The challenge when looking to hire great sales leaders is not simply with identifying them, but how to uncover their hot buttons and convince the strong ones to consider leaving a company they are already successful in. Sales headhunters are experts with how to uncover "hot-buttons" and identify potential trigger events in the market.
Whether or not you use a recruiter, the same interview process applies.
Reach out to potential candidates and let your network know you’re hiring
Exhaust internal and external resources for identifying top candidates in the market
Schedule short phone calls with promising candidates to screen them for interest
Meet in-person with candidates who passed phone screen (you)
Meet again with candidates who did well in previous interview; have them speak with several members of the team
Follow up with remaining candidates to determine interest
Speak with a shortlist of references
Extend job offer to the top candidate
Experienced headhunters generally have large networks they have built over years and will the experience with how to gain the interest of candidates at this level.