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5 Tips for Hiring Sales Representatives

Finding a highly effective salesperson to join your team can make a huge impact on your bottom line as they bring in new business. But how do you go about hiring sales representatives the right way? It can be difficult to tell who will really work well with your team and who is simply skilled at talking themselves into a job. But armed with the right method, your hiring team can get the right people into your open sales roles. 

1. Write the Right Job Description 

Hiring the right person for any role begins with writing an accurate and engaging job description. Your job description is the first chance you have to make a positive impression on prospective sales candidates. It should describe the role and your workplace culture accurately so potential hires can assess for themselves whether they’d be a good fit. 

However, it also needs to be engaging and attractive. Hiring sales representatives is competitive, the best ones are in very high demand. Be sure to include why your workplace and this role are an exciting opportunity to draw in the top candidates. Always be accurate, but don’t be afraid to mention what makes this a great job. 

2. Hire for Soft Skills 

The process of hiring sales representatives certainly involves looking at plenty of hard numbers like win rate. But soft skills like communication, empathy, and confidence, are just as important. In fact, 46% of new employees fail within eighteen months of being hired, and 89% of those people fail because of a lack of soft skills. 

And since they’re harder to measure, you need a clear plan to assess the soft skills of any candidates you’re considering. Soft skills are also harder to teach than hard skills, so they’re important to screen for at the beginning of the hiring process. Start with a job description that emphasizes the ones you’re seeking. 

3. Use Pre-Hire Assessments 

Pre-hire assessments are a highly valuable asset when you’re hiring sales representatives. They allow you to measure traits that tell you how well a candidate will fit into a specific role and your business as a whole. Using a sophisticated AI-driven system that eliminates bias, like Cangrade’s Pre-Hire Assessments, can help you screen easily for the top sales representative candidates quickly and effectively. That way, your team can find talented salespeople with the skills you know will actually make them successful in the role. 

4. Hold Structured Interviews 

Salespeople tend to be very engaging conversationalists, so measuring responses from a typical unstructured interview (where there are no set questions) is difficult. That’s why unstructured interviews are only 20% accurate at identifying the best person for the job, whether you’re hiring sales representatives or any other role. 

Instead, use a structured interview format where all candidates are asked the same questions in the same order. These give you a better baseline for analyzing responses and deciding who the really superior candidates are, instead of the ones with the best connection with interviewers. 

5. Sell the Role 

Hiring sales representatives is competitive, as the top performers in any industry tend to have plenty of other offers on the table even when they’re interviewing with you. So it’s important to remember that interviews are a two-way street. You’re trying to assess whether the salesperson candidate is a good fit for the role, while they’re assessing your company and the job.  

Make sure your hiring team is clear on the job role and responsibilities, of course, but don’t forget to equip them to talk about the benefits of the job and your workplace as well. You don’t want to be so enthusiastic as to cross the line into inaccuracy, but you do need to make an effort to engage and attract any promising candidates during the hiring process. 

Key Takeaways 

Hiring sales representatives can be a tricky process. It’s a competitive field and assessing all the skills a successful salesperson needs to have requires thoughtfulness and care from your hiring team. 

Looking for a way to make your hiring more effective, for your sales roles and beyond? Contact us to learn more today about how Cangrade can help.