Outsourcing Sales

Best Qualities to Look For in a Sales Rep

Find out what to look for to build a qualified and successful sales team.
Jared Braverman
Marketing Director
July 2, 2019

For both small and big businesses, the hiring process is one of the most important activities. With a qualified and successful sales team your company will be in the right position to grow because they’ll know the best sales tactics and how to turn an individual from ‘just interested’ to a full customer. If you have the right sales representatives from the start, the business can hit the ground running without worrying about poor performance and spending out on re-hiring.

We know what you’re thinking – ‘this is easier said than done.’ We understand that the vetting process can be long and arduous. After posting ads to online job boards, sifting through dozens of applications (and the resumes!), and interviewing, how do you know who will be the ‘right’ fit for your sales team? Today, we want to offer a short guide on the qualities required for this sort of role, and hopefully, it’ll help your business in the coming weeks, months, and years!

Friendly and Personable

First and foremost, sales and calling representatives absolutely NEED to be friendly and personable and, fortunately, this is easy to judge. After interviewing a candidate, you’ll have good insight into their overall manner. If they are smiling and actively engage in conversation, this is a great sign. If they don’t look you in the eye, and even border on the rude side, you can be reasonably confident they aren’t suited for sales.

As they say, people make sales, and this is still true despite all the advances we’ve seen in technology. While we aren’t saying they need to be extremely vocal and bouncing off the walls, there are certain introverts that don’t quite match the customer’s expectations (because they can come off as being uninterested).

Good Phone Voice

When hiring sales reps, we always recommend talking to potential candidates over the phone. Why? Because you wouldn’t hire a graphic artist without looking at how they work and their previous experience. As you communicate on the phone, do they have a good phone voice? Do they answer questions well? Are they able to think on their feet? Can they communicate without awkward pauses or stuttering?

In addition to the basics, why not throw a few testers into the conversation? Soon enough, it’ll be easy to judge their intelligence, resilience, personality, motivation, and even empathy…and all with a simple phone call. If you aren’t impressed by their ability on the phone, your potential customers/clients will probably feel the same.

Understanding of Sales Tactics

Often called the ‘gift of the gab’ and many other terms, high-quality sales representatives just seem to know how to make a sale. By utilizing the best sales tactics and a sharp tone of voice, they can often sell the most expensive products despite cheaper competition. The best ways to assess a candidate’s understanding of sales tactics are to talk to former employers and to have them sell something simple to you. Not only will this display their technique, but it’ll also force the candidate to think on their feet.


‘Ok, no worries’ – the catchphrase of the under performing sales representative. If your new employee can’t push past the ‘I’m not interested’ that many individuals give, your business just isn’t going to see results; this comes with both confidence in the product/service and self-confidence. Ask yourself, how does the candidate come across during the interview? Typically, it only requires a few minutes into a conversation before you notice the air of confidence they tend to carry.

Often, confidence can be mistaken for arrogance, so there’s a fine line to tread in this regard. We believe the difference is seen most obviously after failure or mistakes; those who are arrogant will shift the blame elsewhere. On the other hand, those who are confident in their ability will be willing to learn from the experience and become even stronger. Blind arrogance can be damaging to your business so be careful when looking for this quality.

Experience in Sales

If you’ve previously built a sales team, you’ll know that one of the most important qualities they can offer is experience. Experienced sales representatives will be aware of fantastic strategies, and they would have learned what does and doesn’t work with people. Hiring sales reps with experience will allow your business to make the most of every single lead rather than wasting them with simple mistakes.

‍Willingness to Learn and Grow‍

Finally, a quality we really appreciate, and something we’ve already touched upon, is a willingness to learn and grow. If during an interview, a candidate portrays themselves as the ‘complete package,’ dismiss them immediately. As even Bill Gates and Richard Branson will tell you, you never stop learning in business, and this applies just as well to sales professionals. If an individual isn’t willing to learn from mistakes, they’ll keep making them time and time again.


If a candidate can offer these six qualities, seriously consider them for your sales team because they have the assets required for this role. Now you know the essential qualities, what about the vetting process itself? As we already know, this can be tough for businesses that have little time to be posting on online job boards, researching outsourced sales teams,looking through lots of applications, and interviewing each at least once.

Luckily, with the Overpass platform vetting and hiring your sales team is a breeze. We’re here to aid you in identifying the right candidates for your organization. This way, Overpass will do all the hard work, and you can concentrate on the more essential tasks in your business.

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