How to Hire a Salesperson: 8 Important Things to Consider

How to Hire a Salesperson that Delivers an ROI

One of the biggest challenges smaller businesses have is learning how to hire a salesperson.

Hiring your first salesperson is a great milestone for any business.

If you’re at a place where your sales are strong enough to warrant putting together a team of business development reps (BDR’s), great!

But if you aren’t careful, it will cost you.

These reps will qualify the leads for your Account Executive level sales team—that’s an important job.

So, how do you avoid hiring someone who doesn’t fit your culture and brand?

In the same way, you would attract and convert your best customers. Think about it:

  • You take the (upfront) time looking for high-quality leads best suited for your B2B sales efforts.
  • Then, you run them through a sweet nurturing system full of emails and points of contact that warms up the prospects and weeds out the suspects.
  • Once they’re ready, you take them through your pitch and turn them into awesome customers that stick around for the long haul.

Why would you hire any differently?   Before we get too far, we thought it would be helpful for you to grab this example sales rep hiring template (no email required!).

The turnover cost is quite high; it is approximated that it costs 1.5-2 times the worker’s pay to replace one employee.

The financial load varies according to a person’s seniority. It costs a minimum of $1,500 per staff for hourly employees.

In this post, we’ll discuss the similarities between account-based management as a sales strategy and the ideal hiring process for many sales organizations.

These lessons should help you in learning how to hire a salesperson that can deliver an ROI.

How to Hire a Sales Person

Just like you would look for certain data points to help you find the right leads to contact, you’ll need to have a profile of potential development reps.

Put as much time into this task as you would in developing a buyer persona. Click To Tweet

You want people who are going to develop the revenue generation of your organization.

They’ll be tweaking the personas of your customers, and you should constantly be tweaking the descriptions and requirements you want new reps to meet (more on that in a minute).

Be Careful and Don’t Discriminate.

The (hopefully) obvious difference between buyer personas and having an ideal rep in mind are the demographics that you should avoid altogether.

You don’t want “skews male” on the careers page on your site (or anything else that you should discriminate against).

To help, check Equal Employment Opportunity Council (EEOC) “prohibited practices.”

Instead, look for things like:

1 Energy level (they’ll make introductions a lot)

Quantity is critical for a successful salesperson. Given two salesmen with comparable abilities, experience, intellect, industry knowledge, and so on, the one who performs harder will succeed.

There is no alternative for self-discipline. Additionally, in sales, hard labor is frequently characterized by the quantity of effort expended.

Oftentimes, the difference between a good and failed salesman comes down to the number of sales attempts. And the quality of character that underpins all of this hard labor, all of these large-scale endeavors, is the high level of energy.

Each of us has a unique metabolic and physiological make-up.

While some of us are satisfied to lounge about on Sunday afternoons and watch football on television, others may be out painting, running, or golfing. The distinction is in the level of energy. Some of us simply have an abundance of energy to expend.

And that enthusiasm frequently manifests itself in our job.

The high-energy individual will plan a morning meeting at 7:30 in the morning and a call at 4:30 p.m. on the very same day.

While the guy with little energy will place his first call at 8:45, his last at 3:00, and he will not leave the workplace until around noon.

A word of advice. It is entirely conceivable for a high-energy individual to channel his or her extra energy into activities aside from his or her job on your behalf.

For instance, one high-energy individual may work 40 hours and then devote another twenty to thirty hours to an extra interest such as coaching children’s athletics or church activities. As a result, that energy might be channeled away from work.

However, without that first burst of energy, there is no way for it to be directed into labor.

The first step is to identify the high-energy individual. The second stage is to assist him/her in channeling that energy toward productive endeavors.

The most accurate predictor of how many sales calls your potential salesperson will make is to assess his or her current energy level.

The greater the individual’s energy level, the more probable he or she will make further sales calls. And, to a certain extent, increased sales calls equate to increased sales.

2 Experience (It’s not quite sales, do they know that?)

Sales expertise is required to boost your success rates.

The more prospects you move through your sales funnel, the more you have an understanding of what works for you.

