Learning how to hire commission only sales reps proves to be one of the most difficult challenges for any hiring manager. While Time to Hire solves the problem of finding people to interview, what do you do at that point to ensure success? I’m delighted to share some sales recruitment best practices to make hiring commission only reps easier.

Hiring commission only sales rep

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

Recruiting sales representatives 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 commission only sales people, our blog is a great resource on how to do it successfully.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

When recruiting sales representatives, every 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. Generally, there should be multiple pages to navigate, functioning links, relevant pictures, and contact information. If your website looks like a scam or generic, candidates are often wary and don’t call back.

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. Working for a business that isn’t liked by its customers is not an ideal situation for most jobseekers.

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 when speaking with them at all times. Make it clear exactly what the work will involve during the interview and when you onboard your salespeople.

When hiring commission only sales reps, 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 come across.

Being honest keeps everything clear and above board. Ultimately, it 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. Some people are naturally more gifted at sales than others—sales success has 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 to impart what you know to your salespeople. Take a look at other sales leaders you admire and 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 absorb your knowledge, ultimately 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

Once you hire commission only sales reps, keep in mind that your new salespeople won’t have a natural understanding of your sales process. You will need to explain it to them. Whether they’re selling door-to-door, following leads, or cold calling, you’ll need to provide guidance as soon as you hire them.

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

Set up a meeting with your recently hired commission only sales reps and go through your sales process and techniques one on 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. Create incentives and challenges 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 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.

When you’re recruiting salespeople, keep in mind that you don’t want candidates to think getting hired as a commission only sales rep 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

If you’ve been hiring sales reps for any length of time, you’ll know many reps see commission only jobs as temporary. 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 recruiting sales reps in a group setting, 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.

The more exposure you have in your local market, the more places you’ll find sales reps.

Never Give Up!

Remember 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. Even if they only increase your sales hiring success rates by 10%, it 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.