How To Hire Sales Reps From Sales Recruitment Agencies? | The Sales Connection
Sales Recruitment
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How To Hire Sales Reps From Sales Recruitment Agencies? | The Sales Connection

Unsure where to start when hiring sales reps through a sales recruitment agency? Look no further! This guide will help you every step of the way.

Kayvon Kay
Kayvon Kay

December 2, 2022

How To Hire Sales Reps - The Complete Guide

Two men talking with each other while pointing to a laptop screen.

Sales representatives are essential members of numerous businesses, expertly helping companies with the crucial tasks of increasing sales and revenue. However, it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to finding and hiring the right sales reps for your team. 

Even for seasoned recruiters, hiring an excellent salesperson is tricky and requires good judgment skills and experience. Sales professionals are crucial to one’s business, so hiring the wrong ones can do more harm than good. With these difficulties in mind, it’s crucial to understand all that goes into hiring sales reps. 

In this guide, we will cover how to hire sales reps, where to find them, how to interview them, how to hire with a sales recruitment agency, and much more. This valuable information will put you on the path to hiring the best sales representative(s) possible for your business, no matter your recruitment experience.

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Why Hire a Sales Representative?

Before diving into how to hire sales representatives, let’s go over why companies should hire them first. Hiring a sales representative brings numerous benefits to businesses, no matter what stage of company growth they are in. The benefits of hiring a great sales representative include the following:

  • Increased number of appointments for sales teams
  • Improved customer service to new and recurring customers
  • Increased overall sales and revenue

What all of these benefits have in common is that they help businesses grow and reach new heights. Thus, hiring expert sales reps with strong sales histories can be the key to taking one’s business to the next level. To reap these benefits, businesses should particularly hire sales reps if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • A start-up's founders and original team members no longer have the time to make sales calls themselves.
  • A business’s budget can afford to hire a sales representative or team.
  • Selling a product, service, or business idea is crucial to the business’s success.
  • The business has a proper understanding of how to sell its product or service and can relay its strategies to new hires.
  • A business has an existing sales team and wants to hire new representatives.

Whether a business is a start-up or in a higher stage of growth, hiring sales reps can be an excellent step in reaching business goals. While hiring employees too soon in a company’s life can break the budget, waiting too long to hire sales reps can lead to missed opportunities and lost revenue. Thus, as soon as companies with a need for sales reps can afford these new hires, they should pursue these assets. 

Can You Hire a Sales Team?

Whether or not a company can hire a sales team depends on a few factors. Generally, businesses can hire sales teams if they:

  • Can afford it – Some businesses jump into hiring sales reps before they can afford it, which leads to more harm than good. Make sure hiring new employees fits within your business’s budget rather than counting on a return on investment to put you in the green. 
  • Have made sales themselves – Businesses should have successfully made sales themselves before hiring salespeople. This way, they can relay sales strategies to new hires, and the brand name has already spread. 
  • Have a finished product/service to sell – Businesses should ensure they have something to sell before hiring sales teams. While it seems obvious, some businesses get into trouble by pre-selling ideas they can't follow up on.

Any registered business technically can hire a sales team without the checklist above. However, they may run into issues like disorganization, tarnished brand image, and financial loss. Essentially, it’s important to go about hiring a sales team the right way and only when a business is truly ready.

Hiring sales reps or an entire sales team is an investment, and the cost of employment is an essential factor to consider. Let’s go over the costs of hiring a sales employee to discern whether this investment is in your budget.

What Is the Cost of Hiring a Sales Representative?

The cost of employment is one of the largest expenses for any business, including not only salary costs but also onboarding, training, equipment, and benefits costs. Let’s break down the typical costs for hiring a U.S. sales representative:

  • Average annual salary – $71,138 OR $36,400–139,029 (Indeed)
  • Average onboarding cost – $4,700 (SHRM, 2022)
  • Average training cost – $1,111 (Training Magazine, 2020)

That brings us to a total of $76,949 for hiring a new sales employee. That cost does not include employer-provided benefits, tax registration, technological equipment, or other employment expenses. As you can see, hiring a sales employee is a hefty investment, particularly for start-up companies. However, sales employees generate a greater return on investment (ROI) than other employees, as they directly work to increase a business’s revenue. 

You can calculate ROI using the formula: [(money gained - money spent) / money spent] x 100 = ROI. 

For example, if the cost of hiring a sales representative is $76,949, but they generate $100,000 in revenue for the year, that is a 30% ROI. Depending on one’s business and its products/services, that profit margin may be easily attainable or even greatly exceeded. Overall, companies need to understand these costs to decide whether investing in new employees is right for them.

