To achieve optimal success and growth, it is essential for businesses to prioritize the process of hiring sales personnel who possess the necessary skills and motivation to drive revenue and foster enduring customer relationships.

What are the keys to hiring salespeople? This question is at the heart of the issues facing sales managers today.

Hiring managers want to hire a sales representative who checks all the boxes and is a stellar workmate. But how can this be accomplished?

The sales team is a crucial part of how well a company can grow. This adds an extra element of importance that you get sales hiring right.

A sales manager must be concerned with when, where, who, and how to hire sales reps. Let’s consider each of these aspects of sales hiring one at a time.

When to Hire Sales Reps

The first step in hiring sales reps is to make sure that it’s the right time to do so. Here are some things that a sales manager should look at before they leap to hire a sales professional for their team.

Factors to Consider Before Hiring Sales Reps

New-hire sales reps should be brought on at the right time. You want them to have a positive impact on the sales team and your process, not a negative one.

Make sure that you have the resources in place to effectively train any new additions to a sales team.

Do the market and your own company’s sales cycle warrant a new sales position? It’s important for a sales organization to track the trend and patterns in their sales to know when the time is right.

Besides the market, your existing clients and new customer base may factor in. Buyer behavior can dictate if it’s the right decision to add more sales reps to your sales forces.

For example, if many stakeholders need to be convinced for a sale to go through, it might make sense to have additional effective sales reps in your pocket.

Review Your Business Strategy

Since sales are so closely tied to growth for a business, the business strategy should be an important factor in determining the best time to hire sales representatives.

Review your future activity to determine if your current sales team is up to the task. Business leaders should understand their lead flow.

If it shows that more business is moving down the sales pipeline than you can handle, it’s a good sign that it’s time to look for qualified candidates.

If new products or services are ready to be released, they can be an indicator that extra sales positions may be needed to manage the expected increase.

Evaluate Your Sales Department

What skill gaps does the current sales team have? Could a new sales hire add important skills to the group?

The current makeup of your sales forces and the methods they use to sell may point to the type of sales rep that will complement the group.

If your products are best demonstrated in person it might make sense to hire outside sales reps.

If the company is a new start-up, you could choose to hire commission-only salespeople so that risk to the company is mitigated if sales are slow to appear.

Where to Find Sales Reps

After a sales manager determines that it is time to hire, they must decide where they should look for the right candidates. Think about the following tips.

Job Boards

Online job boards are a good place to start. When you post jobs here you can select an eye-catching job title and add the necessary details.

Then with a click of a button, your sales position is out there for thousands to see. Hopefully, those responsible for sales hires give the process a bit more attention.

  • Care should be taken to use keywords that great salespeople will use in their job searches.
  • Be concise and truthful in requirements and expectations.
  • Provide the information that you would want in a job ad.

Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms and professional networks can be effective means to find sales representatives. Often, these will be passive sales reps who are not actively looking for a new sales career.

That’s okay! Perhaps your offer will intrigue them or they can refer someone else. Don’t limit yourself too much in the methods you are willing to try in your hunt for great salespeople.

Within the Sales Industry

Sometimes you can find the perfect fit for a sales role by looking across the negotiation table. When conducting B2B sales, consider sales professionals in the target organization as potential targets for headhunting.

Likewise, keep your eyes open at trade shows, sales seminars, and similar events to find sales people that stand out from the crowd.

Who to Hire as a Sales Rep

One of the most important questions in the hiring process is “Who?” Who will have the sales skills and experience to be the ideal candidate?

Here are a few suggestions to think about that can help you select the right salesperson for your company.

Know Who NOT to Hire as Your Next Sales Rep

Most hiring managers have not had a 100% success rate. Hiring the wrong person can cost a lot in time, money, and lost sales.

But don’t think of a mis-hire as a hit to your sales productivity. It can also be a learning experience.

Take time to review what went wrong and build in safeguards to your current sales hiring process so you get a great salesperson this time.

Establish the Job Profile

A job profile identifies what it’s like to be a new salesperson in your company’s open position. The key data here focuses on the sales cycle and what sales goals will be expected.

  • Will the sales rep be upselling to existing clients or prospecting new ones?
  • Does the job work on a six-week cycle or a two-year one?
  • Is the customer base primarily business customers or individuals?
  • Are reps concerned with inbound or outbound sales?

After these questions are answered, an effective job description can be written that will let you target the best salespeople that are also the best fit for the job.

Determine the Perfect Salesperson

What makes the perfect salesperson? The answer will depend a lot on your company, industry, market trends, and customer base.

However, here are some pointers that can help you focus on the right characteristics.

  • What hard skills are needed to sell for your company? What soft skills will make a sale rep pleasant to work with?
  • Is deep knowledge of the industry necessary? Does the sales person even need to have experience from the same industry?
  • What mindset are you looking for in a good salesperson? Will sales professionals be expected to work collaboratively?
  • Does specific knowledge, like skill with a particular CRM software, boost efficiency and onboarding?

How to Hire Sales Reps

The time is right to hire. You know where you will begin your search. And you have a good idea of who you are looking for in hiring salespeople.

Now you must determine how to carry it out. Examine these tips to carry out your search most effectively.

View Sales Rep Candidates as Long-Term Solutions

It can take a few months to as much as a year to fully train a new salesperson. Turnover creates a situation where the hiring process has to be repeated, costing even more time and money.

Try to get it right the first time. That may involve an altered mindset from what may traditionally be expected of hiring managers.

Don’t simply create a job posting, leave it active for a set amount of time, and then choose from among the applicants.

This may be a short-term fix but it may not lead to the best results. Wait for the right candidate – the truly great salesperson – that fits the sales role you need to fill.

Even if it takes more time, it may lead to less cost long-term.

Involve the Sales Team in the Hiring Process

The interview process can be stressful for both you and the candidates. Seek to involve other members of your team in the interviews. This has several benefits.

It gets extra opinions on whether interviewees will be a good fit with the company culture and for the sales department.

Team members may be able to identify areas that you’ve missed. Additionally, you can instruct team members to focus on interview questions or listen for responses that highlight specific traits you want to target.


Finding sales representatives isn’t always easy. Take the necessary time to fully address the following points in sales hiring:

  • When – Is it the right time to hire? What skills need to be added to the current sales team?
  • Where – What job boards and social media sites will you use to advertise the sales job?
  • Who – Have you created a job profile that outlines the specifics of the sales role? What does the perfect sales representative look like regarding sales experience, soft skills, and personality?
  • How – Are you hiring for the long term? Have you considered feedback from your team on candidates?

Your next sales hire is waiting to be found! Now go find them!