Sales leaders always want to put their best foot forward when recruiting sales reps. Finding qualified candidates can be challenging. Understand how to recruit sales reps can help accelerate your sales.

Top sales talent is waiting to be found, but you must strategize when recruiting salespeople. Why?

Why is a Sales Recruitment Strategy Necessary?

Having a sales recruiting plan in place is crucial. Hiring managers understand that the strategy followed can have a company-wide effect.

The hiring process can lead to revenue growth and good sales reps working to achieve success for your business. Or it can result in missing out on great talent and a lagging sales team.

Your company’s bottom line is inescapably linked to the sales process, so making wise decisions regarding sales hiring is important. However, that can be easier said than done.

sales reps

The New Normal

Recruiters tasked with hiring sales reps know that things are different now. The job market is changing and morphing, which means that the old methods used by a hiring manager may only sometimes be effective.

Companies now spend more money and hire more sales talent than ever before. But this trend needs to be stabilizing. Why not?

Technology plays a part. Finding sales reps with sales experience and high success rates may be easier using the internet. But it is also easier for your competitors to find those same good candidates.

When you do find potential candidates, they will often demand higher compensation. You may lose out if they receive a better job offer while deciding.

Sales managers also recognize that the way people purchase products has changed. With the internet at their fingertips, customers have a lot of information.

The best sales reps have learned to adapt to new skill sets. Their focus is now on how their products are better and different from the competition. A sales hire must be a data analyst.

At the same time, the old ways can’t be left behind completely. A sales candidate must still be able to develop leads, adapt to customers’ personalities and motivations, and deliver top customer service.

Here are some tips for sales recruitment that help map out your path to hiring salespeople. Good hunting!

Know When to Hire Sales Professionals

A sales manager must know the state of their industry. Do market research to understand trends to know when the time is right for your business to kick off the hiring process.

Get a good grasp of your own sales business as well. Have your most recently hired sales reps started to acclimate to your sales process? Now might be a good time to consider adding to your sales team again.

Do your sales representatives need help with lead generation and customer follow-up? If so, it might indicate that you are ready to hire salespeople.

sales professionals

Establish Your Company Recruitment Process

Top talent will only fall in your lap. There is a lot of hard work ahead, and the first step is to know what you are looking for.

The Sales Rep Profile

The profile you develop will identify the type of sales representative you hope to find with the recruitment process.

You should be able to enumerate specific skills that the ideal sales candidates will possess and the necessary sales experience.

  • Will sales reps be selling to a specific industry?
  • Does the associated field require technical skills or knowledge?
  • Are sales reps expected to be cross-trained in multiple roles?
  • Should sales candidates know specific sales tools your team is already familiar with?

Give attention to the employer branding of your company. Top sales talent will be attracted to a business with a strong identity.

This projected image and reputation should be visible in your online presence and to the market at large.

Online reviews from customers can also show you what sales reps will find first when they begin researching your company.

The Job Description

Create a stellar job description when you’ve completed your recruitment profile run-through. This document does not need to describe every detail of the job.

It should be clear and direct, explaining key responsibilities. The effective job description will include information on the products and services of your company and the potential earnings for the position.

Include a brief description of your company culture upfront so that sales reps learn what your sales team is all about.

Write this job description with enthusiasm to build excitement. You are selling this job to interested sales reps, so make it good! But also keep it honest.

The Job Posting

When you have completed everything else, it’s time to advertise the sales rep opening. This step can mean the success or failure of your sales recruiting efforts.

Consider using technology as your friend. Online job boards can reach those actively searching for new career opportunities.

Passive potential candidates – those not actively searching – may be contacted through a social and professional network like LinkedIn.

Social events like B2B sales workshops can put you in front of top candidates already in the sales industry.

Remember that referred candidates may be a good pool to draw from. Ask current employees for leads on potential new hires.

Hire Sales Representatives By Asking the Right Questions

Getting to the interview stage is a true accomplishment. Having the right questions ready will let you screen candidates, effectively.

Most sales reps will review standard job interview questions they find online. There’s nothing wrong with asking these types of questions, and they may provide useful information.

But go further. Choose a variety of questions that help you get to know the sales professional and their work manner. You could ask:

  • What makes a good sales rep?
  • When should you give up on a sales prospect?
  • What is the most important part of your job role – making your quota or keeping your clients happy?

Remember to have interviews with potential hires in-person or at least utilize a video call.

This will help create a more memorable and engaging experience for other parties.

sales team

Sales Reps Should Display These Qualities

The candidate’s CV will show what they’ve accomplished but likely paint a partial picture of who they are.

The personality and traits of sales reps are nearly as important as their skills and experience.

Make it your goal to understand by the end of the interview if the sales rep is resourceful, teachable, and resilient. These qualities will make them a key component in any sales team.

Confidence, ambition, and drive have their place and can help them push past obstacles and toward higher sales goals.

Sales Recruiters Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Test Sales Candidates

Part of the interview can be framed as a test. For example, ask the candidate to describe their favorite product and explain why. Let them sell you the item.

A written test may help discern their written communication skills as this is a large portion of customer interaction. Show them a mock email from a sales lead and ask them to craft a response.

Practice sales calls let you see the sales rep in their future role with your company. You can get a glimpse of their strengths before offering them the job.

Hire Sales Reps By Understanding Your Sales Team

One last consideration should be the makeup of your sales representatives already on your team. A good hire may need to mesh with other reps and create friction in the department.

One method that can reveal potential personality conflicts is involving a few team members in the interview process. This has other benefits as well.

More than one set of eyes and ears on a sales candidate can help you get a well-rounded view and reduce the risk that you have missed a red flag.

Different interviewers can focus on individual and specific aspects of the interviewees. Comparing one candidate against another in several areas may prove beneficial in the selection phase.

The new hire should also gel with your company culture at large. So, make your core values clear early in the recruitment process.

Encourage Sales Rep Retention

Once you feel all the boxes have been checked and a job offer has been made and accepted, you are well on your way.

But attention should also be given to keeping the best salespeople on your team. Have an effective onboarding process so that sales professionals stay focused.

The first few months with your company should empower the new sales reps to advance. Offer paid sales training as they ramp up with the new sales process.

Introduce new sales representatives to the team and find ways to get them involved in your sales process. Consider mentoring or partnering with another team member for those with limited sales experience.

The Takeaway

You can ensure the best possible success in finding great sales reps with the right attention to detail and hard work.

Hiring new members for sales teams is one of the most difficult jobs for recruiters. Keep trying new methods until you find what works for your company.

Never give up. Always be recruiting!