Common Mistakes When Hiring New Salespeople

posted by Chris Valentine

As a business owner, expanding your sales team or filling a recently vacated role is a challenge you should never take lightly. The tight-knit culture you’ve built and the years of productive results that have followed from it depend on you making the right hiring decision.

That said, if you don’t have solid hiring practices in place, or partner with a leading sales recruitment agency that can help you formulate them, you may find yourself making common hiring mistakes to the detriment of your business. Here are three of the main ones to avoid:


Initiating a search for new salespeople at the wrong time can hurt your bottom line due to wasted resources. Some common examples of this are:

  • Taking on new people at a time of year when your budget is the tightest
  • Searching too late in the year, when there are relatively few candidates in the job market
  • Adding to your sales team when they’re already putting up stellar numbers
  • Adding to your sales team when demand doesn’t warrant it

You can read about the best time to hire salespeople for an expanded discussion on factors behind successful hiring decisions, improving your recruitment timing, and fostering the continued success of your business.


Recruiting standout salespeople calls for getting them out of their comfort zones to see how they react under pressure. If they can’t handle a play scenario with a difficult customer, they’re likely to underperform when real deals are at stake.

You also must make a concerted effort to assess their personalities, regardless of how glowing their resumes might be. That means asking the hard questions about strengths, weaknesses, and how they approach the art of sales.

Unsurprisingly, the probing nature of interviews can be so uncomfortable that some business owners end up abandoning them altogether and taking a chance on someone. This is where national sales recruiters can step in and guarantee you thoroughness throughout the hiring process.


It’s only reasonable to expect there to be an adjustment period at any new job, and your new sales hires are no exception. They will need time to get used to how you run your business before finding their groove. But all too often, business owners are too quick to overwhelm new salespeople with work, or too busy to carve time out of their busy days to play an educational role.

It’s easy to suppose that your hire’s experience means they’ll adapt fine on their own, or that they’ll seek you out if they have questions, and this may all be the case. But people will always be people and feel nervous in an unfamiliar environment. Going the extra mile and checking in will not only ease their first-week jitters but improve how they view your work culture.

Building a successful sales team is all about timing your search and reading between the lines of candidates’ resumes to assess experience alongside personality type. Follow this guide and your business will be all the stronger for it.

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