Methods of recruitment of sales personnel

A salesman is an important cornerstone on which a sales organization is built. Consequently the sales managers are confronted with the task of planning a sound selection program of salesmen. For more details about the methods of recruitment of sales personnel and their merits and limitations are mentioned in detail in this article.

Remuneration, motivation, training are other prime factors in developing an effective sales organization. But the degree of success depends to the large extent on the ability of a sales manager to hire, discover and attract the right kind of man. Selecting a proper man is a serious problem on account of a number of reasons.

Difficulties encountered while selecting the right personnel

  • There is a noted absence of institutions where salesmanship is taught.

  • Selling is not been accepted therefore there are only few salesmen who are really qualified for any job.

  • Markets are highly competitive.

  • Jobs for selling is very difficult since there is a complexity for products and services in all channels for the purpose of distribution.

Process of recruitment is described below

Initially the sales manager assesses the requirement for sales force in quantitative terms. How many salesmen are needed? What is the exact job? What are the qualities needed to do the job? This is the duty of the sales manager to assess the set of specifications covering the manpower required for the business.

This encompasses description of job and specifications of man. Without these two equipments it is not so easy to carryout effectively the functions of motivating, controlling, training, selecting and recruiting salesmen.

Description of job
It is the statement prepared for the purpose of specifying the authority, relationships, responsibilities and duties attached to the particular job. It is concerned with the job and not to the individual. Major functions needed to perform by the salesman are charted out first. This will not only make sure the job to undertake, but would also make the salesman think above their job obligations.

Such descriptions should be accurate and should classify the activities to indicate priorities in performance. It should also show what salesmen require to know, what qualifications are essential to perform the designed activities. The description of job is sometimes referred to as description of position.

Specifications of man
Specifications of man indicate the exact needs required for a particular job. On the basis of the nature of duties, the needs will also change. Obviously, good service and pleasant manners will enhance customer acceptance and produce more sales. No creative selling is required in the case. This is also the case with an outdoor salesman.

On the other hand, missionary salesmen are used to educate the uses or build goodwill. Consequently, the requirements of jobs will still be different in the case of technical salesman or sales engineers whose prime duty is to serve as consultant to customers. Thus the needs may change but as far as organization is concerned, they should determine and outline well in advance.

Characteristics of the specifications of man should encompass :

  • Habits of work is conducive to sales success.

  • The personal characteristics an attitude needed for ensuring success.

  • The skills involved in carrying out the activities of job.

  • The kind of information the applicant requires to qualify for the job.

Emphasis should be placed on the two basic considerations
Will he perform the job?
Can he perform the job?

Certain company explained the specifications of man for the salesmen in the below paragraph:

  • Originality and resourcefulness

  • Cooperativeness

  • Personal acceptance

  • getting things performed

  • Accepting responsibility

  • Emotional stability

  • judgment - correct decision based on analytical, logic study of the problem.

  • Integrity – fairness, complete honesty, high personal conduct.

Source of salesmen recruitment

  • Recommended candidates

  • From the casual applicants

  • From the employment seekers

  • Through the press advertisements

  • From the educational institutions

  • Employment agencies

  • From the competing firms

  • From the company's own staff

On the basis of necessity the companies may select any one of the above sources or more sources for lapping required salesman.

Selecting a proper salesman

Having decided the source the next step is the scrutinizing of the applications. The applicants who satisfy the job description and specifications of man are only considered. The selected candidates are further examined closely using different method such as, application form, personal interview, psychological tests, inviting reference, and final interview and appointment.


Author: Venkiteswaran22 Dec 2013 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

Sales is a job needing skill and knowledge. Knowledge not just about the product, but about the prospective buyers also.
A real salesman is one who creates demand i a client and makes him buy he product without any resistance. The client also should feel satisfied that he has done a right thing in buying the item and has got benefit. This may sound quite ideal and not realistic. But there are such many salesmen.

Reading the article reminds of an experience narrated by a retired sales executive of a pharmaceutical company. This gentleman was to interview a prospective sales representative. He started asking some questions in English, whereupon the candidate stopped him and said in the local language" Sir, I am not much expert in English, nor do I know the answers of the questions you asked.But tell me how many bottles of medicine I should sell,I will do that" Hearing the confident and assertive words, he executive immediately selected him. The choice was right as the employee exceeded all targets given to him and rose high in career.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: