Develop an effective sales team

Recruiting new salespeople


Before recruiting sales staff you should establish what skills, experience or training they will need. Will they need knowledge of a particular market or the ability to use a certain piece of equipment or software? Or is it preferable for candidates to show a strong sales record?

Once you have identified your requirements, decide which recruitment method is most likely to be successful.

There are four main recruitment options:

  • Newspaper or magazine advertisements - can be a relatively cheap and direct way of recruiting. For example, advertising in a trade magazine gives you a good chance of finding suitable applicants, but the response could be quite low. Newspaper readership figures may be higher, but you could be deluged by unsuitable applicants.
  • online advertising - either on your own website or on specialist online recruitment sites. This can be a cheap way of reaching a wide audience. A link to your website can provide more information. However, you may receive lots of applicants that can be time consuming to shortlist.
  • Recruitment agencies - have experience of matching the right candidates to the right jobs. The fees can be high and you might have to pay the agency a percentage of the candidate's salary. However, they should save you time by conducting the interview selection process for you.
  • Networking - a cheap way of finding suitable staff. You could introduce an incentive for recommending suitable candidates, or approach a good salesperson you have dealt with. If you act on a recommendation, you should still conduct the necessary checks such as looking at the applicant's CV and checking references. This could prevent misunderstandings and potentially costly tribunal claims. A disadvantage of networking is that it's unlikely to identify a large number of potential candidates at the right time.

See our guide on advertising a job and interviewing candidates.