Rapport is the bedrock upon which successful, meaningful, and harmonious working relationships are built.

It is the sensation of closeness that a customer has when he or she meets a salesman they like, respect, and comprehend.

Once they discover that they have similar corporate principles and objectives, they form a relationship.

3 Overall Rapport (they’ll make introductions a lot)

Rapport fosters trust between a salesman and a client.

The more familiar they are with the clients, the easier it is for them to become acquainted with the salesperson.

They may rely on the salesman to discover accurate solutions for them or to provide the optimal service for their business.

Before making any judgments, clients might listen to the salesperson’s thoughts and recommendations.

This can help to streamline the bargaining process and increase sales success.

The more skilled sales reps a team has, the higher the income generated.

The abilities acquired while working in sales, such as interaction, interpersonal, and time management, are transferable to our personal and professional lives generally.

4 Business Acumen (needs to understand what business leaders want to know/hear)

Building trust, developing good communication skills, making wise calls, and delivering solutions that directly solve their customers’ challenges, and orchestrating the business outcomes that clients anticipate are all made possible by a salesman having business acumen.

Salespeople with great business acumen are emerging as the new dominant stars in the world of business-to-business selling.

In part, because they understand exactly how to assist client businesses in achieving success, they finally assist their own companies in achieving sales objectives and producing winning results.

5 Attitude (they’re going to be rejected a lot)

A positive attitude is essential for achieving career growth in marketing. Salespeople set the standard for your contacts with customers, clients, colleagues, and managers on a daily basis through the attitudes you exhibit.

A positive attitude will encourage everyone with whom salespersons come into contact to want to keep working with you, improving their massive success at all stages.

It takes a lot of work to resolve customer concerns and overcome objections, but this does not imply that these duties are inherently unpleasant or demeaning.

Rather, if salespeople have a good mindset even when presented with challenging situations, they will be able to convert these challenges into success stories by striving for the best favorable result for all parties concerned.

Instead of staying away from the mess, salespeople may empower yourself to become a real issue fixer and, in the process, improve their sales connections by maintaining a positive attitude.

6 Behavior (during the interview and when they get rejected)

Consumers buy personalities first, and then products.

Essentially, this implies that even if a salesperson is selling an incredible product but is also a rude, condescending jerk, they run the danger of losing that prospective sale to a great individual, even if what they’re giving is somewhat less spectacular or more expensive.

It is the responsibility of all salesmen to do their best at all times, demonstrating civility, attention, and empathy.

7 Location (do you want in-house or remote?)

During COVID-19, an increasing number of firms are embracing the online workplace culture.

This might be difficult for salesmen who aren’t used to working remotely because it differs considerably from in-person sales.

If you want your salesman to work from home or at your office, you must be firm in your decision.

8 Other Psychographic Data

Psychographics studies people’s habits, personalities, preferences, and beliefs, and it is a branch of sociology. In addition to being used in business to know the types of a target market, psychographics may also be used to fill available jobs inside an organization.

It is not sufficient to know which class a person belongs to only on the basis of their visible attributes. Examining a person’s actual behavioral patterns is more educational and enlightening than looking at their past or future intentions.

Psychographics is more than just establishing an excellent model profile. It is the study of what inspires people to behave in particular ways. 

Take the culture that you currently have or that you would like to create, and the personality and experience of the person you want to hire will start to shine through.

Constructing Your Description and Requirements

Once you have an idea of the person you want around Monday-Friday, it’s time to start writing the copy that will draw the right people to apply and send away all the others.

That’s right, just like in your funnel—there are suspect, and prospect hires.

One of the first lines of defense against interviewing someone who isn’t a fit is to have a resoundingly clear set of requirements.

You also don’t want to scare off the best potential talent. Click To Tweet

In order to have everyone apply (that should), you’ll want to explain the benefits clearly.

The best way to do this is to make the benefits worthwhile.

You’re not going to attract the best talent unless you have perks above and beyond those at a typical office job.

