The job description for hiring salespeople will either invite talented applicants into your hiring party or scare them away from the entrance. Without the right message, the perfect sales monster may walk right by, or worse, feel encouraged not to apply. You need those applicants. You have something job-seeking salespeople want. You just need to show them clearly and honestly. Here's how to write an effective (and attractive) job description for salespeople.
Start the basics.
If you have different sales positions, make your names detailed enough to differentiate. If you have different levels, make sure the title clearly represents the position. The Co-Director of Sales Acquisitions in your startup of 2 people isn't the best way to describe someone who will perform a basic sales role.
Do you have a dedicated sales team? Are they part of a larger group, like your "Revenue-Driving Sector" (or something)? If so, tell your applicants where they fall.
Clarity is key. The pay breakdown should be as straightforward as possible. No matter the salary/hourly/commission breakdown, put it down here in plain writing.
Who will the salesperson report to? Give specific titles, but don't worry about providing specific names. Those can change rather quickly. Clearly define where the position falls on the corporate ladder.
Describe the travel involved with the position if any comes with the deal. Nobody wants to be surprised with: “Travel: 75-80% of the time.” This is especially true with positions like outside sales, which can exist with a great deal of travel. Represent the position accurately.
Your position or company probably requires a level of schooling, so clearly say it. Describe the necessary experience that can substitute for degrees as well (IE: Master’s degree OR 3-4 years working experience). Likewise, say if you require both.
If you need a specific kind of sales experience, whether it be fast cycle, slow cycle, high tech, inbound, outside, medical or whatever, say so. If you know this position needs extremely specific experiences, list it so applicants know up front.
Describe the physical demands of the position but consciously use impersonal language (a good rule for the entire description). You should describe the position and its needs, not the capabilities of an individual. Think of it this way: describe the position, not what an incumbent makes it.
If your salesperson travels and must provide live demos of your heavy product, you'll need someone who can be reasonably expected to lift that load.
The Fair Labor Standards Act covers a number of employment issues from minimum wage to child labor. Exemptions exist though, so take note. Make sure to define the position’s eligibility for overtime pay or minimum wage.
So there are the basics
Get these sections right and you'll be ready to rub a little awesome sauce all over it. Tomorrow we'll dive into creating a job description with some personality. Every beautiful house needs a foundation though, and you'll have a solid one by covering these basics.