salesperson shaking hands with happy clients

How to Hire Salespeople with the Right Experience

When hiring for any position, you want to know that you’re hiring the right person for the job. In sales, you’re not only looking for the right job fit, but you’re also hiring people that directly impact your bottom line. So, whether you’re looking to hire salespeople to fill an existing position or to expand your current sales team, you don’t want to waste time interviewing the wrong candidates or hiring someone that’s not a fit for the job. Either scenario will equate to you going back to the drawing board, costing you precious time and money. Below are some tips on how to find sales reps to fill your job opening the first time around.  


Clarify the Sales Employee Skills and Competencies You Need

When considering how to find sales reps to fill your open positions, start with the list of key competencies and skills for which you’re looking. What type of sales will they be conducting? Will there be internal or external clients or both? Does they need to be able to sell several products or focus on selling one key product? Will they need to present in front of groups, cold call, or go door to door?

Using these questions as a starting point, make a list of questions focused on your job requirements. Based on your answers, start building your list of required skills and competencies that you’ll refer to when creating your job post, reviewing resumes, and interviewing candidates. Some of the competencies that make a sales employee successful include:

  • Ability to listen
  • Healthy competitiveness
  • Enthusiasm
  • Great at networking
  • Resiliency
  • Trustworthiness
  • Good communication skills
  • Persistence
  • Self-starter

hiring manager working with a teammate on writing a salesperson job ad


Use Keywords in Your Job Post

Candidates turn to search engines to begin their job search the majority of the time, so to hire sales people, it’s essential to write a job post that is search engine optimized with keywords. Keywords will help sales job applicants find your position online.

Your keywords should include the competencies you’re looking for, geographical keywords, and any specific certifications or credentials you’re looking for spelled out. The job post title should also be clear and what a sales employee would intuitively look for when searching for a job online. iHire’s job optimizer will provide you with a score that you can use to improve your job posting.


salesperson making client calls at her desk


Prepare for the Interview

Once you’re selected a few candidates from their resumes, it’s now time to prepare for the next sales representative hiring phase—the interview. To hire sales people, consider the type of interview you want to conduct. You might want them to do a mock sales presentation for you, or maybe a panel interview would work best to see how well they present in front of a group.

You also want to come up with a list of interview questions ahead of time. Below are a few examples to get your list started.

Tell me about a time when your sales were low. How long did it take you to improve your numbers?

Who’s the most challenging client you’ve had to deal with? What approach did you take to work with the client?

What approach did you take when your sales numbers were at their highest in a previous position?


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Developing a sales representative hiring strategy from job post through the interview phase will support your effort to identify the right fit for your position. If you’re still seeking support in how to find sales reps to fill your position(s), iHireSalesPeople has industry-focused hiring solutions as well as an employer resource page with additional insights, tips, and tools to support your recruiting efforts. We’re dedicated to helping businesses like yours with their sales representative hiring to support long-term success.

By iHire | February 11, 2020