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March 3, 2016
Business Management  |  5 min read

How to Write a Sales Associate Job Description

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Ellis Friedman

Finding great sales associates is incredibly difficult, especially for small businesses that might not have the same enticing perks or structures that large corporations do. But you do have a lot of advantages to offer high-quality salespeople – you’ve just got to advertise yourself right.

That’s why writing an enticing sales associate job description is so important. Don’t just dash off a “We’re looking for xyz.” That’s not interesting. Here’s what you should do in the job description to attract top sales talent to your small business and hire the right person. Let’s start with the top three tips from Maria Montoya, a hiring expert in our People department.

Top Tip #1: Get visual

If you have pictures of your workplace, of the people candidates would be working with, or even a short video that explains the purpose of your business, it will help potential candidates get a stronger sense of who you are as a company or a team. Having visual content also makes your posting more attractive, because it’s engaging and differentiates your position from the others out there.

Top Tip #2: Avoid corporate speak

Nothing is a bigger turnoff than a phrase like strategic synergistic solutions, especially for a potential sales associate. Not only does corporate jargon make it hard for anyone to understand what the job actually is, it puts up a synthetic barrier between you and the person you’re trying to attract and it masks who you are as a company. For your own sake, write the description like a human.

Top Tip #3:  Don’t laundry list

Long lists — whether it’s requirements for the position or daily duties — turn people off, muddle your message and are not visually appealing. Here’s what you can do instead.

Share your “why”

A laundry list of requirements, benefits and perks will attract candidates who are just looking for a Job and benefits — you don’t want Jobbers. If you lead from the why, you’ll attract sales associates who connect with your cause. You want associates who align with your mission and purpose, not just their big commission check. This will help them stick around during the inevitable ebbs and flows of a sales pipeline.

Your why is why you’re in business — not just why you started your business, but what your business is there to do for the people you serve. It’s about the impact you intend to have on the community, the world and your industry.

Outline meaty challenges

Instead of that laundry list of requirements, describe why you even need the sales associate in the first place. This will get you higher caliber of salespeople who are more likely suitable to solve problems, instead of people who need to be told what to do. By listing challenges and problems to be solved, you’ll attract creative thinkers who aren’t going to wait to be told what to do — people who are more aligned to an outcome instead of a completed task.

Call out — and explain — absolute must-haves

You definitely should outline requirements for candidates, but be sure to describe why they’re required. If you don’t explain why your requirements are, well, required, you’ll get applicants who aren’t qualified for the job, which bogs down your process.

But make sure those must-haves truly are must-haves — listing things that aren’t required might eliminate people who are truly qualified, so be clear about your absolute minimums. You can also get around this by listing nice-to-haves, which will provide even more context. 

Tell them who they are

Having a section that explains who your ideal candidate is — and who they’re not — will help your potential sales candidates identify themselves with who you want. Plus, it’s an opportunity for you to paint a realistic picture of what a successful person looks like for you. Here’s how we do that at Infusionsoft: 

Be quirky

Don’t be afraid to be different and show off your business’s personality. Instead of writing “We are looking for a sales rep,” try something like “Do you love slammin’ cereal and smashing sales goals?” This will grab their attention and be more enticing that the hundreds of other postings they’re going to see.

Think about your job posting this way: how can you write it to attract the person you’re looking for?

Ask for more than a resume

Resumes and cover letters are great, but if you want to see more into the personality and values of your applicants, ask for them to answer some culture-related questions in addition to submitting their resume. This will also require extra time from your applicants, which gets them more invested in exploring the position you have open.

Make your sales representative job description stand out from the crowd, giving it flavor and clearly outlining the kind of person you’re looking for will help you attract more high-quality sales .

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