October 3, 2022

5 mistakes to avoid while hiring people for sales

Company A and Company B are both firms dealing in consumer goods and deploying a large salesforce, both tele and field.

Company A’s average sales hiring cost last year was more than INR 24,500/position (not counting for attrition), while Company B observed upto 70% less cost for sales hiring.


What do you think was the reason behind this difference in hiring costs?

Well, the answer is the difference in their hiring process. Company B’s modern ways of hiring surpassed Company A’s traditional hiring methods.

Sales force recruitment can be a very cumbersome process. Sales hiring can have an immense impact on the company’s growth and reputation. Hiring even a single wrong sales guy can damage your company’s brand image & affect your business performance. Sales recruitment thus is one of the most critical processes for an HR team.

Let’s go back to our example and look at a few mistakes that Company A did that not only lead to unnecessary massive hiring costs but also affect the overall growth and profitability of the company.

Thus, it is imperative to avoid 5 common mistakes while hiring a salesperson as discussed below:

  1. Inaccurate Job Description:

An accurate job description to hire a sales team is necessary to get the right person with required skill-sets. Get your ideas clear about the ideal sales executive and create a Job Description that does justice to your organisation and role. Avoid copy pasting Job Descriptions from GoogleWikipediaWorkable or even other companies’ JDs from NaukriMonster etc. Likewise, note and tick on all the requirements fulfilled by the candidate for your sales hiring process.

2. Excessive bias towards prior experience:

During sales manager recruitment, sales staffing agencies often judges candidates based only on their past records and experiences and avoids other critical aspects that sales professionals possess. Selling skills of high quality sales reps are often transferable across industries and products. For instance, a salesperson must be proficient in communication skills, so notice the person’s communication skills during the interview. Use a Short Video Profile to judge a candidate’s selling skills before you actually interview the candidate in person. Professionalism, passion, integrity, creativity, ability to sell ideas, and problem-solving skills are other factors that should not be overlooked.

3. Inability to judge the candidate’s organizational fitment:

Every organization has its unique culture and structure. Sales recruiting firms must ensure the candidate’s fitment into that culture and his/her ability to identify with the brand that the organization represents to all its stakeholders.

4. Rigidity in the sales recruitment process:

Pandemic has created technological innovations in the sales hiring process. Digital recruitment is the new normal driving sales employment to be more effective. It is thus a prerequisite for the sales recruitment agencies to be flexible enough to adapt to the change in the hiring processes.

5. Loopholes in the sales recruitment process:

Great sales candidates are always high in demand. Often, the recruitment process gets into a long cycle. Delay in giving feedback to candidates, scheduling interviews, rolling out offer letters, and even closure of on-boarding because of inefficient processes at organisation a can lead to the loss of a perfect sales candidate.

To prevent mistakes like these, sales recruitment agencies need to build up an efficient sales employment process. Sales Teams can be the brand ambassadors of your company. They not only generate revenue, but also become the strong stem of your company for creating sustainable growth through long-term customer relationships. This can be possible by avoiding hiring mistakes and selecting the right candidate in the right way.

Hire sales executives while considering all the above factors. Search, research, and then conclude on the decision of selecting the right graduate sales trainee. Don’t just skim through the resume, invest time in reading it thoroughly. Follow up on the candidate who matches up with your business needs and then say the 3 magical words, “You are hired !”

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