The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Executive's Guide to Hiring Sales Reps

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Are you looking to expand your sales team?

There's no doubting that more sales, scales, and finding the right people are essential to a successful business.

From finding the right candidates to training them for success, we've got you covered. Don’t waste time and money on the wrong sales reps. Use this guide to find the best ones for your business. It will help you avoid costly mistakes and make the process easier for everyone involved.

How to Hire Sales Reps

2021 Talent Magazine - Square Button1. Evaluate Sales Experience

The first step in interviewing job candidates for a sales representative position is to look at their background and experience, but there are no strict requirements for the kinds of positions you can hire them for.

However, those with backgrounds as either outside or inside sales representatives often have the best potential results.

2. Develop a List

After establishing a clear picture of what type of employees you want to hire, begin compiling a list of potential prospects that match your criteria or better, from which to choose.

Utilizing online databases and job boards may help streamline the process because many will offer access to contact information and other helpful details concerning prospects' work history and credentials. However, you may also have a well-established talent bank on hand! 

3. Conduct Extensive Interviews

Once you've narrowed your search down to a manageable number of candidates who fit your requirements and appear to have the required sales rep qualities, it is time to conduct extensive interviews.

Taking this step helps you begin comparing and contrasting prospects in order to find the right one for the job. This can be a daunting task but well worth the effort you put into the process.

4. Decide Who’s Hired

After interviewing job candidates extensively, it may be time to choose which individual you will hire as your sales representative. Once again, there are no strict rules regarding how to do so.

But, if you have followed this guide throughout the interviewing process, then you should have plenty of information on each candidate that will help with decision-making.

Your business success is always at risk when sales aren't where they need to be or aren't being met by enough representatives already working for the firm at the present time.

Finding the right sales representatives for your staff requires knowing your options, establishing a list of prospects from which to choose, and interviewing each candidate extensively.

Utilizing this guide can help meet those ends and set you on a course for success with your business.

5. Consider Their Current Position

Often, sales professionals are in the position of interviewing job candidates themselves in order to find new opportunities with other companies and this is a common occurrence.

It also usually means that even if they have no experience interviewing, their ability to sell themselves can certainly be put to good use when interviewing prospective employees for your company.

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6. Determine How Much They Know About the Industry

 It's important to find job candidates who are not naive about their target industry. You don't want them under-selling themselves when interviewing with you, but you also don't want them overselling themselves.

7. Inquire About Employment History

Another important aspect of interviewing job candidates for sales representative positions is to look at their work history. It's best if they have experience in sales and selling to specific types of customers.

These customers can often include institutions, corporations, or individual clients.

8. Look For Feedback After the Interview

The interviewing process isn't complete until you've received candidate feedback. In addition, you can also ask for references from past employers to get a better idea of their performance capabilities.

9. They Don’t Have to Sell You on Hiring Them

One thing that interviewing job candidates should know going into the process is that they don't have to sell you on hiring them, you have to sell them on the idea of working for your company.

If they come in interviewing for sales rep openings like a used car salesman, however, it may be time to move on and try someone else.

10. When Hiring Sales Reps Look For People With Creative Problem Solving Abilities

Another important trait to look for when interviewing job candidates is their creative problem-solving abilities. Sales professionals need to be able to think on their feet and find new ways to make contacts.

Candidates also need to have the ability to establish relationships with their customers by answering any questions they may have.

11. Don’t Be Too Quick to Hire

It's important not to get too caught up in interviewing job candidates for a sales representative position. There should be no exceptions to this rule.

It can be helpful to keep interviewing candidates for a sales job until you find the right person for the job. You want to find someone who is a perfect fit for the position.

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12. What They Don’t Know Can’t Hurt You

Even if someone doesn't have experience in your industry or with similar products and services, you shouldn't rule them out as a job candidate. You should still interview them.

Just like interviewing candidates for other positions, you want to determine how quickly they can learn the ropes and get up to speed on your company's business model.

13. Offer a Reasonable Compensation Package

When interviewing job candidates for a sales representative position, it is important to offer a reasonable compensation package. This includes both the salary and any other benefits you might be able to provide.

A good salary is the most common, but you can also give them incentives and bonuses. You could give them medical coverage or a bonus for their sales performance.

Are You Ready to Expand Your Sales Team?

Whether you are looking to expand your team or replace a departing salesperson, finding the right individual for the job is essential and worth every moment of due diligence you put into it.

By taking time to understand what type of representative will be a good fit for your organization and by utilizing resources like this guide to hiring sales reps, you stand the best chance of securing the best possible candidate for the position.

Talent Insight

Topics: hiring salespeople