How to Hire Outside Sales Representatives (Webinar)

An outside sales representative can bring new growth and opportunities for your business, but knowing the right hiring strategies is key to finding your next great candidate.

In this webinar from April 2021, Chris Igou, CareerPlug’s Vice President of Sales, shares tips to consider when hiring outside sales representatives for your business. 

The topics discussed in this webinar cover:

  • How to create an ideal candidate profile for outside sales reps
  • How to write a compelling job posting for outside sales reps
  • Steps businesses can take to develop their sales hiring process

Below are some key highlights from the webinar:

Do you know who you’re looking for?

Igou notes: “Before you post the job, do you really know what you’re looking for? […] I think this is the most valuable step and it happens before you post a job or before you go live, and this is when you really consider both the gaps in what you’re hiring for and what type of person is going to be most successful to fill those gaps. You can’t make the right hire until you really know what you’re looking for, so what’s it going to take to be successful in this role?”

How to build the Ideal Candidate Profile

One of your first priorities during the hiring process should be to create an ideal candidate profile. Determining the best type of applicant for your business could mean the difference between a bad, good, or even great hire.

When considering what to look for, keep these in mind:

  • Determine what skills are needed for success. Perhaps you’re looking for a candidate with a certain amount of experience, or someone with an expert understanding of your industry. Be specific and stick to your guidelines.
  • Identify certain talents and behaviors. What unique qualities does your candidate need to stand out? What traits will help them succeed in the role? 
  • Find the right balance of competitive and collaborative. Igou offers this advice specifically for the sales rep role: “They should be competitive with themselves, but collaborative with others,” Igou says.

Pro tip: Write down the top three qualifications a candidate should have that are most important to you. Be mindful of them throughout the hiring process!

Igou emphasizes: “One of the biggest mistakes that I see small business owners make is that they don’t take the time to build their ideal candidate profile. You will waste so much time and you will bring in the wrong candidates if you don’t spend time doing this.”

How to build a job posting

Once you’ve settled on your ideal candidate, it’s time to craft your job posting and attract the right people. Igou details the “building blocks” of a job post which include the following:

  • Job Title – Your title is also your keyword. When job seekers search for roles, they’re using this specific phrase to find search results. Keep it short, simple, and familiar.
  • Job Description – Think of your description as your job’s advertisement. Highlight specific key components like your sales model, required travel, and commission structure, but make sure it’s not excessive. Be specific but be brief. 

Igou suggests doing some quality checking to make sure your job posting appeals to candidates: “Go on or go on Google and research job titles that are being used by your competitors. Make your posting easy to navigate with section headers and bullets. Once you’ve posted the job or created it, email it to yourself. How does it look on the phone? Does it help the candidate understand what you need? A lot of times, I’ll hand it to my wife or somebody else on my team and I’ll say ‘hey, can you understand this?’ Because I know what I’m looking for, but if they can understand it then I know I’ve really hit it.”

What will your funnel look like?

Your funnel and hiring process are vital as they allow you to evaluate candidates and bring the right hires on board. Igou runs through his process for recruiting success:

  • Phone Screen
  • Personality Assessment
  • Behavioral Interview
  • Sales Exercise
  • Reference Checks
  • Offer

Before making any offer, it’s important to ensure that your candidates are up to the challenge of selling. Presenting them with behavioral questions and sales exercises can provide valuable insight for your hiring decisions.

Igou advises: “Have them sell you on them. They should know who they are. We have several candidates who are qualified for this position, but we only have one position to offer. Why should we hire you? I’ll tell you what this last question will also do — it’ll get them more interested in your job, it’ll get them more interested in working with you, because now they’re selling you on why it’s so great to work for you.”

Need more help hiring the right sales reps?

Get a demo of the software from one of our hiring experts today to learn how CareerPlug can help you recruit the best candidates for your sales team.


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