Blog Post

Tips for Hiring Top Payroll Services Sales Reps


Looking for first-rate payroll sales professionals?  LinkedIn’s most recent Emerging Jobs Report ranks sales as the second most in-demand skill (second only to management) among companies hiring nationwide in 2018.

Studies show that, across the board, sales teams experience annual  turnover of 20 to 25 percent. In the  payroll industry the turnover is even higher. Drip Marketing reports that upward of 60 percent of all newly hired payroll sales reps will quit or be fired in their first 12 months of employment That’s problematic considering that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal up to 30 percent of that individual’s first-year potential earnings, according to the US Department of Labor and Statistics.

Clearly, hiring and retaining the right payroll sales professionals is critical to long-term success. To that end, Apex HCM offers these tips for choosing top-notch hires.


  1. Be specific in your search: Whether an online job posting or mining colleagues for referrals, make sure that you  clearly define the role and parameters of successful hires.  Also communicate top features of your company’s corporate culture as well.


  1. Do your due diligence: Above all, credibility matters when hiring sales staff. Industry experts estimate that more than 70 percent of sales professionals exaggerate or even outright fabricate accomplishments. Don’t take a candidate’s word for it. Instead, check all references and insist upon proof of a potential employee’s successes. Request copies of quota reports, annual reviews, ranking reports, accolades and, where it’s legal, W-2s (check with an employment attorney if you’re unsure of legalities).


  1. Get a preview: During the interview process, ask the candidate to give a presentation of his current or last employer’s product line. If that presentation doesn’t involve the candidate asking pointed questions, listening to responses and showing an authentic desire to understand and effectively meet a prospective client’s needs, you’ll want to pass. That’s because there’s a critical difference between a simple sales pitch and the consultative sales approach required in the payroll industry.


Perfecting the consultative sales approach, according to Chris Carlson, founder of Sales Talent Inc.,an effective sales reps “breaks down a buyer’s guard and opens up a meaningful sales conversation. It also helps identify genuine pain points that are the key to overcoming selling on price.”


  1. Make and offer that can’t be refused: With great payroll sales pros in such high demand, it’s clearly a job seeker’s market. Once you’ve chosen a highly promising candidate whose values, personality and work ethic match your corporate culture, you’ll need to make a competitive offer. Glassdoor, a  anonymously reviews companies and their management, reports that 35 percent of employers anticipate an increase in voluntary employee turnover in 2018 due to  higher pay offered elsewhere.


But pay isn’t the only factor. Make sure that new payroll sales reps are welcomed and well prepared for their new position from day one with an effective onboarding process,  a competitive benefits package and communicate and follow through on opportunities for long-term career development, growth and promotion.

If your human resources or payroll service bureau plans to make significant sales staff hires in the near future, don’t miss Apex HCM’s inaugural Selling Skills Summit – S3 happening in Atlanta July 19-20.   Top payroll sales  professionals  will provide the insight, tools, and training, to improve your ability to sell payroll services and grow your payroll service bureau revenue. Registration for S3 open on May 11.  Visit