Commission-only sales reps are highly motivated and talented salespeople who make their living on their ability to close deals. Hiring the right folks for this position is critically important for your business - but before you post your job online, there are some nuances you need to understand. Wondering how to hire sales reps? This post will help you navigate the process!
- Finding Commission-Only Salespeople
- The Main Difference Between Commission-Only and Salaried Salespeople
- Securing Quality Candidates
- Converting Candidates
- Welcoming New Commission-Only Sales Reps
1. Finding Commission-Only Salespeople
Recruiting the best salespeople can be a challenge, but there are plenty of candidates out there who are eager for new opportunities. But first, you need to find them. These tips will help you get the number of quality candidates you need to make a great hire.
Evaluate Your Online Presence
Make sure that your company's website and social media profiles have been updated recently, and that your social profiles have content showing your employees on the job.
[Related: How to Hire Great Salespeople]
Use Targeted Job Advertising
When advertising a commission-only job, you should be strategic about choosing the job boards and other candidate sources that you use to advertise the job.
Targeting salespeople and even commission-only sales reps will give your job advertising laser precision for attracting talented sales professionals.
It is also effective to use a diversity of candidates sources, like a variety of job boards (Indeed, Craigslist, etc.) and social media platforms (Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
Use Your Personal and Professional Networks
Your personal and professional networks can be a fantastic resource for hiring salespeople who work on commission. By reaching out to contacts and colleagues with your job opportunity, you can connect with talented sales professionals who share a connection with you, increasing their chances of being engaged in your job opportunity.
Along with the people you are connected to through your career and online, you can use the connections of your employees to find talented commission-only salespeople.
2. The Main Difference Between Commission-Only and Salaried Salespeople
The main difference between commission-only and salaried salespeople is that salaried salespeople are paid a salary and commission-only salespeople earn their income solely through each sale they successfully facilitate.
Because commission-only salespeople only earn when they make a sale, they are results-oriented and are economically incentivized to make the greatest number of sales possible.
Salaried salespeople may also earn commission on the sales they close, but they typically receive a much smaller commission because they are already being compensated for their work.
3. Securing Quality Candidates
Sales rep candidates should always be told the commission rate they will be earning. The commission rate you offer is one of the main reasons that candidates are interested in your open job, and being upfront about your commission rate will allow candidates to decide if your job is right for their needs. But what is a good commission rate for your company? Do some research into what the standard is for businesses your size that are in the same industry and location, and aim to come as close to that (or even exceed it) as much as your budget allows. Otherwise, you'll spend a lot more time and money hiring candidates.
Evaluating Skills & Experience
Your sales reps need to have the right sales experience to be able to interact with customers in a competent and confident way. Because they will be commission-only, it is essential that sales hires be effective, as neither of you will make any money if they aren't suited for the sales role.
For instance, if you sell luxury goods and a sales rep is used to selling software solutions, they may be more focused on utility than the quality of the product and the enjoyment that customers will experience from the product.
Other than sales experience, your commission-only salespeople will need the right soft skills and personality to fit with your company and open job. While the ability to deliver a convincing pitch is important, it is just as important for your sales reps to listen to the desires and concerns of customers.
As you talk with sales rep candidates, pay attention to the soft skills that they use in your conversation, and what sort of impression they leave you with.
Culture fit or culture "add" is incredibly important for your employees, and if they don't feel like they fit with or enhance your team or your company, they are likely to have lower engagement and a shorter period of retention.
4. Converting Candidates
Though a sales professional may have come in for a few interviews and seems interested in your job offer, you still need to close the deal. You've been evaluating the skills of commission-only salespeople, but don't forget that they are evaluating you as well.
Always give candidates a variety of reasons for choosing your open job. For instance, apart from the generous commission rate you offer, you can tell candidates about the familial environment that your company supports with regular outings and dinners for staff members.
To ensure sales reps have a clear idea of the position you're offering, you should provide all candidates with detailed information on your product, your sales cycle and the commission rate they would be making on sales.
Provide Relevant Information
To be effective, your commission-only sales representatives need to be experts on your product and what benefits your product provides for customers.
Rather than teaching sales reps what your product does, you should explain the advantages that your product has over competitors, the potential drawbacks of your product and other practical information that will help sales reps have informed conversations with customers.
Your sales reps should know your sales cycle like the back of their hand. They are the ones who will be guiding customers through the stages of your sale cycle, so the sooner they become familiar with it, the more comfortable they will be when working with customers.
5. Welcoming New Commission-Only Sales Reps
Onboarding and Training
After you've selected the best sales rep candidate available, it's time to onboard and train your new hire to ensure that they get started off on the right foot. For example, no matter how experienced your new sales rep hire is, they will still need to be trained on the specifics of your product, your sales cycle and your company. Always err on the side of too much training, because the more that your sales reps know about selling for you, the better they will do.
Monitor Performance & Engagement
The performance of salespeople is always closely monitored, but don't forget to also monitor the engagement levels of new commission-only salespeople.
If a commission-only salesperson is having difficulty making sales, then they are likely to get discouraged and can become disengaged before long, which can lead to resigning shortly thereafter. When a sales rep is struggling, you should meet with them to see how they can be better supported and if there are any factors within your control to help them improve their performance.
Both you and your sales rep want sales to be made, so make sure to support them as they learn the ins and outs of selling for your company.
[Learn More: 5 Tips for Targeting the Right Talent]
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