How To Hire Your First Salesperson

So, you’ve decided hiring a sales rep or team is right for your business needs. Congratulations, sales representatives will take your business to new heights and opportunities. However, how can you find successful sales professionals, and how do you hire them? In short, to hire your first salesperson, you have to:

  • Find your talent pool
  • Decide between full-time vs. freelance workers
  • Write a compelling job description
  • Develop an excellent interviewing strategy
  • Consider partnering with a sales recruitment agency

Let's go over these steps to ensure success in your salesperson hiring journey.

Where To Find Sales Representatives

While countless professional sales reps exist, finding and recruiting them can be challenging. To find the right sales rep candidates for your company, use the following recruitment strategies to your advantage.

Hire From Within

Sometimes the best new hire is someone who already works for your business. To hire from within, meet with current employees who might be qualified for new or higher positions and discuss the role of the sales position. Then, you can set up formal interviews with those who are interested. Current employees also require less onboarding and training, as they are already familiar with the organization and its processes. 

Additionally, you may ask for referrals from current employees or other professionals from the sales industry in your network to source hidden talent. According to a LinkedIn report, 82% of employers rate employee referrals as having the most significant ROI compared to other employee sources.

Post on Job Boards

Posting on online job boards is a common recruitment strategy for any role, including sales rep roles. Job boards like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed are all top choices. However, keep in mind that there are listing fees for all of these platforms. Nonetheless, these popular platforms are excellent tools to reach potentially hundreds of interested candidates.  

Attend Hiring Events

Virtual or in-person hiring events connect recruiters and talented job seekers, making this a perfect way to find candidates. As sales jobs are competitive, make sure your organization stands out among the crowd by having spokespeople, an inviting website, and up-to-date social media profiles. You may also consider organizing your own sales hire event to bring motivated candidates directly to you.

Search for Freelancers

Another strategy for finding sales reps is to search for freelancers online. Freelance sales reps can be excellent assets to any sales team, as they allow for reduced employment costs and greater flexibility. To find freelancers, search popular freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and LinkedIn for qualified profiles. You may also post a freelance job listing to attract these candidates.

Partner With Sales Recruitment Agencies

Hiring through a sales recruitment agency is a simplified, comprehensive way to discover and hire top talent. With a leading sales recruitment agency like The Sales Connection, motivated sales professionals are already gathered together, waiting to be paired with their perfect fits. Our sales experts have made over $157 million and counting in sales for companies. 

We have 12,173 trained sales representatives, so you can stop searching and start producing revenue. With a recruitment agency like The Sales Connection, you can shave hours off your recruitment process by gaining instant access to the top 1.3% of sales talent. 

Deciding Between a Full-time vs. Freelance Sales Representative

When hiring sales reps, companies should consider whether full-time or independent contractor employees are right for them. Full-time employees are traditional employees who work 40+ hours per week, receive salaries, and get employer-provided benefits. And this information can be easily extracted from the sales managers.

Freelancers or contractors, however, are self-employed individuals who receive payment on a per-project or per-sale basis. Companies may choose to hire freelance sales representatives for the low employment costs associated with them. However, freelance hires are not for everyone, so let's review the pros and cons.

Freelance Sales Representative

  • PRO: Minimal employment cost – One of the greatest benefits of hiring freelancers is the low cost of employment. Thus, companies can reap the benefits of generating sales without paying the high overhead costs of full-time salaries, benefits, etc. 
  • PRO: Less financial risk – With freelancers typically paid per sale or on a commission basis, there is less financial risk associated with hiring them. 
  • PRO: Have established contacts – As freelancers work with multiple clients, they already have their own lists of established contacts to which they can make sales calls.
  • PRO: Reach a wider talent pool – Since freelancers tend to work remotely, you can hire them from anywhere. Thus, companies can widen their talent pools throughout nations or across borders, increasing the ability to access top talent.
  • CON: Greater employee turnover – Since freelancers are temporary workers, there is rapid worker turnover. Luckily, the hire turnover costs of full-time employees are not associated with freelancers.
  • CON: Risk of misclassification – Working with independent contractors brings the risk of incorrectly classifying one’s contractors as full-time employees. To avoid this risk, employers can consult with legal professionals or hire through second-party sales agencies.

