Why Software Sales Stars Are Saying No To Your Sales Role

We’re operating in a candidate’s market, so the idea that a software sales candidate will jump at your offer is misguided, particularly if you’re after software sales stars with proven results.  

It’s a significant outlay of time and energy recruiting a new software salesperson, and deeply disappointing when a top candidate rejects your offer. This disappointment only intensifies when you consistently miss out on your chosen candidates. If a worrying pattern is appearing, it’s time to assess what’s going wrong in your recruitment process. 

Here are some of the most common reasons why software sales stars are saying no to your sales roles.  


1. Your bonus scheme doesn’t compare favourably to other employers. 

As mentioned, software sales stars are in high demand, so if you want to compete with your competitors to secure the high performers, your bonus scheme must be similar or better. Other ways to ‘sweeten the deal’ may include remote work, flexible hours, a day off for a birthday, gym memberships, etc.  

Remember that most of your new hires will be Millennials, and they tend to respond favourably to initiatives that improve their work-life balance. However, these are still sales stars you’re talking to, so you can expect that money will be a very strong motivator. Create a package that appeals to both the pocket and the heart.  


2. Your employer brand needs some work 



You run a great interview, and the candidate makes it clear they will accept an offer, leaving you surprised when they don’t. What did they find out about your company in the meantime that changed their minds?  

It’s possible they simply received a better offer, but there’s also a chance that they asked around about the company and didn’t like what they heard. Your employer brand is one of the most crucial things you must work on if you want to be securing the top candidates.  

It’s worth checking out your employer reputation on sites like Glassdoor, where employees leave reviews, as well as more general customer review sites of your product, where clients may be leaving negative feedback about customer service or the product itself. All feed into a candidate’s sense of what the company is like to work for.

If you find a lot of negativity out there, you should consider hiring someone (or hiring someone better) to manage your online presence and respond to complaints to neutralise their toxic effect. 

Another good approach is to conduct an employer brand audit, running anonymous surveys with present employees to find out how they feel about working there, as well as implementing a thorough exit interview process.  


3. You are not communicating prospects and potential.  

You’re hiring a sales star who is hungry for success. They simply will not take the job unless you communicate an exciting growth potential and a wealth of untapped prospects.  

You should be selling the territory and selling the existing clients that can be depended on for continuing business and additional buy-ins of new products or upgrades.  


4. Your hiring process is confusing or fails to show respect. 

This one is a great problem to have because it’s so easy to fix. If a candidate has agreed to an interview, it means they’re at least considering accepting an offer. That is unless something goes wrong in the interview.  

A candidate generally has only a few, very reasonable expectations about an interview: 

  • They don’t want to be messed around with interview cancellations and rescheduling. 
  • They want the hiring manger to be well-informed about the role and product they’ll be selling.  
  • They want to be treated with respect, and not interrogated. 
  • They want to be told when a decision might be made, and then kept informed along the way. 


5. Your hiring manager doesn’t ‘sell’ the role. 

This one is related to the last one about running a good interview but bears more on how the candidate is made to feel about the role and the software they’ll be selling. If the hiring manager doesn’t show passion and enthusiasm for the opportunity and product they’re offering, how can the candidate be expected to?  

Ways to sell the role include:  

  • Painting an exciting picture of what the company is like to work for,  
  • Talking about company culture and wellness initiatives, 
  • Talking about potential prospects and growth,  
  • Telling success stories of other software sales employees, and  
  • Bringing senior management into the meeting to show you value the candidate as a serious contender. 


6. Your product line doesn’t appear easy to sell. 



Great sales stars are unlikely to jump at the chance to sell an inferior product. But perhaps your product does have really strong selling points, but they’re not being communicated in the interview.  

Again, doing ‘damage control’ on review sites is helpful, so the candidate is not deterred, but the core aim is to have a hiring manager who is passionate about the product and be able to communicate its strengths.  


7. You’re not showing career progression opportunities 

Keen candidates want to know where the company can take them. What sales and product training do you offer? How will you help them improve their skills? Which IT conferences might they attend, and where might their career take them in 5 years with the company?  


8. You’re too slow! 

Ideally, candidates would like to be interviewed and hired within the week, to give them some certainty about their future. Yet UK companies generally take 27.59 days to hire somebody: a staggering four times as long as candidates want!  

If you really want to secure a promising software sales candidate, act quickly with your interview schedule, be quick with your decision, and send that offer through. You’ll show your candidate that you’re excited about bringing them onboard, while also communicating that this is a go-getting company that moves on things quickly. 

What mistakes is your company making? Some of these are easy to fix, others will take a concerted effort over time and even some new company-wide strategies.  

What can you change, starting today? 


Until next time,  



About LivRecruit 

LivRecruit specialise in Inside Sales, Senior Sales and Technology Recruitment. The LivRecruit team is based in Greater Manchester and have over 17 years’ experience providing recruitment solutions for technology companies across the UK.  

If you are looking for the right new hire for your technology team or want to take your career to the next level call us on 0161 883 2856 or email us here.