How to Hire Your First Sales Rep

May 03, 2019

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Posted by: Kirsten Quarman

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Is it time to hire your first sales rep? If you’ve reached the point where you need to create a new sales department in your company, keep reading to learn how to hire the first member of this team.

Download our guide to learn how to write a job description that will attract  top talent.

Define the Role

First, evaluate what your business needs in terms of sales. Will your rep be spending most of their time speaking to clients on the phone or out in the field conducting face-to-face meetings? Will the new hire’s focus be on new business development or maintaining existing accounts? There are different types of sales jobs, and the answers to these questions will help you determine which type of sales representative you should hire.

Once you’ve decided which type of sales rep you need, write out a job description.

To do so, determine whether certain certifications, skills, and work experience are mandatory requirements or nice to have, and determine which day-to-day tasks the rep will be responsible for once hired.

Forming a succinct job posting will help ensure the candidates who apply are the right fit for the job.

Assess the Talent

The right sales rep will be a cultural fit with your corporate culture. They will be willing to learn and actively seek to improve their job performance. Compassion, competitiveness, and great communication skills, along with a high tolerance for rejection, are a few qualities top sales reps possess.

Structured interview questions covering a range of sales scenarios will help you determine whether a candidate is the right hire.

Know Where to Look

Part of hiring great sales staff includes looking in the right places. Your network and job boards are great starting points, but there’s no need to stay within conventional limits.

Referrals can come from people you know in the industry, such as colleagues and friends. You may also want to consider working with a recruitment agency to access their wide network of qualified sales candidates.

Form the Right Compensation Plan

One of the trickiest aspects of hiring sales reps is compensation. There are many different ways to compensate a salesperson, and the compensation plan you choose could affect the talent you receive. Whether you choose to offer straight commission, salary and commission, or salary only will be based in part on your business model and industry trends.

The tips above will help you avoid mistakes when hiring sales representatives.

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Kirsten Quarman

Kirsten Quarman

Kirsten has 25 years of global recruitment experience, working for global and national staffing companies. As Vice President, Western Canada for Talentcor, Kirsten oversees our Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg branches. Some of her specialties include administrative, light industrial, skilled trades, sales & marketing, customer service, supply chain, accounting, human resources, insurance, and legal. Outside of work, Kirsten enjoys mastering new skills and achieving goals she sets for herself each year, like learning new sports and exercising.

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