8 years ago
April 13, 2016

How to Hire Your First Sales Person

Congratulations on being ready to hire your first sales person. It’s an exciting time to be hiring for sales, though the process can be intimidating.

Rhys Metler

how to hire your first sales personCongratulations on being ready to hire your first sales person. It’s an exciting time to be hiring for sales, though the process can be intimidating. You want to hire the best sales person for your business and budget, which means you need to be thorough at every step in the process. These suggestions will help you along the way.

Know Who You Need

When preparing to hire your first sales person, know that there are as many sales specialties as there are industries; it is important for your business to find the right match for your sales needs. Determine who you need by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is your business in need of supportive sales from established clients or new business?
  • Do you need a sales person who has experience in your industry, or are you able to train the right candidate?
  • Are there any qualifications the candidate must have, such as software or process certifications?

Analyze Your Expenses 

A good expense analysis for hiring your first sales person includes more than the compensation package you are prepared to offer. By outlining your expenses, you will know how much you need to invest to hire your first sales person, and more importantly, have a better idea of how much that individual needs to sell to show a profit for your business. At a minimum, plan to allow expenses for the following:

  • Distributing your job description
  • Time interviewing and following up
  • Outsourcing background checks
  • Compensation package
  • Overhead costs including taxes, reporting, and insurance
  • Time and materials for orientation and training

Write and Distribute the Job Description

Once you know who you need to hire for your first sales person and what they will cost, you can write the sales job description and begin distributing it. The job description for your first sales person should be as specific as possible, while leaving room to add other duties as needed. At this early stage your sales needs are liable to pivot. You need a sales person who can pivot with you, so be sure to leave room in the job description with phrases like “Take on ad hoc or special projects” or “Grow with the company as needs change.”

Use Your First Impression Only as a Starting Point

First impressions are important but they aren’t everything. Use the first impressions you gain from interviews as a starting point, but never rely only on an interview to make a hiring decision. To hire the right sales person, you must be prepared to verify his or her background through other sources. Be sure that you: 

  • Perform thorough background checks through a reputable company
  • Speak with at least three references for each candidate
  • Test hard sales skills with assessment modules
  • Perform second or even third interviews with candidates who pass these checks

Think About Consulting Professional Help

What if you could hire someone to not only help you find the best sales person, but do so at a lesser cost than attempting this project on your own? You can, with a sales recruiting agency. Sales recruiting agencies are experienced in helping growing businesses like yours find and hire their first sales people; in addition to potentially reducing hiring costs, sales recruiting agencies can also reduce the time it takes to hire. That means your first sales person is hired sooner, and you have more time to focus on your business.

Making the wrong hire for your first sales person can cost far more than investing in a thorough recruiting process designed to match your business with the right hire. Those who cut corners in this area inevitably find that their sales person is not what they expected. Be as thorough as possible in preparing to hire your first sales person, and give thought to using a well-positioned sales recruiting agency to make the process smoother.

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.