Hiring a sales rep isn’t as easy as it seems. It takes skill and experience to hire the right candidate for your company.
You may have the misguided belief that hiring your next sales rep is going to be easy. But recruiting, selecting, and hiring the right sales rep—one that is going to increase your revenue, build strong relationships with clients, and close sales left and right—takes skill and experience. It also takes a lot of planning upfront. Simply uploading a generic job description to random job boards, skimming through resumes, and setting up a few interviews without any forethought isn’t good enough if you’re looking for top talent.
Instead, take some time and consider these five things you need to know about hiring your next sales rep before you start searching.
Simply hiring a sales rep based on his skills and past work experience might find you someone who can close sales, but it won’t find you someone who will necessarily be happy in the position and stay with your company for the long haul. Instead, you need to shift your focus on fit. Your new hire must fit within your company culture and agree with your company’s goals, values, business strategies, and performance standards. If he doesn’t, you’re going to clash right from the start and the relationship ultimately won’t last.
Although many sales people can be successful, it doesn’t mean they’re all alike. They will have different strengths and weaknesses. Once you know exactly what you’re looking for you’ll have a better chance of success in hiring the right person for the job.
If you’re hiring someone to primarily build relationships in new markets or someone to travel across the country, look for candidates who are interested in these duties. If you’re looking for someone to start an inbound selling strategy at your firm, look for someone with experience in doing just that. If you’re looking for someone to write proposals, find candidates with great writing skills. Once you know what the job entails, you’ll be able to find the sales rep who can do it well, who has the experience and traits you’re looking for, and who will be excited to do the work.
When it comes to sales people, there are a variety of ways that you can pay them. And the way you pay them will limit your candidate pool and affect your hiring decision—not everyone will be interested in the same pay structure. You can choose to give your new sales rep salary only, or a salary plus commission, or just straight commission, or even commission with an advance. The decision will be yours—you’ll have to decide which option will be better for your company. It will depend on how much control you want over your sales rep, what your budget will allow, and what will attract top talent.
There are two types of sales people: those who like to sell and are good at it, and those who love to go out, meet people, and sell to them. The latter group is who you should ideally be focused on hiring, but these sales reps might not have all the technical experience and skills that also need to come with the job. But when a sales rep loves to sell, he can succeed with the right training.
Hiring a great sales rep is difficult. You might not find the right person on your first try. But don’t give up. Put all of your new hires on a probation period to see if they’ll work out so you can let them go if they’re not measuring up. Then try again.
Taking these five things into consideration before hiring your next sales rep might not guarantee that you’ll find that perfect candidate, but it will increase your odds exponentially.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ 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 two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.