When you want to sell more, faster and better, and keep growing, you may be ready to hire your first sales and marketing workers. Be aware that hiring good salespeople (and, later, marketers) is no walk in the park, and requires more preparation than you might think. The wrong person will be disastrous financially and waste months of your precious time. The right salesperson or marketer, on the other hand, can take your business to new heights.

Quickwork Online can spearhead your marketing goals and give you the exposure your brand needs to succeed. Below, we walk you – a new business leader or small business owner – through reliably finding and hiring sales and marketing workers for your company.

Understand the differences between salespeople and marketers

First and foremost, before you even think of hiring a salesperson, you must understand the difference between salespeople and marketers. People often use the term interchangeably but they refer to two different and distinct (but related) business functions. Marketing is generating awareness about your product or service, while sales is about sealing the deal with an already interested client or customer.

Do you need a salesperson or a marketer?

Essentially, a salesperson won’t magically generate interest in your product or service, and a marketer can’t close a deal for you. You need both, eventually, but you may not need either right now. Use this information to adjust your expectations, and when you create a job profile and screen candidates.

HBR says the majority of small businesses don’t have a formal marketing department at the very beginning. They start with hiring a sales rep or two. Later, they create a sales department and add a marketer as a support role. Only the biggest companies tend to have separate marketing departments.

Get your house in order

Now that you know if you need a sales rep or marketer (and what you can expect from them), you need to lay the groundwork for them to operate. Hiring a person won’t automatically generate more revenues for you – you need to fit them into an existing process. Ideally, Single Grain says founders should close at least 10 sales themselves before hiring someone.

Keep in mind that even experienced salespeople need to be briefed and require tools like a script, a playbook, software, and help and guidance. They will be able to refine and improve your process later, but they need some structure initially – which only you, the founder, can provide.

Define your business goals and the work profile

Next, be clear about the business goals you want the sales rep (or marketer) to achieve, and create a work profile in line with them. A work profile, unlike a job description, is an outline of your worker’s day-to-day schedule. What do you expect him or her to do and how?

If you’re just starting and you’re unsure about your business goals, create a junior-level position, look to competitors and successful companies for inspiration, start small, and experiment. Some typical sales goals companies try to achieve are increasing revenues and boosting customer retention rates. Try to get a process going.

Consider the pros and cons of freelancers and full-timers

You have the choice of hiring freelancers and full-timers. Freelancers are flexible, high-quality, cheap, and can hit the ground running. Conversely, they can quit on you any time, and aren’t always easy to fit into traditional work structures. Full-timers can be trained and are easier to manage, but startups can’t always afford the best ones. A marketing agency may be a great middle-ground of affordability and competence.

Network with some salespeople you admire

Next, it’s time to start casting your net for salespeople (or marketers). Networking remains an effective, tried-and-tested method of finding good workers. If you know of and respect someone, get in touch with them, build a relationship, and gently ask them if they’d be interested in joining you or helping you out with advice. The worst they can do is decline, and they may be able to refer suitable help otherwise.

Sell and advertise the open position

To capture the interest of high-quality candidates, you will have to sell the job position and come across as a reputable employer. This will involve writing a great job description, advertising online and locally, and having a credible, professional presence (both offline and online). It may also involve setting up social media profiles and creating blogs and video content. Yes, it’s going to take time and money, but a mediocre fit will cost you even more down the road.

Get help if you need it

If you want to make the best impression, make sure your job description and the associated copy are concise, well-written, and error-free. Consider using freelance proofreading services if you need assistance. You can find editors and proofreaders, filtered by reviews, through online job platforms, with full control over delivery time and cost.

Pick the candidates that you trust 

You will need a hiring process to screen incoming resumes and candidates and vet them. If you’re a typical start-up, you will be short on cash, and won’t always be able to attract the most experienced people – that’s why you need to be doubly careful about who you hire. Experience can be gained, and knowledge can be imparted, but you need a solid foundation to build on. As a rule of thumb, the best candidates are the ones you can trust.

What to look for in your potential hires

Salespeople and marketers have different roles, as we mentioned previously, and so require different personalities. Salespeople will be interacting with your clients and customers. What kind of people do you want to represent you? Usually, the answer for most businesses is someone charming, engaging, a team player, and can hustle. Marketers are usually analytical people, data-driven, and don’t always need the best people skills.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Consider hiring more than one worker, even if it stretches your budget. It offers multiple benefits. First, the workers will be easier to manage and keep motivated because they have someone to share their workload with. Second, you won’t have to depend on the performance of just one person. Third, you have more room to experiment. Last, you can more reliably determine if a work process is at fault or a person if you have two people to analyze instead of just one.

Emphasize digital marketing

Digital marketing is critical these days. More business is happening online, and modern-day salespeople and marketers need to be tech-savvy. Make sure your hires know their way around e-commerce, SEO, technology, and social media. Knowledge of a marketing “tech stack” is icing on the cake.


We won’t lie – you may not succeed in finding or hiring the best people the first time, or the second. Good sales and marketing teams, like all other teams (and processes), aren’t built in a day. Go easy on yourself and see it as a work in progress. You learn from your failures as much as your successes. Keep at it and you will succeed.

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