7 years ago
February 21, 2017

How to Hire a Top Sales Rep

Hiring the best sales people is critical, but it can also be a challenge. Check out this guide and learn how to hire a top sales rep.

Rhys Metler


Most sales managers will tell you that their most difficult task is identifying and hiring top-performing sales people. They’ve tried everything. They check references. They hold multiple interviews. They spring for fancy aptitude and personality tests. They’ve tried everything they can think of and they still end up hiring mediocre and poor sales people. They’re desperate to find hiring tactics that actually work—tactics that will actually allow them to identify and hire the top sales rep in a sea of average sales people.

If this rings true to you, then read on. This short guide will enable you to hire a top sales rep the next time you have an opening.

Know What Works and Replicate It

You should be hiring with a purpose. You should know what you’re looking for in your new top sales rep. You know which of your current sales people are top earners, so look at them critically to find out what they have in common. Maybe they have an innate curiosity. Perhaps they’re all ex-athletes. Maybe they have strong problem solving skills or charismatic personalities. Once you have this information, you can begin to find your new top sales rep that has the same traits.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Be honest with yourself. Some of your past hires haven’t worked out. Consider why. What mistakes did you make during the hiring process that led you to hire these less-than-stellar candidates? Did you neglect to check references? Did you find them on job boards? Once you understand what you did wrong in the past, you can avoid making the same mistakes again.

Increase Your Company’s Magnetism

Part of your recruitment strategy for hiring a top sales rep should be creating an atmosphere that attracts top talent and then letting the world know about it. Make your company shine. Make people want to work for you—make them seek you out for employment. Let people know what the perks are of working for your business. Add employee testimonials on your website. Send out good vibes on social media. Use digital marketing to your advantage and work on publicizing your brand as a great employer.

Build a Top Sales Rep Database

You might not always have an opening on your sales team, but you should still be recruiting and interviewing candidates regardless. Build a database of top sales people and keep in contact with them via email and social media. This will prevent you from hiring the wrong person due to poor planning, desperation, and a time crunch. Once a position does open up, you can choose the top sales rep from your database.

Focus on Culture Fit

Most sales skills can be learned, so cultural fit is even more important for you to consider while interviewing candidates. Your new top sales rep will be able to adequately adapt and conform to your company’s core values and the collective behaviours of your sales force. This top sales rep will fit in well with the rest of your team, exhibit the same characteristics that exist in your current organizational culture, and have an outlook, beliefs, and values that are congruent with your company. Hiring based on cultural fit will result in long-term hires, less turnover, and happier employees.

Hire a Sales Recruiter

One of the most effective ways to ensure you’re hiring a top sales rep is to hand off the responsibility to an expert. Use a reputable sales recruitment agency that already has deep connections with top talent in your industry, knows how to match candidates with unique brands, and has the time and resources to ensure the job is done right the first time. Remember, selling is the most critical aspect of your organization. Using a sales recruitment agency ensures that you only hire one top sales rep after another to build the strongest sales team.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.