When a sales manager must hire a sales rep for their sales team, it can be a complex undertaking.

While the sales industry is alive and well, sales processes and methods are in a constant state of growth and change.

The changing landscape means that what worked for sales managers in the past may be less effective now.

Here are some tips that can help in hiring sales reps for your company. With a little work and extra effort, you can find the sales representative that is the perfect fit for your open sales role.

Hire Sales Reps with the Right Traits

One thing to consider when searching for a new sales rep is the soft skills the new salesperson brings to the sales team.

Soft skills are traits that may not directly relate to the ability to sell but still improve the quality of strong candidates as future employees.

For example, great communication skills are directly tied to making sales, but data entry isn’t. However, strong data entry skills help sales reps interact with CRM software more efficiently and are valuable.

Here are some other skills and qualities to watch for in good sales rep candidates.


Another important personality trait is resilience. Only some interactions with potential clients will end in a purchase.

Sales representatives need the resilience to handle the negative responses along with the positive ones.

A sales rep needs this quality to last long in any sales position and may detract from the overall sales team environment with a negative attitude.

Continuously Improves Self

A sales representative should take a “no” in stride. But they should also view it as a learning experience.

While it doesn’t help to dwell on their failures long-term, there is some value to reviewing where things went wrong and how the sales rep can address the situation in the future.

The drive for self-improvement also extends to how willing a sales rep is to learn new things.

There are always new products to review or an improved sales process to learn. A life-long learner will do well on your sales team.


Hiring salespeople is a search for a goal-oriented person. Sales reps need to have an internal desire to achieve more.

But it would help if you also considered the direction of those goals. Are the sales professionals you interview driven toward their goals or focused on the client?

Sales reps who want to help customers reach their goals and solve problems benefit everyone in the sales experience.

  • The customer gets great service and begins to develop trust in the company.
  • The company becomes more effective and establishes a reputation with a positive company culture.
  • The sales rep makes more sales.


They say curiosity killed the cat. But it is a positive quality in sales reps, and curiosity pushes sales team members to ask questions.

Questions directed toward customers are opportunities to gather more specifics on their needs and desires. It can also help to create and deepen relationships.

Questions asked within the sales team and to sales managers help to inform the sales representative and make them more effective.

The willingness to seek help when needed also shows a measure of humility which can make the sales representative more approachable.

Address Your Team’s Pain Points

View hiring salespeople as an opportunity to improve the sales department as a whole. Hiring managers know that every team has strong points and areas that need improvement.

When you hire sales talent, look for someone who can shore up the weak areas by providing their skills and sales experience to the collective.

That way, you are not only filling a sales representative job opening but also addressing sales enablement for the whole sales team at the same time.

For example, focusing on candidates with a background or interest in technical support may improve a team’s skill base by adding an element to the team that can help answer product questions or provide co-worker assistance.

Find a Candidate with a Proven Track Record

Great salespeople have a proven ability to sell, which should be part of the job description for any sales representative position. And most candidates will tout this ability.

But how do they prove they can sell? By selling in front of you!

As part of the search to hire sales reps, build opportunities to test their sales talent. The ideal candidate should be able to perform under the stressful conditions of a job interview.

Test sales reps’ skills in different parts of the sales cycle. Sales professionals can be subjected to mock sales calls as one method to view their skills first-hand.

For example, hiring managers try the following:

  • Have the candidate practice cold calling. The interviewer can take on different buyer personas to see how the potential hires react.
  • Ask the sales reps to write a persuasive prospecting email. Run them through identifying a likely target, have them conduct market research on the company or person, and let them draft a mock email.
  • Check the sales representatives’ ability to pitch through a short voicemail message. Encourage clarity, simplicity, and brevity.


Pay is always an important subject when trying to hire sales reps. Be bold and bring up the subject. Be ready with honest answers and attractive options.

Consider compensation structures that make sense for your company, industry, and the sales positions you are hiring for.

Commission-only salespeople can be highly motivated to generate revenue for your company since their pay is directly tied to what they sell.

Sales professionals who work as freelance sales representatives may save your company on the overhead costs of hiring full-time employees. They may also bring leads with them to the sales position.

Often sales forces will be made up of various sales representatives, so consider your team and hire a sales rep that makes the most sense for the group’s needs.

Hire New Sales Reps in a Group

One tip for hiring inside sales reps is to hire in groups. There are some nice advantages to this practice.

Having several sales representatives come on board simultaneously creates a peer learning environment that can reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed on the part of sales reps.

A new hire can share tips with fellow new hires, creating a base of trust and a team-centric mentality.

Think About the Onboarding Process

While the hiring process involves concrete steps like placing a job posting on job boards, conducting interviews, and negotiating with a candidate, the process doesn’t end with a job offer.

Sales reps add to a successful business when they are onboarded properly. Leave new hires with direction, feedback, and positive reinforcement.

Even if they have worked in sales in the same industry, learning a new job can take a lot of work for a sales representative.

Work to support sales reps as they ramp up business development and learn your sales process first-hand.


Hiring new people for sales roles in your business can take time and effort. But you can save time and frustration by following the tips above.

With some hard work and these pointers on the hiring process, you will be well on your way to finding sales reps that can immediately add to your company’s bottom line and fit well into your current team.