If your company is struggling to meet sales targets or looking to boost revenue, you may want to consider the option to hire a salesman to join your team. Sales managers are busy people. They have a lot of duties to perform in a day.

From overseeing their sales forces to managing the collective sales cycle, their job is never done.

So, when it comes to sales hiring, some sales leaders find it difficult to complete the task.

With the right application of time and energy, though, they can accomplish the sales hire process successfully.

Take a look at some tips for finding great salespeople for your business.

What Are Sales Representatives?

First, we must define what a sales representative is. A sales representative works with a company to conduct sales of their products or services.

The sales cycle that a sales representative follows will involve generating leads, or potential clients.

These leads must become qualified. This means that, through sales conversations and questions, the sales representative determines the person has the ability and inclination to purchase.

After careful research and information gathering, the sales representative makes a sales pitch to the client, addresses objections, and engages any other decision-makers.

The sales rep may have other duties that fall on their plate. Often sales teams use customer relationship management (CRM) software that helps track all details of customer interaction.

Sales representatives may be tasked with inputting data into the CRM software so it is kept up to date.

Best Practices for Hiring Sales Reps

There are key practices that will help make hiring sales representatives more successful.

Check out these two best practices while you search for your next sales hire.

Strategic Job Advertising to Find a New Sales Rep

Finding job seekers isn’t always an easy job. Online job boards are just one avenue of getting the word out that you have an open position for a sales representative with your company.

Give attention to the title and job description you select to advertise your sales representative job. Select keywords that highlight the most important aspects of a new hire.

Don’t feel as if you have to detail every aspect of the sales job. Provide enough information so that a sales representative can tell if they are a right fit.

Usually, if the job description is longer than a page, it can be rewritten more concisely.

Use Professional Services and Social Media Platforms to Your Advantage

The internet provides an opportunity to search far and wide for qualified salespeople. But job boards are not the only place to find qualified salespeople.

You can make connections with great sales professionals via social media sites like Facebook. This allows you to engage in a more informal means to generate interest.

Professional platforms like LinkedIn can help you locate passive job seekers – those that are not actively looking for a new sales career but may be a perfect fit.

Some businesses seek the help of professional services like sales headhunting companies that actively conduct search campaigns to find great sales talent based on the company’s needs.

The Ideal Candidate

The perfect salesperson is out there waiting to be found. Half the battle is identifying what you are looking for in potential candidates.

Hiring salespeople has to begin with a deep knowledge of what sales position you must fill and the duties involved.

Then you must match those duties to the key qualities and traits that sales professionals must possess to succeed.

Consider the following skills as they relate to the next hire for your sales team.

Required Skills Possessed by a Good Salesperson

Some sales skills are so common to a sales career that they are simply assumed. However, it’s good to directly list these qualifications for the benefit of both you and the applicants.

Interpersonal Skills

Sales rep candidates need to have strong interpersonal skills. Sales managers agree that the whole sales industry is about building relationships.

Sales candidates must be able to create meaningful interactions with potential clients, even in brief conversations.

Relationship-building should extend to the sales team too. Collaboration and cooperation are useful skills that will lead to higher morale and more pleasing company culture.

Critical Thinking

The right candidates will display critical thinking ability. This is a key factor to success for sales reps.

When sales representatives approach each new sale as a puzzle to solve, it keeps them highly motivated to provide the best possible experience for the customer.

It can almost become like a game for the sales rep where – with a little extra effort – they can piece together the solution for the problem the customer may not have even realized they had!

Sales Talent

It’s helpful when the natural talent of a sales professional can shine through. This talent may be innate or something developed over time.

Regardless, it involves the ability to present products and services as solutions to customers. The best salespeople make it look effortless – though there are dozens of variables that they will consider in their approach.

Preferred Skills Displayed by Sales Representatives

Take a look at some skills that many hiring managers may prefer to see in the candidates they hire. However, these skills may not always be necessary for every sales role.

