“A great salesperson keeps an eye on the details as if he or she was a project manager, ensuring progress and that nothing gets missed.”


If your business sells a complex product or service, you know that a typical sale often requires a bit of customization.

Creative problem-solving among salespeople is a highly valued skill. A character trait of many high-performing senior sales personnel is the ability to design solutions that serve the customer and the company in equal measure for a long business relationship.

Move On

Look for candidates who know when it’s time to move on to another prospect if the current opportunity isn’t bearing fruit.

“Much has been made of the quality of tenacity. It is a great quality to have, but not at the expense of efficiency.”

If a deal isn’t achievable, the best salespeople focus on other prospects to meet their goals for the year.

What do you think? What traits do your most successful sales people have?