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How To Hire a Sales Consultant (The Right Way)

Sales Training
Chris Orlob
March 15, 2024

Need to boost your sales performance but unsure where to start? Hiring a sales consultant can be a game-changer, but finding the perfect fit requires a strategic approach.

This guide will equip you with the knowledge to understand the different areas of sales consultancy, identify the ideal qualities in your consultant, and follow a strategic hiring process.

Who is a Sales Consultant?

A sales consultant partners with businesses to address specific sales challenges, like increasing lead generation, boosting conversion rates, optimizing sales technology, or enhancing sales team training. They act as strategic advisors, offering expertise and guidance to achieve sustainable sales growth.

Hiring the right sales consultant can be transformational for your business. By comprehending how sales consultancy functions and strategically crafting your hiring process, you unlock the potential for significant sales improvement.

How Sales Consultancy Works

Sales consultancy offers external expertise and guidance to businesses and individuals, ultimately aiming to enhance their sales performance. However, sales success depends on a variety of factors, including sales training, technology tools, market conditions, and more.

It's important to understand that the term "sales consultant" encompasses a broad range of professionals. Seasoned sales managers and experienced sales VPs can all operate in this capacity. Therefore, when considering a sales consultant, focus on finding someone with specific expertise that aligns with your unique business needs, going beyond simply seeking someone to sell a product or service.

Understanding the Different Areas of the Sales Consultancy Business 

Sales consultancy offers a diverse landscape of expertise, industries, services, and engagement models.


Sales consultants possess varied areas of specialization. Some excel in crafting innovative sales methodologies, while others focus on process optimization or equipping your sales team with effective tools (sales enablement). Additionally, experts exist to guide businesses in selecting and implementing the right sales technology. This diverse range allows you to find tailor-made solutions to achieve your unique sales goals.


Beyond expertise, consultants can also specialize based on the target market and industry. Some focus on B2B or B2C sales, while others possess deep knowledge of specific sectors like healthcare or technology. Recognizing this industry-specific expertise is crucial when hiring a sales consultant. It enables you to align their expertise with your specific business needs and sales goals.

Service offering

Sales consultancy encompasses a wide range of service offerings, extending beyond sales strategy development. Individual coaching, leadership consulting, talent management, and acquisition all fall under the umbrella of sales consultancy. Additionally, consultants can guide businesses through internal changes impacting the sales department. Selecting the right service offering based on your specific needs is essential when hiring a sales consultant.

Engagement model

The consultant's engagement model determines how you will collaborate. You can choose independent consultants or established consulting firms. You can also opt for project-based engagements for specific needs or establish long-term partnerships for broader goals.

Depending on your team structure, consider on-site or remote collaboration and determine the most suitable payment structure, whether it be hourly rates or pre-determined project fees. This approach ensures you select the structure that best aligns with your needs, budget, and project scope.

Client type

Some sales consultants cater to specific client sizes and types. Some are adept at navigating the complexities of enterprise organizations, managing large sales pipelines, navigating intricate sales structures, and handling longer sales cycles.

What is the Difference Between a Sales Consultant and a Sales Advisor?

While the terms "sales consultant" and "sales advisor" are sometimes used interchangeably, they represent distinct roles within the sales landscape:

Sales Advisor:

  • Focus: Works directly with customers, guiding them towards purchase decisions.
  • Function: Integrates within your existing sales structure, engaging with customers, promoting products, and closing deals.
  • Ideal Hire: When you need individuals to directly interact with customers and drive revenue through individual sales efforts. 

Sales Consultant:

  • Focus: Provides objective analysis and strategic guidance to your sales team.
  • Function: Often works as an independent contractor, focusing on optimizing the sales process, identifying bottlenecks, and developing growth strategies beyond individual performance.
  • Ideal Hire: When you seek an external perspective to assess your sales process, improve forecasting accuracy, and implement broader sales improvement strategies.

Key Distinction: The primary difference lies in who they interact with:

  • Sales advisors work directly with customers.
  • Sales consultants work primarily with your sales team.

What Qualities Should I Look for When Hiring A Sales Consultant?

Hiring the right sales consultant requires seeking individuals who possess the following key qualities:


A good sales consultant thrives in dynamic environments. They should be able to adjust their approach to your specific business needs, market demands, and even evolving customer behaviors. In today's landscape, this includes embracing remote selling methods and understanding the increasing role of technology like generative AI in the sales process.

A proven track record

Seek consultants with a demonstrably successful history in your industry or a similar field. This often involves verifying their claims through background checks and requesting client testimonials or case studies. Look beyond resumes and years of experience; ensure their past successes align with your specific goals.