Of course, if these traits are more important for the sales role you are hiring, then the job description and interview process should reflect that.

Sales Experience

It always looks great on a resume if a sales representative has a few years of experience under their belt in the sales industry.

A company values experience in its sales and marketing team because it implies that knowledge has been gained and applied.

Sales professionals with experience become a good resource for other members of the sales team to look to for guidance.

Proven Record of Meeting Sales Goals

A sales manager would much prefer a sales representative who has already shown they can meet and exceed sales goals.

This can be difficult because many factors are outside of sales reps’ control. Client budgets, the economy, and unforeseen elements can all throw a wrench in even the best sales pitch.

Cover this subject in formal interviews to fully understand the reason a sales representative has or doesn’t have a good record of hitting sales goals.

Soft Skills of Great Sales Reps

Some skills are less defined or don’t directly relate to the world of sales. But they are still important traits for job seekers looking to fill sales positions.

Consider some examples of personality features that will assist sales hires in becoming quality members of a sales department.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, sometimes called emotional quotient (EQ) is a skill sales representatives should cultivate.

Having high EQ skills means that a sales rep can sense and understand both their own emotions and the other person’s when interacting.

This can be critical while in the middle of the sales process. Emotional intelligence may let them improve their sales instead of knocking them off track.

Sales are not always “logical”. A buyer and seller ultimately rely on emotional triggers and cues throughout the sale.

An entire field of learning – behavioral economics – is the study of how non-rational things like bias, emotion, psychology, and culture influence the economy.

The person in the sales conversation that is aware of their emotions and those of the other party is at an advantage. They won’t be distracted by their own emotional state.

But a lack of emotional intelligence skills may make the sales rep not push for the full value of a deal, present off-target solutions, or not ask enough questions.

Time Management

Sales reps are constantly juggling. A new salesperson that already has a personal system in place to track all their duties will be highly valuable.

Sales representative skills like handling multiple leads and being able to prioritize the right ones are a hallmark of a great salesperson.

Sometimes priorities change, so good salespeople must be ready to readjust to a new approach when the situation warrants it.

Time prioritization skills may come with previous experience. However, even junior sales reps can be effective at time management if they have a precise knowledge of the company’s sales process and what is required of each step.

With this knowledge, sales representatives avoid leaving prospective leads unattended or trying to push potential clients too fast down the sales pipeline.


Persistence is a valuable soft skill because no sales representative is 100% effective at closing deals. Sometimes customers will just say “No”.

Hiring managers should look for sales reps that can handle rejection well. The best sales reps won’t let a sales rejection affect their view of their self-worth or degrade their sales performance.

Sales representatives should be able to move on to the next sale without getting bogged down in the failed sale.

However, there may be some value in pausing briefly to examine what went wrong, learn from it, and then move on.

How to Choose the Best Sales Representative from Among Qualified Candidates

Sales recruiting can be difficult. You may struggle to find quality sales representatives. Or you may find yourself face-to-face with several potential sales rep candidates.

How can a sales manager make sure to select the right person for their team? A sales organization benefits from a careful selection process.

When faced with several great candidates, use the interview process to filter your choices down.

The skills and traits mentioned above can serve as a guide for finding the right salesperson.

Interviewers should also be ready to ask pointed questions to sales representative candidates.

  • Why are you the right sales representative for this company?
  • What qualities make you a great salesperson?
  • How will you generate new leads and support existing customers?


Hiring salespeople can be challenging. With the right application of time, energy, and focus, it can be done successfully.

If you want to hire salespeople in a matter of days or weeks instead of a few months, study the best practices above. Determine what a quality candidate looks like to you.

Study the salespeople that you choose to interview. Look for required and preferred skill sets that make them stand out from the crowd. And pay attention to soft skills that make them even more efficient and effective.

Very soon you could have great salespeople on the job of selling for your company.