How to Hire an Outside Sales Representative

Does your growing business need an outside sales representative? An outside sales representative analyzes customers’ needs, pitches products or services and closes sales.

Here are some tips to help you find great outside sales representative candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Outside sales representatives searching for jobs on Indeed*

463,050

Job seekers that clicked outside sales representative jobs

33,144

Resumes for job seekers with outside sales representative experience on Indeed

35,467

Outside sales representative jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring?

  • Common salary in US: $75,662 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $17,000$174,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, outside sales representative jobs in the U.S. are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 13 job seekers per outside sales representative job.

Why hire an outside sales representative?

A successful outside sales representative should know when to pick the right opportunity and convert it into sales. They source and qualify new customers, negotiate prices and close deals. A great outside sales representative: 

• Builds relationships with prospective customers, maintains ties with existing ones, finds opportunities for cross-sales and closes deals to result in conversions
• Educates customers how the pitched products or services can add value to their life by addressing a need or resolving a problem
• Closely monitors industry statistics, analyzes competitor products and works with the marketing department to design and launch new products

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance outside sales representative

Businesses can hire freelance outside sales representatives to spend part-time hours each week making cold calls and visiting potential clients. This can increase revenue for a lower cost than a full-time representative, and freelancers may have their own contacts they use to find clients. 

Businesses can also hire temporary freelance sales representatives to make quick sales if they’re nearing the end of a fiscal period and have yet to reach a specific goal. 

Specific companies that almost exclusively use outside sales reps, such as call centers, may hire freelancers to increase their work output. 

Many businesses that require sales reps have at least one full-time outside sales representative on their payroll. 

What are the ranks of sales representatives?

In the field of sales, there are numerous positions that each have different goals and responsibilities. These jobs include:

  • Sales assistantSales assistants are responsible for helping both inside and outside sales representatives with their day-to-day tasks. This can include making cold calls, communicating with customers and creating sales reports.  
  • Inside sales representativeAn inside sales representative specializes in making sales in-store. They greet customers, tell them about products and finalize sales. 
  • Outside sales representative: Outside sales reps specialize in finding clients outside the store to sell to. This can involve visiting potential customers and making calls. 
  • Sales managerA sales manager supervises the sales team and sets both short- and long-term goals for the team to meet. 
  • Director of salesThe director of sales is responsible for developing, testing and communicating new sales techniques to the sales staff. They may also give long-term goals for the company. 

Where to find outside sales representatives

To find the right outside sales representative for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote from within. Conduct performance evaluations for your sales assistants to determine if any have the potential to move up. Set up interviews with quality candidates.
  • Ask inside sales representatives. Meet with your inside sales representatives to see if any of them are interested in making a lateral move to the outside position. 
  • Use a recruitment agency. Hiring a recruitment agency can yield multiple candidates for your company to choose from. 
  • Post flyers. By hanging help wanted signs, you can let the community know about the position and convince candidates to apply. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your outside sales representative job on Indeed to find and attract quality outside sales representative candidates.

What are the ranks of sales representatives?

In the field of sales, there are numerous positions that each have different goals and responsibilities. These jobs include:

  • Sales assistantSales assistants are responsible for helping both inside and outside sales representatives with their day-to-day tasks. This can include making cold calls, communicating with customers and creating sales reports.  
  • Inside sales representativeAn inside sales representative specializes in making sales in-store. They greet customers, tell them about products and finalize sales. 
  • Outside sales representative: Outside sales reps specialize in finding clients outside the store to sell to. This can involve visiting potential customers and making calls. 
  • Sales managerA sales manager supervises the sales team and sets both short- and long-term goals for the team to meet. 
  • Director of salesThe director of sales is responsible for developing, testing and communicating new sales techniques to the sales staff. They may also give long-term goals for the company. 

Writing an outside sales representative job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified outside sales representative candidates. An outside sales representative job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your outside sales representative job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on outside sales representative jobs, according to Indeed data: 

  • Sales
  • Outside sales representative
  • Outside sales
  • Sales representative
  • Remote work from home
  • Hiring immediately
  • Cannabis
  • Territory sales
  • Medical sales
  • Industrial sales

Interviewing outside sales representative candidates

An excellent outside sales representative can be assessed by their education, experience, customer management, sales closures, negotiation skills and other related skills. The interview should be situational to gauge the candidate’s attitude, temperament, presence of mind and critical thinking capacity. A strong candidate will be confident answering questions regarding: 

• Recent achievements
• Steps involved in funnel building and management
• How they’ve adopted unique and creative sales techniques to close problematic deals

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of outside sales representative interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an outside sales representative

Can you pay a sales rep only on commission?

No. A lot of a salesperson’s income can come from commission, but the company is legally required to pay their sales reps a specific minimum wage. 

When should I hire an outside sales representative?

Your company should look into hiring an outside sales representative when you’ve made a few sales yourself and you have a strategy for generating leads. 

What personality traits are best in salespeople?

Sales representatives typically benefit from a modest personality. High levels of responsibility and reliability are also helpful. 

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