Hiring For Sales

Hiring for sales can be challenging. This is especially the case for smaller companies or startups. This is the case for VA Partners. We have hired a number of employees over the years with the most recently hiring for a BDR that starts in September. We were looking for someone that was newish to sales but has the right attributes to be successful in sales. Here are some of the ways that we go about hiring for sales and finding the right candidate for the VA Partners team.

What are we looking for?

We often hire candidates that have some, but often not a lot of experience in sales.  For these candidates we are looking for people that curious, want to learn, motivated, can work independently, and want to have a career in sales.


You can use job boards or services like Indeed, but it is often hard to stand-out versus other posting.  I suggest always be looking for opportunities with prospective candidates of organizations. We had great success with students that were part of the Sales Lab program at Conestoga College.

Set Expectations

I often have a 15-minute interview to start to talk with the top applicants.  This is there to make sure expectations are aligned.  What is their interest in sales?  This seem like something that should be obvious, but I do come across people that want to get into marketing and see sales as a bridge.  Talk about what the average day looks like and the types of volumes of those activities.

Situational Questions

I really like asking situational interview questions.

Some of my favourite include:

  • Tell be about the thing you are most proud of from work or school
  • If I talked with your last manager what would they day is the best think about you.  What would they say is something you need to work on.
  • What was your biggest sales win? How did it start and take me through the steps?

Be Specific 

Make sure they answer with specifics not generalities. As an example they should reply with specifics about a big win, not this is generally how I used to do it.

Involve Other Team Members

We involved 3 of our team members in the interview process.  We ask different questions and expose the candidate to different team members they will work with. Team members will be able to find different red flags as well as things they like about the candidates. We also have the candidate talk to a team member that has a similar role so they can interview them about what it is like to work at VA Partners.

Role Play

One of the most challenging skills is cold calling. We do a role call to see how they can handle the situation as well as the feedback.If you would like some help with hiring for your sales team please connect with me.

Hiring For Sales