Communication and interpersonal skills

Effective sales consultants excel at communicating complex concepts in a clear and engaging manner. They also possess strong interpersonal skills to build rapport with your team members, facilitate sales training, and collaborate on problem-solving.

Product knowledge

For companies in technology or SaaS industries, product knowledge becomes critical. A strong consultant should be willing to immerse themselves in understanding your product in detail. This can involve observing your sales process, listening to customer calls, and collaborating with your product team.

A change management mindset

The modern sales landscape is constantly evolving. A good sales consultant demonstrates a willingness to challenge established methods, propose innovative solutions, and guide your team through necessary transformations. They possess a change management mindset, enabling them to develop a sales approach that aligns with the ever-changing business environment.

How to Hire a Sales Consultant: 5 Key Steps

Follow these 5 key steps to strategically hire a sales consultant and transform your sales team into a growth engine.

1. Define Your Needs

Before hiring a sales consultant, clearly identify your needs:

  • Analyze internal sales performance: Compare your results to targets and pinpoint areas of weakness. Consistent underperformance might justify external expertise.
  • Evaluate your sales strategy: Assess if your current strategy is clear, well-defined, and aligns with your target market. Lack of clarity or consistent struggle may require expert guidance.
  • Assess your sales team: Do they possess the necessary skills and experience to execute the strategy effectively? Skill gaps or a lack of experience could benefit from training and coaching offered by a consultant.
  • Conduct a cost-benefit analysis: Weigh the cost of hiring a consultant against the potential return on investment (ROI). Will their expertise contribute to significant sales improvement and sustainable growth, justifying the cost?

2. Find the Right Consultant

Once you identify your needs, find the ideal consultant who aligns with your requirements:

  • Industry expertise: Consider a consultant with expertise in your industry who understands the specific market nuances and target audience.
  • Service offering: Look for a consultant offering services that address your specific challenges. This could include lead qualification, presentation coaching, CRM system utilization, or sales automation.
  • Methodology: Choose a consultant whose methodology aligns with your goals. For example, a consultative selling expert might be ideal if you want to empower your team to become trusted advisors and build long-term customer relationships.
  • Budget & timeframe: Establish a realistic budget and timeframe for the project with the consultant to ensure financial alignment and avoid delays.

3. Craft a Compelling Job Description

Your job description should attract qualified candidates by clearly outlining:

  • Required qualities: Specify the skills, experience, and qualifications you seek in your ideal candidate.
  • Work involved: Clearly describe the role's responsibilities and required skills.
  • Desired experience and skill levels: Specify the level of experience and specific skills you require.
  • Company culture and values: Briefly highlight your company culture and values to attract compatible candidates.
  • Compensation and engagement details: State the expected compensation, engagement duration, and terms (e.g., hourly rate, project fee) to filter out unsuitable candidates.

4. Source Candidates Effectively

Utilize various channels to reach qualified candidates after creating your compelling job description:

  • Job boards: Leverage general platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed.
  • Specialised platforms: Utilize platforms built for sales professionals, such as Consultport and COMATCH.
  • Freelance platforms: Explore options like Fiverr and Upwork.
  • Professional network: Leverage your network on LinkedIn and other platforms, encouraging them to share the opportunity.
  • Niche communities: Post your job description in relevant Slack communities or industry forums.
  • Industry events: Attend industry events to network with potential candidates.

5. Develop a Screening and Interview Process

Implement a comprehensive process to select the ideal candidate:

  • Set interview questions: Prepare questions to assess the candidate's track record, past achievements, and sales performance.
  • Evaluate alignment: Discuss their approach and perspective to gauge alignment with your business needs and objectives.
  • Conduct reference checks: Thoroughly check references to evaluate the candidate's work ethic, communication style, and compatibility with your company culture.

FAQs on How to Hire a Sales Consultant

What is inside sales consulting?

An inside sales consultant works directly with his company's sales and marketing teams to create sales strategies that will effectively promote the company’s products or services, attract customers, and generate more revenues and profits. 

How much should it cost to hire a sales consultant?

The cost of hiring a sales consultant depends mainly on factors such as experience, contract duration and scope of services. A small startup might find itself paying between $5,000 - $10,000/month for sales consulting services and a bigger startup could pay more.

When should you hire a sales consultant?

You should consider hiring a sales consultant when your business needs specialized sales expertise in an outsourced, project-based capacity for a defined duration.

How do I hire a freelance sales consultant?

To hire a freelance sales consultant, leverage platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour to find  experienced sales consultants you can interview for the job.

Where do sales consultants work?

Sales consultants work with the company's sales department. Depending on the agreed terms of engagement, consultants can work on-site or remotely. 

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