a close up of a computer screen with a triangle pattern
What Is a Remote Sales Representative, and How Do You Hire One Successfully?

What Is a Remote Sales Representative, and How Do You Hire One Successfully?

Discover the power of remote sales representatives, their benefits, challenges, and how to hire remote sales reps in eight easy steps.

What Is a Remote Sales Representative, and How Do You Hire One Successfully?


a blue clock with a white clock face on it
This is some text inside of a div block.
arrow right
a blue circle with the word linked on it
share on linkedin
the letter x in a black circle
share on twitter
the instagram logo in a circle
share on instagram

Key Takeaways

  1. A remote sales representative sells your business’s products or services from a distance, offering benefits like cost savings, environmental friendliness, and access to a wide talent pool.
  2. Hiring a remote sales rep comes with challenges like finding candidates who are self-motivated and a good culture fit and providing adequate onboarding and training, making it crucial to follow a strategic hiring process or partner with a remote sales agency.
  3. Ensure you hire a remote sales representative with qualifications like problem-solving and time-management skills, proficiency with sales software, and the ability to build solid customer relations.

The traditional portrayal of a salesperson spending long hours in their car, driving from meeting to meeting, is gone. In its place, the digital age has brought a new archetype: remote sales representatives.

Armed with modern tools and technology, these salespeople can conduct business from anywhere in the world, provided there is an internet connection. This evolution offers an opportunity for tech-savvy businesses but also poses unique challenges in finding and hiring the right candidate. 

This article will explore what these professionals do, why they’re important, and the challenges you might face when you hire remote sales reps. 

What Is a Remote Sales Representative?

A remote sales representative sells products or services for a company primarily from outside a formal office environment. Using phone, email, video calls, and sales management software, they can effectively reach potential clients, maintain relationships with existing customers, and close sales from virtually any location. 

Their flexible work arrangements allow them to serve customers in different time zones and regions without needing physical travel or in-person sales meetings.

Generally, these reps are broken into two categories:

Inbound sales representatives

As their title suggests, inbound sales reps handle incoming sales inquiries. Their job is often centered around managing leads that come through the company’s marketing channels, such as:

  • Website inquiries
  • Live chat messages
  • Phone calls
  • Responses to email campaigns

Inbound reps must be skilled at quickly establishing a rapport, assessing customer needs, and providing detailed product or service information. 

Outbound sales representatives

Outbound remote sales reps, on the other hand, generate sales proactively. They reach out to potential customers through cold calls, emails, or social media. Their approach is often more aggressive and focused on volume, as they are tasked with expanding the company’s customer base by identifying and contacting new leads. 

Outbound sales representatives require resilience, excellent communication skills, and a strategic approach to personalize their sales pitch to the specific needs and interests of each prospect. Their success is often measured by the number of new customers they can bring.

Why Should You Hire a Remote Sales Rep?

Hiring remote sales reps can offer several advantages for modern businesses. Here are some of the compelling reasons for incorporating remote sales reps into your team:

Expanded talent base

Remote sales positions are not confined by geography, meaning you can attract and employ the best talent from all over the globe. This diversifies the sales team and brings a wide range of perspectives and innovative approaches to the table.

Cost savings

Remote sales staff can be significantly less expensive than in-house employees because they do not need physical office space and associated overhead. Candidates from nearshore regions like Latin America (LatAm) also have lower salary expectations than their US-based counterparts. 


Remote sales work is inherently more sustainable, as working from home reduces carbon emissions from commuting and travel. By using remote sales reps, you can contribute to corporate social responsibility goals and resonate with environmentally conscious customers. 

Challenges of Hiring Remote Sales Reps

While there are several benefits to hiring these sales experts, you may also face specific challenges in the hiring process. Here are some common difficulties (and suggestions for overcoming them): 

Identifying self-motivated candidates

Remote sales roles require high self-motivation, discipline, and accountability. It can be difficult to keep reps productive without the traditional office environment and direct oversight. 

During the hiring process, look for candidates who demonstrate a strong history of autonomy. Use behavioral interview questions to assess how they’ve managed their time and stayed productive in past roles.

