8 Mistakes Inside Sales Managers Make While Hiring New Sales Reps


Selecting the right sales people is a critical area that requires a lot of attention as it directly impacts the company’s bottom line. However, it is always a challenge for inside sales managers to hire sales representatives whose interests, personalities and traits align with the requirements of the particular sales job.

During interview sessions, candidates do their best to impress the interviewer and try to communicate effectively why they should be considered for the position. It is for the sales leader to figure out the best suitable person who is truly cut out for the job and has the ability and potential to success and deliver results.

But not all the Inside Sales managers are that trained and experienced to possess this expertise and therefore we witness so many sales hiring mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes can cost the company a lot and can also damage its reputation in front of the customers, affecting the overall productivity of your business.

list of 8 common mistakes Sales Managers make while hiring new sales reps

Mistake#1 Not Preparing Well Before the Interview

Managers are often so busy that they don’t get the time to read the resume of the shortlisted candidates properly. They either rely on their subordinates or headhunters for this purpose. But a proper review of the resume beforehand can help the manager in identifying certain gaps and to understand how organized, competitive and passionate a person is. Look for unusual or frequent job switches and determine key questions to be asked. Get insights about the personal life of the candidate and look for warning signs.

Mistake#2 Not Leveraging Hiring Tools

Assessments tools are always beneficial when deciding to hire a candidate. It can check their aptitude for selling, behavioral traits, their fitment in the sales environment or the possible challenges a person might experience when hired for the role. These tools can provide a second opinion to the managers and will help them in taking informed decisions.

Mistake#3 Not Opting for Phone Interviews

Inside sales repS must possess phone skills as they mostly deal with the prospects or customers via telephone. And there is no better way to gauge someone’s phone skills than with a phone call. Investing 30 seconds with the candidate on phone can tell you a lot that you will never be able to find on a resume. Take a look at some of the inside sales interview questions for a phone screen :

  • Why sales?
  • When was the first time you sold something?
  • What is your cold calling experience?
  • Can you explain how you have used CRM system in the past?
  • Give me a 30 seconds pitch on X…

Mistake#4 Ask Wrong Questions

Few managers simply ask the basic questions to a candidate. However, they should go more in-depth and give them real-life situations to analyze and answer. They should always ask certain unusual questions to check how the person tackles those.

Mistake#5 Focus Too Much on Experience

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Most managers focus more than 90% on candidate’s track record and 10% on other things. People with successful track record might also end up being a wrong fit for your organization. They may not fit in properly in your corporate culture or can’t adjust to your customer demands or the way you sell. So apart from their rich experience, also inspect them for their intelligence, flexibility, passion, eagerness to learn, decisiveness, and willingness to collaborate.

Mistake#6 No Follow-up with References

Managers usually don’t check references as they are piled up with so many other activities. Sometimes, they don’t want to appear skeptical and hence avoid this step of the recruiting process. However, ideally a manager must ask for at least three references from the candidate- one from previous boss, second from a client and third of a colleague. These are the people who can give you sincere and honest opinion about the salesperson you want to hire for your team.

Mistake#7 Hiring Reps with Improper Fitment

Different inside sales reps have different skill-sets and qualities. Some might be good at cold calling and others might be good sales closers. Based on the inside sales job description, the sales managers must check for the required traits and experience. If you hire someone for a cold calling job and he/she is not proficient in that, then obviously the rep would deliver unsatisfactory results.

Mistake#8 Don’t Take Second Opinion

It is important to examine the candidate from more than one perspective. And to do this, Inside Sales managers must involve other people before deciding on a person. Getting feedback from them and then making a collective decision is what an effective manager should do.



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