How to Hire Your First Sales Rep

May 03, 2019

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Posted by: Nicola Malcolm



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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] 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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Nicola Malcolm

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola has over 20 years of staffing industry experience with global, international, and Canadian firms. She has a broad knowledge base from having worked at a temporary recruitment desk, as an on-site manager in a global warehouse and manufacturing company, and in marketing, IT and operations. In addition, Nicola managed a portfolio of MSP/VMS accounts for a global MSP, and currently manages the staffing supply of 10+ Canadian MSP/VMS programs. In her spare time, Nicola uses her recruiting background to help her family, friends, and personal network find meaningful work opportunities. She also enjoys applying her operational skills to plan family trips abroad as often as possible.

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