How to Hire the Best Sales Reps & Account Managers

Recruiting & Hiring Sales Talent that Close More Deals

February 12, 2021

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Without customers, your business is bound to fail. A reputation for bad customer service will also hurt your brand and sales. Your sales team and account managers have the most one-on-one interactions with potential and current customers. You want these interactions to be positive, which is why it is so vital to have talented individuals in these roles. So how do you ensure you only hire the best? We’ve created a guide to help! From sourcing to making an offer, you can perfect your recruiting process to capture top Sales & Customer Service talent.

How to Source

Before you begin your search for a sales rep or account manager, have a rough idea of what qualities you are looking for in a candidate. In general, qualities that make a good account manager include…

  • Ambition
  • Goal-oriented personality
  • Curiosity
  • Effective communication skills
  • High emotional intelligence

With this general candidate profile in mind, narrow in on the hiring manager’s specific needs. Notice which of their team members are already successful and determine why. Talk with the hiring manager to identify skill-gaps or ways in which your sales team is lacking. When you post the position’s job description on your Careers page, make sure it’s transparent and mentions benefits and advancement opportunities.

Now that you have a clear picture of your perfect candidate and inbound applicants are coming in from your job post, it’s time to focus on outbound. In the sea of individuals with sales experience, how do you make sure only the best surface? Fetcher can help! Using Fetcher’s AI platform, you’ll find highly qualified, passive candidates. If desired, you can even narrow your search to those account managers already in your industry to curb training costs and ramp time. You’ll also be able to gauge the candidate’s written communication skills and responsiveness (key sales attributes) via Fetcher’s email outreach portal.

With a solid pool of inbound applicants and outbound sourced candidates, it’s time to start reading resumes. Consider the following tips while you review:

  • Look for sales numbers, including contextual information so that you can measure their past success.
  • When hiring for entry-level positions, candidates may not have sales experience nevermind, sales number. Look for indicators of past achievements and leadership positions. Athletic achievements show the candidate is competitive and can work well in teams. Participating in social clubs indicates a candidate has good interpersonal skills. Past leadership experience highlights a candidate’s ability to support and motivate others.
  • Look for technical skills. You want to make sure your potential employee is technically savvy so that they’ll take advantage of CRM, and AI-powered reporting and analysis.

How to Interview

Interviewing for sales roles is a critical step in the recruiting process. Sales professionals should be “people persons” and there is no other way to determine this than spending time one on one with prospects. Here’s what to observe while interviewing for sales positions:

  • Verbal acuity. Successful salespeople communicate at the same level as their customers. On average this will be an 11th-13th grade level.
  • Achievement-oriented personality. Top performers are constantly measuring their performance as compared to their goals. Ask candidates to describe their past achievements and what goals they are currently working towards.
  • Confidence and ease in conversation. In a study of over 1,000 salespeople, high-performing salespeople averaged 20% higher than underperforming salespeople when tested on situational dominance. A customer is more likely to accept and trust what a salesperson is saying if they are relaxed-dominant.
  • Intellectual curiosity. This shows they’ll stay up with industry news and trends. Ask candidate’s what they’re reading, researching, or generally interested in lately.
  • Resilience. Ask about examples of past rejection to see how they handled it. As a sales professional, you need to be used to hearing, “no” without getting discouraged.
  • Coachability. Ideal hires strive to improve and grow with your team. Ask prospects for examples of feedback they’re received and how they incorporated the advice. Inquire as to what they’ve learned from past challenges.

The way a candidate approaches their interview is a great indication of how they’ll approach meetings with clients. Notice…

  • Did they do their research? Are they asking questions that could have been answered by a simple google search of the company?
  • Were they on time and prepared? Top salespeople have great organizational and time management skills.
  • Is the candidate able to carry a conversation on the phone? Phone calls are becoming less and less common, however, in sales, phone conversations are still a valuable way to get in touch with clients.
  • Does the candidate listen or do you have to repeat yourself? Account managers need to be able to listen and process client’s questions, concerns, and requests.

Once your general interviews are over, have your top 2-3 candidates sell you on the thing they enjoy most in life. Maybe it’s their favorite tech gadget or a service they couldn’t live without. They should be comfortable and passionate about the subject. Fetcher’s Head of Sales, Gregory Drinkwater, said it best:

“If they can’t sell what they enjoy most, they probably can’t sell at all.”

How to Seal the Deal

With your sights set on a perfect candidate, it’s time to make an offer. Make sure you hire someone that you want on your team for the long haul! Don’t hire a candidate just because they check all the boxes. If a candidate is coachable and driven to succeed, you may want to look past something like a lower verbal acuity as this is a learnable skill set.

When making an offer, make sure you consider what the best compensation package will be. The compensation package will be a mix of salary and commission. The ratio will vary depending on your sales cycle, team organization, resources, and goals. Consider what your competition is paying and the cost of living in your area. You don’t want to miss out on landing the best candidate because you low-balled them.

Your sales team is the face of your organization and the right account manager can boost revenue, increase retention, and improve customer satisfaction. These aren’t positions just anyone can excel at so recruiting for them should be taken seriously. Since account managers are representing your business’s brand on a daily basis, you want to feel confident that you can trust your new hire. Implement the advice above into your recruiting process and you’ll be ready to go! You know what to look for, how to source, interview, and hire sales all-stars.


About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at fetcher.ai.

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