13 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Sales Reps

Many times, companies tend to focus more on selling and running their company than they do hiring extra help. You should understand that when things get too busy, extra employees can be beneficial.

However, there are mistakes that can be made when hiring sales reps.

In one of the previous articles we have talked about hiring top sales reps, today, we will talk about several of the most commonly made mistakes that you can easily avoid:

  1. Hiring without an ATS
  2. Asking the wrong questions
  3. Not planning
  4. Hiring in a pinch
  5. Hiring job-hoppers
  6. Rushing
  7. Making low offers
  8. Not scheduling a phone call
  9. Not giving them time to think
  10. Creating generic ads
  11. Not having an optimized hiring process for sales reps
  12. Onboarding process and experience
  13. Offering jobs to friends and relatives

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Hiring without an ATS

Companies often try to hire employees without using an applicant tracking system. This is a big mistake. An ATS can make things much easier and more streamlined than ever. If you’d like to try an ATS for free, try ours!

Asking the Wrong Questions

During the interview, asking the wrong questions can be detrimental. It’s important to make sure you are asking the right questions so that you’ll be able to get a good idea of what motivates the sales rep. Ask them to describe ways they’ve overcome challenges as well as how they handle negative customers who have objections.

Not Planning

Forgoing the planning stages when hiring someone for a position can be a big mistake that continually causes issues throughout the hiring process.

Be sure to take time and effort to plan out the entire hiring process from posting job ads, choosing and interviewing potential candidates, hiring top talent, onboarding and training as well as considering how long it’ll take to get them fully trained and prepared for work.

Hiring in a Pinch

Hiring in a pinch sometimes leads to a failure to check references. This mistake can cost more than the time it takes to check out each potential employee’s references. Those that interview well can sell themselves quickly.

You may assume that they are the best fit and that you won’t have to worry about references. Unfortunately, interviewing well doesn’t always equate to being the best person for the job. Check references always, no matter who is interviewing for a job.

Hiring Job-Hoppers

Hiring job-hoppers might seem like a good idea because they’ve had a great deal of experience in various industries and companies.

However, those who jump from one carrier to another may not have the experience they need to be a sales rep. In addition, job-hopping can be a red flag because in most cases, they had trouble working with companies for long periods of time.


Hiring the first person who shows up to fill the position can be a big mistake. It’s important to take time to consider various applications so that you can choose the right candidates to interview with.

Then, choosing top talent from there will be a great way to ensure that you are hiring the best fit for the position. You’ll want to consider hiring someone who has experience and who will be a good trainer to others and be a leader.

Making Low Offers

If you’re hiring your first employee ever, sometimes making a low offer will be enticing. However, it’s doubtful the candidate will accept this low offer.

They know they’re worth more and, chances are, they know you’re aware of how valuable they are. Instead of making a deliberately low offer, put together a compensation deal that works with your budget and shows them you’re interested in having them work for your company.

Not scheduling a phone call

In-person interviews are usually the main way to meet with candidates. However, try doing an initial phone interview before scheduling a in person meeting.


Sales reps typically talk on the phone with clients and potential clients often. That means they need to have good phone skills. What better way to check out their skills than talking with them over the phone?

Many of your potential clients will be getting the first impression of your company through phone conversations they have with your sales rep. This is a great way to make sure they’re on the right track when it comes to proper phone etiquette and skills.

Not giving them time to think

It might be easier to talk through the interviewing process without giving the candidate time to offer their thoughts, ask questions, or give information about themselves.

However, hiring managers should give the candidate as much time as needed to speak. It’s also important to make sure the candidates are able to answer your questions elaborately, without you interrupting or talking too much or too quickly.

Creating generic ads

It might be easy to throw up a generic job ad on a job board so that you can quickly get applicants.

However, it’s important to properly define each role that you are hiring for. Otherwise, the sales reps you get in for candidates may not be a good fit. Make sure you specifically state each requirement, qualities, and experience you’re looking for.

Not having an optimized hiring process for sales reps

Many companies tend to use the same hiring process no matter what position they’re hiring for. However, it’s important to have a specific process for sales reps.

That way, you’ll be able to set the available positions apart from each other and focus on hiring specific talent for each position. Having a generic hiring process is much like having a generic job ad.

You won’t be able to set one position apart from another if applicant’s specifics are not available.

Onboarding Process and Experience

Many times, companies have an onboarding process and experience that can be long, overwhelming, and disorganized.

This is a problem that can be easily fixed. There’s no reason why you should have to spend too much time dealing with a chaotic onboarding process.

Offering jobs to friends/relatives

Sometimes, it seems easier to hire family members or friends. Unfortunately, when owning a small business, offering jobs to friends and family never seems to work out as well as you hoped.

Most of the time, it’s because they’re unqualified for the position. Other times, friends or family could take advantage of working for you and do a poor job.

On the other hand, if you do have a friend or family member who is fully qualified for the position and has sales experience, things may work out much better. But, it’s important to remember that hiring for experience and skills is the best way to make a good decision on who to hire.

Hiring new sales reps can be overwhelming and costly if mistakes are made. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be ab