8 years ago
April 18, 2016

The Advantages of Hiring a Sales Rep Over a Sales Agent

There are advantages to hiring sales reps versus hiring sales agents.

Rhys Metler

Any company with a product or service to provide to consumers needs a sales force. The entire sales force for a company can be one person who serves in a selling capacity and may have additional duties as well.  The question for many companies, particularly companies that are smaller or just starting out, is whether it is better to hire a sales rep or to hire a sales agent.

First, let’s look at the difference between a sales rep and a sales agent.

A sales agent is often times a self-employed sales person. This means they do not work directly for the company they represent.  Instead, they usually work solo and sign on to a number of companies that are not selling competing products or services.  Sales agents usually work for commission only.

A sales representative works as an employee of a company and represents just that one company.

There are advantages to hiring sales reps versus hiring sales agents.

1. With sales reps, the focus remains on your company.

One of the benefits of hiring sales reps over sales agents is that the sales rep sells only for your company.  The sales rep is your employee, and as such, will not be distracted by other opportunities to sell any products or services other than yours.

2. The sales rep is your employee, the sales agent is an independent contractor.

You have far more influence over your own sales rep versus hiring a sales agent.  You have control over the hiring, training and scheduling of a sales rep that works directly for your company. While you may have some influence over a sales agent, they are independent contractors and work for themselves.

In addition, whether as a sale rep or a sales agent, the person in front of the buyer represents your company. You want a person who is a part of your company to be the representative of your company. An employee knows the other employees, understands the culture at the company, feels a sense of belonging to the company and knows the expectations that the company has for its employees. This sense of belonging helps the buyer to develop a relationship with your company.

3. A sales rep is more likely to have a sense of loyalty to the company.

A sales rep is a member of the company community. They profit from company benefits and company perks. If the company has a good incentive package, training opportunities and opportunities for professional advancement, they are very likely going to work hard and be more devoted to the work that they are doing in order to continue to reap those benefits. With a sales agent, they are working strictly for the money. There is no reason for the agent to feel any loyalty to the company beyond the need for a paycheck.

As a company grows, the questions of hiring sales reps versus hiring sales agents become more pressing. It is important that you look at all of the advantages that hiring sales reps can bring to help your company grow.

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.