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Recruitment | 3 Min Read

How to Perform Better Sales Hiring?

Who is the ideal target candidate for sales?

A lot of bigwigs in sales bleed on revenue loss with underperformance or mediocrity. Companies would often compensate by terminating sales people who aren’t making the cut on targeted time to reduce losses. Many others try to reevaluate where they lack in terms of compensation or in the hiring process – looking into whether they should just opt for independent contractors in the sales force rather than hiring sales personnel on a full time basis.

Most often than not, employer pop the question without preparing for the answers or solutions. When we talk of the ideal candidate for the sales position, people would want top performers or players who can outstrip the competition. Fewer companies though look into what makes these players stand out and get the ball rolling. You have to make realistic expectations of your budget range in terms of operations and recruitment; plus the perks to hook your ideal sales candidate to join the team.

Hiring sales personnel: The Ideal Way

Tips on how to effectively build your sales team:

Make sure that you have the right job description for hiring sales personnel

Don’t just grab into your old job posts but make sure that everything is up-to-date. It pays to have a profile of your ideal sales candidate before actually hunting for one. Get as detailed as possible in creating your job posts specifically on the skills and experience you need in a sales personnel.

Check on credentials and qualifications before hiring sales personnel

One of the most common mistakes of recruitment managers or hiring sales professionals is that they take everything on face value. There are tons of resumes to review and you can save time if you get organized and screen out people in terms of your checklist of skills and qualifications. You can also make a list of bonus or extra skillset that you would favor in terms of hiring a sales staff. You can easily narrow down your options and keep the application files trimmed down fast if you prioritize those who make the cut in accord to your job description and qualifications. Make sure to check on the facts listed on the resume and conduct background checks on previous companies they have worked with to check on reputation and working style.

Use the same set of questions in interviews for hiring sales personnel

You get to compare the apples with the oranges by preparing a single set of interview questions for all candidates. You can add up to these but make sure that they get to answer the same basic or core questions so you can easily compare one to the other.

Make use of assessment tools to help with hiring sales personnel

Standardized assessment tool and tests provided by Mettl will help you figure out who the right match is for your brand. This helps evaluate what is not entirely revealed in interviews or what is visible to the eye. Make sure that you only make use of top-of-the-line companies such as Mettl to ensure that you get competent and experience people to add up to your sales team.

Make use of open-ended type of questions while hiring sales personnel

In the sales scenario, practically anything goes. Open-ended questions help you evaluate how mentally agile a candidate is especially in doing sales presentations and responding to queries of clients. You would actually see how creative and intuitive applicants are with the use of open-ended questions wherein they get to expound or elaborate on their answers rather than using close-ended questions answerable by yes or no. These unexpected answers or details can actually help you determine who the right sales candidate is for the role. This helps you quantify your final decision. You can also make use of storytelling type of questions or scenarios wherein they can demonstrate their sales prowess and see how they go about with sales pitching and the entire process.

Test their sales skills to improve hiring sales personnel

You can make instant objections or roleplaying to see how he handles the scenario. One employer from a Fortune 500 company actually tells the candidate that they are rejected and that it’s not going to work out to see how the candidate would respond and handle his objections.

Check on the overall appearance

Every employer knows that an effective salesperson should look professional and should exude a compelling personality to attract clients. Check on her appearance, from the hair to the tip of the nails. Also, make sure that he or she knows how to handle fashion to create a polished appearance. More so, the way she carries conversations is also important in a sales personnel. An ideal candidate should be able to build rapport without being flirty or overbearing. A successful sale or closing deals is all about confidence and how one projects it with combining wit and being street-smart.


While it’s perfectly understandable why many companies or sales team leaders set their bars too high when it comes to recruitment and retention, one must also get real in their expectations. You have to clearly define who the ideal or target sales candidate is based on your actual employment value proposition and with the use of credible assessment tools from Mettl. Think about this for a second – would you be able to afford your ideal sales personnel?

You should also examine your competition and their employment proposition as compared to your own. Would you fare well when put head-to-head with the competitors? Incentives, benefits, compensation package, and opportunities for promotion and career growth are the factors that make up or drive effective sales people to be successful players on and off the ground. Make sure that you have got what it takes to hire competent manpower to get your business on the right track.

This is pretty realistic considering that the sales industry is very competitive in itself. It’s a proverbial rat race and everyone is looking for ways to ace it. You have to take the lead and stand your ground or everything else could crumble behind. The plethora of skills could be an attractive proposition but it should always be matched with the right personality, working attitude and style, plus the ability to blend in with your company culture and organization.

Originally published May 1 2018, Updated September 2 2021


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About This Topic

Sales hiring is a talent acquisition process through which organizations build winning sales teams. Using standardized sales assessments, situational tests and role-plays can elevate your sales hiring and help you hire the best sales talent.

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