The dos and don’t when hiring a sales team

by James Ker-Reid - March 24, 2022

Hiring a salesperson can be tricky. So imagine how hard it is to bring an entire team on board. Oh, and it just happens to be one of the most important departments in the company, tasked with the unenviable job of boosting revenue by convincing people to buy your product or service. Therefore, you want to minimise mistakes when hiring a sales team. And to help you, we’ve put this guide together of dos and don’ts. 

Do: Look for the process

You’ll have a process ready to implement with the new sales team, especially if you’re already aware of what good leadership looks like. Yet, it’s still worth finding out what makes potential team members tick during the hiring process. Ask questions about their personal methods, finding out how they set goals and what they do to achieve them. Getting an idea of someone’s motivations can give you oversight for how they might perform in the team at your startup. You want to see indicators that they are forward-thinking, hungry to succeed and have a good process in place. 

Don’t: Forget to examine the cultural fit

Building a sales team is more than just having the best reps. Of course you want them to reach targets, but you need to bring people in who are a good fit for the company culture and contribute to long-term success. There needs to be seamless integration with existing teams, especially marketing and products departments. As a startup, your other departments may still be on the small side, but this is even more reason to ensure you choose a sales team ready to build bridges, not burn them solely in the chase for a conversion. 

Do: Establish credibility

These new team members will be doing business for you, so you should only hire people you’d do business with yourself. You should want to buy from them and be able to buy into them. Otherwise, how can you expect a customer to do so? Your sales team are representatives of your brand, and you need to establish credibility with them during the interview stage, emphasising reps who you would be happy to buy from. 

Don’t: Rush the process

You’re probably eager to get a new sales team hired and take them through the onboarding process so they can start hitting targets. At the same time, you shouldn’t rush the process. Hiring the wrong people will cost you in the short and long term. For that reason, you should resist temptations to get a team in place quickly and play the long game until you’re sure you have the right fit for the role. 

Do: Look at track records

Looking at the previous experience of a rep and then using it in the context of your business is vital for a successful hire. Ideally, you want to hire a salesperson with experience working in a similar environment to your business. This is especially true of startups, where reaching targets can prove harder than at established companies. Again, a sales record isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it does help form the entire picture and is a necessary aspect of the hiring process. 

More do’s, fewer don’ts

Hiring a sales team takes time, consideration and patience. With these tips, you can put a process in place that helps find the right team to move the needle for your startup. A stellar sales team can make a huge difference and help build your company into a dominant force in its industry. 



Further Reading

James Ker-Reid
October 28, 2021

Sales for Startups partner with Thrive to cut down the likelihood of making a bad sales hire

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Patrick Thorp
February 16, 2021

How to build your sales pipeline within your target market

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James Ker-Reid
February 4, 2022

4 revenue strategy examples to drive your business forward

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