chad bronstein headshotby Chad Bronstein, CEO
Time To Hire

 

Learning how to hire commission only sales reps is the most difficult challenge for any hiring manager. While our service solves the problem of finding people to interview, what do you do after that point? I’m delighted to share some sales recruitment best practices to make hiring commission only reps easier.

Make Sure You’re Ready to Hire Commission Only Sales Reps

Recruiting salespeople requires an incredible amount of preparation and planning. Do you have a formal and written plan for success? Do you know how you’ll train and compensate your new commission only sales reps? If you’re not sure you’re ready to hire, check out this article.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

hands ShakingEvery aspect of your business should project confidence and success.

Does your website look professional? Your website is the first place a candidate will go to check you out. Make sure your website looks great and projects confidence. Making the right first impression with candidates starts with a professional website.

Do you have a professional office environment?  If not, consider meeting sales candidates for coffee, outside your office. Think about what you can do to make your office appear more successful to candidates. That’s good for new and existing sales reps alike, and will contribute to more sales.

Do you have good online reviews? Sales candidates will research your business online before calling you. If you’ve had bad reviews, respond to them in a professional, constructive way. Nobody wants to work for a business that isn’t liked by its customers.

Be Honest and Upfront

Salespeople are most interested in finding out how much money they can make and what kind of work they’ll be doing. Be as honest and transparent as possible as you speak with them at all times. Make it clear exactly what the work will involve during the interview and when you onboard your salespeople.

Share an overview of your sales process with them. Let them know about your sales cycle and what out of pocket expenses they’re likely to

Being honest keeps everything clear and above board, and means you’re more likely to find a better fitting candidate.

Provide the Sales Training that Your Reps and Teams Need

Great commission only salespeople aren’t born, they’re made; although some people are naturally more gifted at sales than others, sales success is as much to do with learned skills as natural talent.

You probably have excellent sales skills, and an approach that works. It’s a great idea to write your knowledge down and create helpful guides your salespeople can read and learn from. Take a look at other sales leaders you admire, think about the techniques that work. Capture them in your guides.

If you’re not a big fan of writing everything down, consider giving a series of training sessions where you’re filmed. They can become a library of good techniques, and help your commission only sales people to absorb your knowledge, increasing your sales.

The more training you provide, the greater the advantage your new sales representatives will have against their (and your) competitors.

Explain Your Sales Process Clearly

Your new salespeople won’t have a natural understanding of your sales process, so you’ll need to explain it to them. Whether they’re selling door-to-door, following leads, or cold calling, you’ll need to provide guidance immediately after hiring them.

This includes good techniques, templates for sales, scripts, and helpful tips and advice.

Set up a meeting with your sales reps once they’ve come into your business and go through your sales process and techniques one-to-one. This will give your sales reps the confidence they need to go out and sell your products and services. Think about combining this with the training materials you’ve created.

Create the Right Power Dynamic

You want to encourage the right sales candidates to do well. The best way to do this is to give them the support and guidance they need, but create incentives and challenged that will pull them in the right direction. Consider these two examples:

  • “I need you to do this, this, and this.”
  • “If you’re going to be successful, you’ll need to work hard, especially at first. What can I do to make that easier for you?”

The second statement is much better because it gives your sales rep a sense of ownership and control over their own success, it shows your investment in helping them, and forces them to consider the help they’ll need to fill in any gaps.

You don’t want candidates to think getting a commission only sales job is easy. Asking the right questions and motivating salespeople properly will help you attract the very best.

Hire More Commission Only Sales Reps than You Think You’ll Need

I you’ve been hiring salespeople for any length of time, you’ll know many reps see commission only jobs as temporary at best. You’ll probably need to be recruiting constantly to keep up with the turnover in your sales staff and teams. We can help you find good sales reps in the first place, but you should streamline your hiring process as much as possible. Remember to replace low-performing reps quickly.

Consider Hiring in a Group Environment

While it may seem rude or demeaning to some applicants, performing a group interview or orientation can save you a ton of time when hiring commission only salespeople.

Assuming that it’s impossible to spot a superstar sales rep and that most sales reps fail, why would you waste time interviewing candidates one-on-one?

If you’d like more info on this, check out this article.

Don’t Just Use One Sales Recruitment Method

We know we’re a good option for hiring sales representatives, but we also know we’re not the only option. You can explore other methods for recruiting including:

  • Going to networking events and meeting with other sales business owners.
  • Talking to other sales recruiting managers to learn what methods have worked for them.
  • Setting up a partnership with other sales business so you can pool your hiring expertise and share potential candidates that are a good fit.
  • Looking for referrals on LinkedIn.
  • Joining local trade and employer organizations in your city.

Time To Hire says: The more exposure you have in your local market, the more places you’ll find sales reps.

Never Give Up!

always-be-closingRemember that hiring commission only sales reps is one of the most difficult jobs in recruitment.  It’s common that you might have whole weeks go by where you just can’t find a good sales rep. Other weeks, you might be lucky enough to land two or three. Following the tips in this guide will help though, and even if they only increase your sales hiring success rates by 10%, that will still save you  a lot of time and effort.

Keep trying new things and increasing your sales hiring skills. Remember, always be recruiting! Good luck.

We can get your phone ringing with qualified sales candidates, and keep bringing good sales reps into your recruitment process. When you’re ready to hire, give us a call at 888-447-3001 9am-8pm M-F EST.