Outside Sales Hiring Tips

Tips for what to look for in an outside sales hire and the groundwork to lay that encourage sales results.

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An outside sales person can be a great addition to your business. This salesperson is going to work to obtain and nurture accounts with commercial cutters and municipalities.

As you look to add an outside salesperson to your business, consider the following tips about vetting, compensation and management.

Expectations and compensation

Define your expectations of your new sales person. An outside sales person is expected to manage their time wisely between existing customers and cold-calling on new accounts. It's very important to put some really solid parameters on what you expect from your outside salesperson and how you're going to measure their success.

Before you bring somebody in as a sales person, you want to have a real clear idea of the numbers that they need to generate. Calculate how much they need to make each year, month, week and day. Discover their average sale per customer and how many customers they need to call on each week to achieve the sales numbers needed.

On average, an outside sales person needs to produce $1.2 to $1.5 million in wholegoods sales. This should cover their salary, job costs and earn the dealership a profit. 

 An outside sales person will likely end up working atypical, long hours. It best to pay them a salary over an hourly wage, with additional sales commission. An outside sales person should be paid more than an inside sales person who is handling day-to-day traffic that comes into the business as a result of marketing and advertising.

Personality and Experience

An outside salesperson needs to possess certain qualities to succeed. There are several personality assessment tools available to help you learn if a job candidate has what it takes to be an outside sales person. An aggressive people person is the best candidate. Some other notable characteristics of successful sales people include:

  • Conscientiousness
  • Achievement-oriented
  • Curious
  • Uneasily discouraged
  • Self-confident

If an individual doesn’t have any industry knowledge, don’t count them out. Successful selling is not about product knowledge, but people knowledge. It is easy to teach the product side of any business, but much harder to teach a person how to understand and read people.

Find a salesperson who is motivated by earnings and “winning” and your dealership will also win. Read How to Keep Young Sales Reps from Crashing and Burning for more tips on hiring effective salespeople.