Business success has a lot to do with the kind of talent that drives it.
But sales talent, in particular, is elusive.
Top sales reps in the industry are either satisfied in their current roles or too expensive to hire.
With limited availability and high demand, organisations need to identify and hire reps with proven track records and a growth mindset.
To find the best fit for a sales role, you need to ask the right questions. Be it an external hire or internal promotion, the right kind of questions can help you find excellent hires.
The question set must touch upon areas such as the candidate’s skills, personality, track record, and hypothetical situational challenges.
In this article, we share the best interview questions you must ask to identify & hire the top sales talent in the industry. The must-ask questions listed below access reps for sales competency and culture fit.
Sales Interview Questions to Ask Reps
1. How would you choose between meeting your sales quota and making your customer happy??
It's a well-known fact that prospects find it hard to trust sales professionals.
If a candidate demonstrates the ability to choose customer satisfaction over personal gains, they are worth sticking to.
2. Was there ever a time when you started something (a practise or a process) from scratch in your field? If yes, how did you start it, and why?
Narrow down on outperformers, category creators and novel-thinkers with this question.
It also helps you see a proven track record of things they talk about.
You have a gem of a problem-solver at your hand if the answer here is positive. Catch 'em before they go.
3. What would our product offering look; like if you built it from scratch?
One question that probes into how well the interviewee has researched your core product and value proposition, this one is a must-ask.
This question, in particular, also lets them open up any flaws or incompetencies that exist.
They should share what could have been done to overcome those flaws.
Although, there is no one ‘right’ answer to this question, it will help you find a knowledgeable sales professional. In addition, you will have a more sales-ready market offering that flies off the shelf.
4. Do you keep up with industry leaders in your target market? How?
The target market of their current job doesn't have to be the same as for the one they are interviewing for.
Asking a question like this will show how they subscribe to relevant trade publications and blogs, go to trade shows or attend industry events.
You can ask them to describe one of these interactions with someone influential.
5. How do you factor in content creation and social media in your selling process?
Regardless of their B2B or B2C nature, modern sales use social media as a tool to influence their prospects.
Social selling is the norm today.
Knowing how a candidate uses different social channels to be an industry leader, reaching out to competitors, and nurturing them into leads will help you make the right choice.
Even content creation is an essential part of social selling and helps engage customers.
The bottom line is content creators are creative people and understand what sells.
6. X is a big problem we are facing with sales today. What are the first three things you would do to fix it? How long will it take to see any positive results?
Real businesses have problems before they see success.
Be open to your candidates about your struggles and check their creativity as they come up with solutions.
It also exposes the kind of insights they have about your industry.
7. Did you ever turn away a prospect because they were not a good fit?
No matter how good a product you have built, it can't be the right fit for everyone.
The right salesperson will not boast about meeting 100 per cent of their sales targets.
You should be looking for an interviewee who knows when a customer is not the right fit for their offering and values their welfare over their gains.
8. How do you think one can keep harmony within a competitive sales team?
You are looking for candidates who understand how to meet quotas, handle rejections and stay motivated without bringing their counterparts down and keep a happy vibe at work.
In the End
The more in-depth the questions, the more refined your selection of candidates for the job.
The questions listed above help hiring managers select the people who are the best fit for their organisations and teams.
Take these questions as a starter pack. It's best to re-question the candidates after they answer these questions, get to their art's tricky details, and test their knowledge critically.