8 years ago
April 18, 2016

The Birth of a Sales Rep: How to Find Perfect Sales People

Before you place that call to the sales staffing agency, learn how to avoid these five rookie mistakes managers make when hiring sales people.

Rhys Metler


Hiring the perfect candidates for sales jobs can make or break your company. Fortunately, there are 22 million sales professionals working in North America right now to choose from. Unfortunately, there are 22 million sales professionals for you to choose from. That’s more than the entire population of the state of Texas. Feeling the pressure yet?

When choosing which sales person is the right fit for your business, there are simple steps you can take to avoid a Texas-sized mistake. So before you place that call to the sales staffing agency, learn how to avoid these five rookie mistakes managers make when hiring sales people.

Make Every Hire Count, Mistakes Equal Money

In a perfect world, you could test out new people in various sales jobs to see if they fit with your company’s culture. Actually, in a perfect world, your product would sell itself, and you wouldn’t need to learn how to hire sales people at all. In reality, the cost of a sales hiring mistake can be up to 10 times the base salary of that employee. Make sure you hire the right person for the right job, or else you’re just flushing your money away.

Be Sure You Can Train Young Hires

Some people are born sellers, and some simply don’t have that gift. Of all the sales professionals in America, 22% are untrainable. And of those who are, only 10% will provide you with an actual return on your investment.

Don’t Mistake Experience with Qualifications

In the 21st century, the skill set a successful sales person needs is constantly changing with the times. Studies show that more than three quarters of the sales people who utilize social media outsold those who didn’t. If social media is an important part of your business strategy, than make sure the person you hire is fluent in digital meme-speak.

Avoid High Turnover Rate to Save Money

The average turnover rate for a sales team is 40% a year, and every time you have to replace another employee, you’re throwing your money away. If you’re in a rush to fill a hole in your team, taking a little bit longer to find the right person can save you cash in the long run—and consistently treating your employees right will slow down the rate of qualified individuals leaving you for other companies. 

Sales People Should Always Be Selling Themselves

A good rule for clothes shopping: only buy an article of clothing if you absolutely love it. That’s also a good rule of thumb for hiring your next sales rep. After all, if they can’t easily convince you to hire them, then how will they sell your product?

With all the tools available to consumers, it’s more important than ever that salespeople project a positive personal brand at all times. Follow applicants on social media to find out how they represent themselves to the world. Ask yourself, is this the kind of personality we want to be the face of our product?

Of course, you should have more than five things on your checklist before filling sales jobs or reaching out to a recruiting firm. However, avoiding these simple missteps can save you a ton of money in missed opportunities and employee turnover.

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.