Full-time Sales Representative

  • PRO: Less employee turnover – Hiring long-term employees are more likely to result in less employee turnover, as employees know their companies are dedicated to them. 
  • PRO: Motivated workers – Having full-time positions with benefits and greater job security can lead to more motivated, loyal workers and, thus, increased productivity and revenue.
  • PRO: Less legal risk – You eliminate the risk of independent contractor misclassification with full-time workers.
  • CON: Highest overhead costs – Full-time employees bring the highest employment costs, with full-time salaries, benefits, and more. This investment is not worth it for many companies if it is compared to the sales productivity of the salesperson.
  • CON: Greater financial risk – With the high costs of full-time workers, there is also greater financial risk. Unfortunately, companies risk losing hundreds of thousands of dollars when new hires don’t work out. 

Whether freelance or full-time sales representatives are right for you depends on your business needs and goals. Working with commission-based freelancers might be the intelligent choice for start-ups or companies looking to reach higher profit margins quickly.

Writing a Sales Representative Job Description

Writing an enticing job description is essential to attracting top sales reps for hire. According to Indeed, sales rep jobs are very competitive, with 18 job seekers per job listing on average. Yet, your job listing needs to stand out in the sea of other sales job listings. To optimize your job listing, make sure to include the essentials, which are:

  • A well-thought-out, interesting summary of the position
  • A detailed list of the responsibilities for the role
  • The qualifications and skills required for the role
  • A compelling company summary that gives insight into company values and culture
  • SEO keywords like ‘sales representative,’ ‘medical sales,’ ‘pharmaceutical sales,’ ‘hiring immediately,’ ‘B2B,’ and ‘remote work from home’
  • Job perks and benefits, such as healthcare, mental health days, etc.

While required in some states, including the salary range for a role in the job description is often optional. However, job seekers appreciate transparency and are more likely to reach out when this information is provided. On the flip side, if compensation does not meet job hunters’ needs, this information saves both parties wasted time and resources. 

To craft an excellent job description, recruiters for sales jobs should know what they are looking for in this role. A helpful exercise for employers is brainstorming all the qualities that the ideal person for this role would have. Then, employers know what they are looking for when it comes to finding the most valuable asset to their business. 

With the ideal candidate's persona in mind, employers and recruiters can craft a job description that speaks directly to that person. As a result, sales job recruiters are more likely to draw in exactly who they are looking for.

Interviewing Sales Representative Candidates

With an excellent job description shared online, the interviewing process is the final step in securing your new sales rep. An organized interviewing strategy is essential to choosing the right person for the job. The goal of interviewing is to weed out those who are less compatible and find your perfect match. While this sounds simple, interviewing sales representatives differs from other job interviews. 

One of the main unique aspects of a salesperson interview is that the candidate is required to sell themselves to the interviewer more than other candidates. After all, if the salesperson cannot sell their qualifications, how could they successfully sell products/services? 

Additionally, a strong sales professional should be able to relay knowledge of CRM software, their ability to drive sales, their history of sales results, and what ethical sales practices are.

A recruiter must also ask the right questions to discern the right fit. Some revealing questions to ask in a sales representative interview include:

  • What is your sales process?
  • How do you close a deal?
  • How do you connect with and create loyal customers?
  • What is a challenge you’ve faced while selling, and how did you overcome it?
  • How have you adjusted to remote sales?
  • What type of work environment do you thrive in?
  • Why are you a fit for the role? – This is their chance to really sell themselves!

A motivated salesperson should ask thoughtful questions to the interviewer as well. Additionally, the interviewer should clearly describe what they need for the role. For candidates who provide exceptional answers to your interview questions and seem like a great fit, make sure to follow up quickly.

What Is the Best Way To Hire Sales Reps?

While we've covered numerous methods for finding and recruiting sales representatives, which is the best? The truth is that locating top talent can be difficult, and hiring the wrong fit is much too common of a mistake for businesses.  This is why working with a sales recruitment agency is often the best, simplest, fastest, and less risky method of hiring your dream sales rep and/or sales team. 

With a sales recruitment company like The Sales Connection, companies can break through barriers to growth after being paired with the perfect sales representatives for their business needs. The Sales Connection makes spending countless hours on job boards and referrals a thing of the past. 

We connect businesses with top representatives in record time to increase revenue two to five times in 100 days. Our representatives work on a per-sale basis, eliminating the high employment expenses associated with sales reps entirely. You can focus on running your business again with a quality, low-cost sales team driving your sales. Book your free sales recruitment strategy session today to learn how our revenue-generating talent pool can take your business to the next level.

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Kayvon Kay

Kayvon Kay

Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.

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