Communication and cultural fit

In distributed teams, clear communication becomes more important than ever. Cultural misalignments can lead to misunderstandings or poor team cohesion. 

Prioritize candidates with strong communication skills, and consider their compatibility with your company culture. 

Onboarding and training

Training and integrating new remote sales reps can be challenging without the ability to interact face to face. 

Develop or work with a sales outsourcing company for comprehensive remote onboarding programs that give new hires clear expectations, resources, and access to mentors. 

Key Skills and Qualifications To Look For in a Remote Sales Representative

When hiring a remote sales rep, it’s important to identify certain skills and qualifications that are critical for success. Here are some of the key attributes to look for:

  • Communication skills: Remote sales reps should excel in written and verbal communication, simply and effectively expressing complex ideas. 
  • Time management: The ability to work independently with minimal supervision is vital. 
  • Technological proficiency: Candidates should be comfortable using a variety of tech, including CRM software, videoconferencing tools, and sales enablement platforms. 
  • Problem-solving: A high-quality candidate can adapt to new tools, schedules, and sales strategies, solving problems as they arise. 
  • Relationship-building: Sales is all about building and maintaining strong relationships with clients. Candidates should be able to foster trust and engagement without face-to-face interactions. 

Other qualities, like resilience, attention to detail, and industry experience, can also be necessary depending on the product or service. 

8 Steps To Hire Remote Sales Representatives

Even with the above challenges in mind, hiring remote sales reps can be a daunting task. Here’s a simple eight-step guide:

1. Define the role and requirements

Begin by crafting a detailed remote sales job description that outlines the responsibilities, necessary skills, qualifications, and experience in sales required for the role. Clearly state that the position is remote and specify any location requirements, such as overlapping with US time zones.

2. Establish a hiring funnel

Develop a hiring funnel that includes reviewing applications, conducting initial screenings, interviewing qualified candidates, and checking references. Each step should help you assess candidates against the key skills and qualifications identified for the role.

3. Promote the position

Advertise the open role on job boards, social media, industry forums, and your company’s careers page. Emphasize the benefits of working for your organization and the unique opportunities of the role.

4. Actively source candidates

Don’t just rely on incoming applications. Source potential candidates through networking, LinkedIn outreach, and industry events. Encourage your employees to refer suitable candidates, as they understand your company’s culture and requirements.

5. Partner with a remote sales agency

For a more targeted approach, consider partnering with a remote sales agency specializing in recruiting remote sales professionals. Agencies like Near have a broad network of qualified candidates and can help you expedite the search process by presenting you with pre-vetted LatAm professionals who match your criteria.

6. Conduct interviews

Interviews for remote sales positions should assess the candidate’s sales ability and comfort with remote work and technology. Use videoconferencing tools to simulate the remote working environment and gauge how they handle virtual interactions.

7. Assign a test project

To see the candidate’s skills in action, provide a short test project relevant to their role, such as creating a pitch for a new product or conducting a mock sales call. This will give you a better sense of their practical abilities and work ethic.

8. Make a decision and onboard

After the interviews and test projects, make a final decision based on which candidate best matches the role’s requirements and your company’s values. Once you’ve selected a candidate, provide a thorough onboarding process that sets them up for success, including training on your company’s tools, products, and sales strategies.

Final Thoughts

Hiring a remote sales rep can lead to cost savings, diverse techniques, and the flexibility to serve customers in different regions. Yet, it brings unique challenges requiring a strategic approach to hiring and management.

If the process seems daunting, or if you simply want to streamline your search, consider partnering with a remote sales agency. Near offers companies like yours the opportunity to connect with affordable, experienced LatAm sales talent while cutting sourcing and screening time by 50–70%. 

Book a free, no-commitment consultation today and learn how remote sales reps can elevate your business to new heights.

Frequently Asked Question

Receive remote hiring insights delivered weekly.

a green lightning bolt with a black background
a white and yellow background with a diagonal triangle

Discover Why Hiring in LatAm is a Cheat Code. Download our FREE Guide Now.