Posted on 

September 20, 2022

How to Hire a Sales Representative

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Sales Reps are critical to the success of a business. They will help you expand your customer base and increase your topline revenue, mainly by chasing new leads, spotting chances to upsell, and representing the company through a great customer experience.

The function necessitates excellent communication skills, social skills and a thorough understanding of a company's offers, allowing salespeople to steer prospects toward the solutions they seek successfully.

Learn how to find the rights sales representative by exploring the tools below. It includes recommendations for hiring sales reps, skills and qualifications to look for in sales reps, tips for building a sales team and mistakes to avoid while hiring that team.

Recommendations for hiring a sales rep:

Recruiting for a sales position is never an easy task. Here are some points to consider which will make your life easier. 

  • Consider recruiting numerous salespeople at the same time. This gives you additional information about the recruiting process for future hires and helps new workers onboard.
  • Consider more than just a candidate's CV. Rather than merely reading a CV, you should consider learning more about a candidate through pre-employment sales aptitude tests or objective evaluations.
  • Take note of those who sell themselves. Optimal sales personnel often ask meaningful questions that demonstrate they have done research about the company and frequently demonstrate actions such as writing a thank you message following the interview. If they can sell themselves, there is a bigger chance that they'll be able to sell your product too.

What are the tasks of a sales representative?

The tasks of a sales rep vary a bit from company to company, depending on your business model and product. The most typical tasks you might ask a sales representative follow here:

  • Represent your brand professionally and successfully, resulting in repeat business and a great consumer experience.
  • Recognize lead prospects and the possibility for upsells.
  • Meet or exceed sales quota goals.
  • Communicate with consumers to ascertain their needs and handle any concerns.
  • Perform lead generation activities.

Skills to look for in a sales representative:

Even though each organization's demands are unique, there are particular similar abilities that many recruiters and hiring managers seek in salesperson prospects. Understanding which skills and qualifications are essential and which are desired will assist you in identifying the most exemplary applicants.

  • Outstanding interpersonal and customer service abilities, especially in high-stress circumstances.
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities.
  • Ability to work alone while contributing to team activities.
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to translate complex solutions into simple value propositions. 

Qualifications look for in a sales representative:

  • Industry experience, preferably in a sales or customer-facing capacity.
  • Knowledge of appropriate sales software and technologies.
  • Strong negotiating and time-management abilities.

How to Find the Best Sales Representative

Follow this 9-step procedure for your sales rep hiring process:

Define the role

Understand what you're searching for—different sales roles may have vastly different skill sets. Begin by rating the primary abilities your representative will require for success:

  • Prospecting skills
  • Presenting skills
  • Closing skills
  • Product/industry experience & knowledge
  • Industry contacts
  • Listening skills
  • Relationship skills
  • Time-management skills
  • Questioning ability
  • Ability to withstand rejection
  • CRM/technology experience
  • Create an ideal candidate profile

It is critical to define what an ideal sales representative for your organization looks like, professionally and personally. You may approach this by evaluating your ideal candidates to determine what characteristics they possess. 

Make a list of the top qualities you desire in a candidate, such as work ethic or attention to detail, and then look for similar attributes in candidates.

Come up with interview questions

Following your outline of what you want to see in an employee, create a set of interview questions to assess their knowledge. Include prompting queries or ones that ask an applicant to recollect an instance when they demonstrated a certain quality. 

Consider introducing a sales role-playing exercise in the application interview to allow them to exhibit their talents.

Typical Questions Asked in a Sales Interview

  • Do you feel at ease making cold calls?
  • Have you routinely exceeded your sales targets?
  • What drives you?
  • How did you secure your most profitable sale?
  • How do your coworkers characterize you?
  • Please sell me the (XYZ) item.
  • What are your long-term professional objectives?
  • Can you tell me anything about this company?
  • What excites you the most about this sales position?
  • What qualities make you a successful salesperson?
  • How would your (previous) boss characterize you?
  • What are your strong and weak points?
  • What do you enjoy most about working in sales?
  • What makes you the best candidate for the job?

Make a job description

Then, write an appealing and informative job description correctly describing the function and duties. Include the compensation, employee criteria, and abilities a candidate should have in your job description.