Since we’re in the software and sales business, we try to offer the benefits to draw in the right people for the job. Some of those things for full-timers include:

  • 3 weeks of vacation in the first year and 4 weeks starting in year two.
  • An office stocked with snacks and drinks.
  • Company-sponsored events, travel, and even shenanigans.
  • Performance-based fast career progression.
  • And a list of other stuff.

But that’s at the bottom of the page.

To get there, you have to go through several sections about who we are at LeadFuze, and then we start laying out who’s right for the job.

These are the requirements for a specific role here.

Even still, before we get to the perks—we take them through another round of proofing based on the character traits we want in our culture.

At this point, you’re either a good candidate who is ready to apply or a person who’s lying (to themselves or us).

Bonus Resource: HubSpot goes deep on the job description subject, specifically for sales managers (but you can tweak it).

There is even a template to download. Check it out.

Fill Up Your List

Once you have the copy on the position down, it’s time to use your sales tactics again to find the right people.

You can always put a post online, and we’ll go over a couple of the best places to do so, but why not try to build your own list of “leads”?

Recruiting is kind of a lost art. If you don’t have the time, there are others who do it, but without knowledge of good service, you won’t know what you’re getting.

Think about the last product you bought for your business or even yourself.

We are constantly being sold in today’s society.

Can you think of those people who came to you first and made you stop and think?

How about the ones that got to your pocketbook?

Find them.

Pitch them.

Can’t think of any? Well, there are a few good places to post a job and be inundated with potential candidates.

  1. Inbound.org: This site is for people who love using inbound marketing. They have a very active jobs page that is full of current marketing, development, and sales jobs ready to be filled. The site is visited by people who have a sound understanding of marketing and sales. It’s perfect for tech and software, but anyone could probably find good help there.
  2. ZipRecruiter.com: 1 million employers have used ZipRecruiter to find and hire people for their organizations. It’s an alternative to the clunky Monster and CareerBuilder options of old. Pretty much any job from any industry can go on here.
  3. Angel.co: If you’re in the software space (like us) or a SaaS startup, Angel is a great place to find industry-specific talent. There are about 24,000 companies actively looking, but the talent comes to speak with founders directly. There are no recruiters allowed on the platform.

The Pitch Interview Process

Once you got a person in front of you (or on Skype), you have to qualify them.

Coincidentally, this is exactly what a good BDR is going to do once onboard.

There are a couple of areas that you want to test with your questions—practical things and personality things.

1 Practical Things

Your business developers are going to be searching through a lot of lead data, using software and other tools to help.

They’ll also be sending tons of cold emails and making regular phone calls in order to find prospects for sales.

You have to make sure that they are up for the day in and day out tasks. Here are a few potential questions.

  • What is your best cold email strategy? (Given you want someone with experience.)
  • How did you find leads in your last position?
  • What CRM are you familiar with, if any?
  • Do you like to talk on the phone regularly?
  • What questions do you ask when qualifying a lead?

2 Personality Things

Your BDRs are going to take a beating.

The same way that most sales teams don’t meet their quotas and turnover amongst sales reps is extremely high—your development reps are going to get a lot of “NOs.”

What’s worse is that if a lead meets certain requirements, they are whisked off to the sales team for a (hopefully) quick close. Imagine getting told no all day, and then, when you think someone is going to say yes, they go away.

A necessary job, but sometimes nasty.

Testing the resolve is going to take some questions that get to the bottom of your candidates. Here are a few:

  • How do you handle being rejected (a lot)?
  • Why are you in sales in the first place?
  • Are you a team player?
  • Point blank, how do you feel about finding prospects, starting the sales process without closing any deals?


Even though you make the personas, build the list, and qualify the leads—it’s you who has to make the final decision, not your candidates. This 2021 and in the coming years, you should be smart on the ways of how to hire a salesperson.

All of those leads in the funnel want a, yes, and it’s you who have to tell some no. Click To Tweet

The best thing you can do is look at the data (not too long) and make a call.

If it turns out that someone isn’t the best fit, don’t be afraid to walk them out as soon as they make that apparent and call number two on your list.

Justin McGill: This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.