BTM Event:’s Steli Efti – how to recruit, what to look for when hiring sales professionals

Building the Sales Machine (BTM) Event Series: we post clips of the best questions that where answered during our live events, so you can take the best ideas back to your teams and companies for further discussion.


How do you recruit the best, what are the attributes you look for in interviews (33:03)?

  • Two things; 1) The greatest hires come from easy place, non-obvious
  • Most people I know, they didn’t want to be in sales, its not a career that people idolize
  • Many times, people that could be great in sales, they don’t know it, and they’re not looking for a career in sales
  • Don’t just go look for people that want sales jobs
  • Go look for people that don’t want sales jobs, that could be awesome at sales jobs
    • You’ll be alone, you’ll be the only one recruiting
  • In the early days of elastic sales, we asked “who’s the smartest person you know that would never ever be in sales”
  • It’s a soft sell, and you slowly let them fall for you and your company
  • 2) Going back to consistency… I’m not going to make up my mind that you’re amazing or great unless I’ve seen you perform CONSISTENTLY
  • Some people are really good at interviewing, some people can perform under pressure the first week or month
  • Don’t make judgement calls
    • “Oh great, we have a rock star!!”
    • “How long have they been rockstaring for you?”
  • Take time to judge your talent


steli_efti2-79990df1Steli Efti dropped out of high school, taught himself to be an entrepreneur, is a life-long learner, and the founder of Supercool School, VibaTV and SwipeGood. As an alumni of Y Combinator, Steli is the CEO and co-founder of ElasticSales and As if this isn’t enough already, Steli also advises startups and is the author of “The Ultimate Startup Guide To Outbound Sales.” You can find him on twitter here , or on linkedin here.