Consider combining reasons why they should work for you, such as a description of the company culture and the advantages you provide, like vacation time and health insurance. Keep your tone in mind when writing a job description, and use active verbs to convey work activities.

Consider the following while drafting your job description:

  • Being honest about your desired talents and requirements.
  • A thorough job description that describes the whole position.
  • Using precise words that might assist a candidate in determining whether or not they desire the position.
  • Language emphasizing the pleasurable parts of the job, such as discussing the business culture or vacation policies.
  • Use a tone of voice that relates to the people you are searching for.

Publicize the job opening

Post your job description on several job sites and your company's social media or website pages to publicize your job opportunity. You can also use external agents, job listing sites or ads - especially in case you are hiring for multiple positions. 

Another strategy to draw attention to your job position is to ask current workers to suggest potential candidates, with a possible bonus incentive for successful referrals.

Screen your candidates

Consider doing a background check on applicants before the interview to weed out those who do not satisfy your requirements. If a candidate fulfils your standards, do a quick phone or virtual interview to meet the individual. Don't just look for talents and skills. Have an eye out for whether they are cultural fits or not. 

Organize a mock demo

Because presentation skills are essential for salespeople, consider asking the candidates to give a staged demonstration in which they try to sell a product for your company. Rate their performance throughout their presentation and decide whether they would fit your team well.

A candidate should remember to include the following items in the simulated demonstration:

  • A meeting agenda is presented at the start
  • An awareness of you and your business
  • Customized material customized for your company
  • A compelling conclusion
  • A follow-up email and proposal were issued the day of or shortly after the demonstration

Interview promising candidates

Candidates that fulfil your specifications and perform well in the screening stage of the recruiting process or the mock demonstration should be interviewed. Create a consistent approach in which you ask the same questions to each candidate. Use a scorecard or take notes during the interview to grade how a prospect performs in areas you feel are crucial for your recruiting profile.

Give an offer

Determine who should be on your hiring team. Once most of you have agreed on a particular candidate, call the applicant to offer them the post. After verbally accepting the employment, send them a formal offer letter with details about the business, pay, and perks.

As required, make changes

Examine the logistics of your employment process and identify any areas where you might improve in the future. Record what went well to simplify a procedure that works best for your organization.

Mistakes to avoid:

The cost of employing the incorrect individual is considerable, as is the expense, as they may have a long-term detrimental influence on the company's reputation and revenue.

There is no confident approach for effective recruitment, but if you're considering employing sales representatives, avoid these sales hiring pitfalls and start hiring wisely.

An inadequately written job description

Hiring a candidate based on a wrong job description is a standard error made by sales managers. A concise and accurate job description is essential for an organization. It helps you understand this person's primary areas of responsibility and the abilities and experience required to accomplish the job correctly.

If your job description is inadequate, you are more likely to attract individuals with inadequate traits and talents.

Overemphasis on Experience

Sales managers sometimes rely on recruiting choices primarily on the candidate's job history, emphasizing experience over potential. You should consider the experience in your recruiting decisions, but it should not be the decisive factor. Look out for conscientiousness, assertiveness, motivation and readiness to learn. On top of that, consider whether or not the person fits your company culture. 

The takeaway is to be open-minded and look beyond the candidate's experience and what's on their résumé.

Ignoring the references

Never, ever overlook references. The job persona is frequently distinct from the interview character. As a result, reference checks might provide you with significantly more information about the prospect than an interview alone. This can result in either a good or a terrible hiring decision.

Trusting Your Gut Feelings

Allowing your intuition and gut feelings to determine which applicant to recruit might be a costly error for your company. If the candidate's style and personality are similar to the interviewer's, gut reactions can sometimes mislead and induce prejudice. Instead of engaging with prospects personally, it is critical to establish recruiting criteria and professionally analyze applicants. Even if you have a strong feeling about people, you must balance it with data points such as facts, numbers, and qualifications.

Lack of Interview Preparation

Unpreparedness for the interview is another typical sales hiring blunder. Sales executives frequently overlook the fact that, even if they are interviewers, they must be well prepared before the interview to make a solid hire. Candidates often share success stories during interviews; however, by appropriately preparing for the interview, managers may go deeper to reveal the candidate's genuine potential.

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