Do you run a startup and need a sales team to help scale up the business? If YES, here are 7 practical steps on how to find and hire salespeople for a startup.

As a startup company, one of the major challenges that you are likely going to face is the inability to hire and pay quality and competent employees (salespeople inclusive). You are definitely going to be competing with medium scale and big corporations when it comes to selecting from the pool of applicants available in and around the city your company is located.

Aside from the products or services that a company has to offer and their Business model cum strategies, having the right workforce cum salespeople is one key factor that can determine how profitable your company can grow.

Finding and hiring salespeople for your startup business is one aspect of the business that you would need to take seriously because if you hire salespeople who don’t have the right sales skills and attitude, it will definitely affect your sales output.

Here are some practical options that can help you if you are looking towards finding and hiring salespeople for your startup business.

7 Practical Steps to Find and Hire Salespeople for a Startup

1. Advertise for Salesmen and Saleswomen’s Positions

One of the practical options that can help you if you are looking towards finding and hiring salespeople for your startup business is to throw an advert open for salesmen and saleswomen in your organization. As a matter of fact, one of the first approaches that organizations take when they want people to occupy vacant positions in their organization is to place adverts on various platforms.

You can leverage on online and offline platforms or print and electronic medium to advertise for vacant sales positions in your organization. Good enough, you can actually advertise for free especially on the internet via social media platforms. When you place adverts, you will be surprised at the number of applications that you will receive. In order to hire the best, then you must ensure that you put proper screening process in place.

2. Target and Recruit Fresh Graduates

Even though, you are not expected to get highly skilled and result oriented salesmen and saleswomen from people who are just graduating from college, but you are sure going to get people who are willing to collect small pay for the sake of acquiring on the job experience.

So part of what you have to do to find and hire salespeople for your startup business is to target and recruit fresh graduates who are interested in building their sales career. The catch should be that you are willing to train them and also give them a platform to launch their career. In order to get the best from this idea, you can partner with universities and colleges within the location of your business.

If you have good rapport with the university or college, you can be allowed to conduct recruitment test from a pool of final year students who are interested in building a sales career. With that, you can easily screen and hire only the best who most likely will become good and competent salesman or saleswoman.

3. Welcome Recommendations

Another way you can find and hire salespeople for your startup business is to welcome recommendations from all quarters. The truth is that in order to avoid the rigors of screening a barrage of applicants who may apply to work in your organization, then you should welcome recommendations from your family, friends and key players in your industry.

In most cases, you are likely going to get committed and result oriented salesmen and saleswomen to work with because the people that will recommend them to you would have taken note of what you are looking for before making the recommendations.

4. Poach (Source) From Other Companies

Sourcing from other companies is one of the ways you would have to follow if you are looking towards hiring salespeople for your startup business. This type of approach is suitable if you have the finance to pay more than your competitors are paying, and if you are looking towards hiring experienced and result driven salesmen and saleswomen to occupy specific roles in your organization (usually team leads and sales manager et al).

This is how it works, you would have to profile various salesmen and saleswomen that are working for companies within your industry and then offer them more than they are getting from the organizations they are working for in the bid to get them to jump ship and join your organization.

5. Attend Job Fairs

Another option you have when it comes to sourcing and hiring salespeople for your startup business is to attend job fairs. Job fairs are organized for the purpose of bringing together applicants and employers under one roof so as to facilitate easy recruitment.

Although as an employer of labor, you are expected to register and pay to attend job fairs, but the value you will get from such fairs will definitely outweigh the amount you paid. During job fairs, you will be able to meet and interview several applicants who are interested in picking up salesman or saleswoman job roles. It will save you the time and resources required to place adverts on print and electronic media.

6. Prepare Your Questions

When looking to hire a salesperson, be sure to write out your interview questions well in advance. This to a very large extent will portray how serious you are to get only the best hands. Use the same set of questions at each interview; that way you can look at each applicant on the grounds of the same type of information. All the same, you may wish to add a few customized questions for some of your candidates, but the fundamental set of questions should be the same for every applicant.

7. Do Not Make It Too Easy For Your Applicants

Remember that you are looking for the best hands, so don’t hesitate to make them work for it a little. Throw a few oppositions their way, and see how they react and work for at it. This is one of the ways you can know the applicants who are go getters and the ones who will stay dogged fighting for the position.

Joy Nwokoro