9 questions managers should ask at EVERY sales interview

All salespeople should be tenacious, handle rejection, enjoy hitting targets and thrive in front of customers. When interviewing for salespeople, we know the basic questions – we ask for their numbers, why they’re leaving and what they sold. They’re a given.

However, sometimes we interview people based on personality, and not if they have sales credentials. Here are 9 interview questions that you should ask every time that cuts straight to the point and will help you determine if they are right for your sales team or not.

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  1. How do you split your time between winning new clients as opposed to nurturing existing relationships, and why?

Not only will you find out if they focus more on new logos vs existing clients, but you’ll also get an understanding of how they organise themselves and how they prioritise their clients.

  1. What research do you undertake before a meeting with a prospect? Also, where do you conduct your research?

This will help you find out how methodical (or not) they are. Preparation is critical when generating sales, but it’s a delicate balance to be over-prepared vs winging it!

  1. What’s the process you take when you either lose a sale or walk away from a deal?

Do they learn from each opportunity or bury it and move onto the next one? Learning from what went wrong will increase your chances of converting leads next time.

  1. Please explain to me from start to finish, the steps of a typical sales cycle.

You’ll see if what they have been selling is similar to your solutions. E.g. a product-led sell is different to a service-led sell and the process it takes to close a sale.

  1. How do you keep track of all of your prospects, opportunities and clients?

Organising is tough for salespeople, but here you will see what their mindset is when it comes to managing relationships and using systems. The best salespeople will have processes and stick to them.

  1. How do you think our business could sell better?

This will show you if they’ve done any prep for the meeting with you, and researched the company. It will also show if they have initiative.

  1. When we hire you, how would you spend the first 30 days?

Fail to plan and plan to fail. Selling is more successful with a strategy and goal – and with this question, you’ll understand how important they take planning.

  1. If you started your own business in the morning, what would you be selling?

Salespeople should treat their patch like they’re the CEO. Entrepreneurial salespeople are more successful than those without an entrepreneurial streak, and it’s essential to hire candidates with a spark!

  1. What are the most significant accomplishments in your life that mean the most to you?

You’ll get a flavour of how motivated they are to succeed and what hobbies they have. If they have nothing to add, then it shows that they’re either boring or bad at selling themselves! Typically, candidates who perform well outside of work will perform inside work.

These are the 9 key questions I would ask each time, and if you’re looking for more in-depth questions that you can ask at a sales interview, please contact Jon on 0161 452 2322 or [email protected]

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