Sales is a critical aspect of any business, and the success of a company largely depends on the skills of its sales team. Therefore, recruiting the right salespeople is crucial for the growth and development of any organization. Conducting a sales interview is an essential part of the recruitment process to determine if a candidate possesses the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitude to excel in the role. However, the success of the sales interview heavily depends on the questions asked during the interview.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective sales interview questions that can help you find the right candidate for your sales team. These sales interview questions will cover various aspects of sales. By asking these sales interview questions, you will be able to assess the candidate's abilities, experience, and suitability for the role, and make an informed hiring decision.
13 Sales interview questions to ask
Here are some sales interview questions that HRs can ask during the interview.
1. Walk us through your current sales process
It allows you to assess the candidate's understanding of the sales process and how they approach sales in their current role.
The answer to this question can give insight into how a candidate approaches lead generation, lead qualification, building relationships with prospects, identifying their needs, presenting solutions, handling objections, and closing deals. It also allows You to see if the candidate is familiar with common sales methodologies and whether they are able to adapt to different situations and customers.
2. How do you decide a prospect isn't the right fit?
It is important for salespeople to be able to identify and prioritize potential customers that are more likely to lead to successful sales.
Salespeople who are able to effectively qualify prospects will save time and resources by focusing their efforts on those who are more likely to become customers. This means they will be able to dedicate their time and resources to prospects who have a need for their product or service, the budget to pay for it, and the authority to make the buying decision.
You may also be looking for specific skills and qualities in the candidate's answer. For example, they may be interested in whether the candidate has a process for qualifying prospects or if they rely on intuition and experience. You may also want to know if the candidate can recognize when to disqualify a prospect, as well as how they handle the situation in a professional and respectful manner.
3. Explain a few of occasions when you failed to achieve a goal or missed a chance. What did you learn?
Filure is an inevitable part of sales, and the ability to learn from failure is critical to long-term success in sales.
You may be looking for specific examples of how the candidate handles failure and adversity, as well as how they reflect on and learn from their mistakes. The answer to this question can also give insight into the candidate's problem-solving skills, resilience, and ability to take ownership of their mistakes.
Also, you may be interested in how the candidate incorporates their learnings into their approach to sales. For example, the candidate may have changed their approach to lead generation or prospecting based on past failures. This demonstrates an ability to adapt and improve over time, which is highly valued in sales.
4. When you lose a deal, how do you follow up with that prospect?
Following up with a prospect after losing a deal can help maintain the relationship and keep the lines of communication open for future opportunities. It can also provide an opportunity to gather feedback and insights on why the deal was lost and how to improve in the future.
You may be looking for specific skills and qualities in the candidate's answer. For example, they may be interested in whether the candidate has a process for following up with prospects after a lost deal or if they rely on intuition and experience. You may also want to know if the candidate is able to handle rejection and maintain a positive attitude and professional demeanor.
Additionally, you may be interested in how the candidate uses feedback from lost deals to improve their sales approach. For example, the candidate may have incorporated feedback from lost deals into their sales pitch or identified new ways to address common objections.
5. Give an example of a time when you received constructive feedback. How did you respond?
Receiving and responding to feedback is an important aspect of growth and improvement in sales. It is a way for You to evaluate the candidate's ability to accept and respond to feedback in a constructive manner, take ownership of their mistakes, and continuously improve their sales approach.
6. How did your most recent product benefit your clients?
Effective salesmen won't only discuss the benefits of their various SaaS plans or the features of their products. They'll comprehend how their solutions addressed problems for various market groups and met a specific requirement.
The applicant could use this as a brief sales presentation to demonstrate their abilities or just to give you an overview. In either case, this demonstrates how well they comprehended their company's function—whether B2B or B2C—in the lives of their consumers.
7. How well-versed are you in our business and our product?
This is frequently a make-or-break question. Before the job interview, everyone of your sales prospects should have thoroughly researched your company. And just like with a sales prospect, they ought to have searched through all the information they could if they knew who on your team they'd be speaking with.
Do they genuinely know about your product, or are they just hoping for the best after sending their résumé to everyone? They have a great chance to introduce your goods at this time as well. Nevertheless, if they didn't, respond to our following request.
8. Describe your company's product to me / Describe our company's product to me
Always include roleplaying in your sales interview process. You get a fantastic opportunity to observe each applicant in action and discover how they respond under pressure. But, the following is the key to making the most of this exercise: Do not reveal your roleplay identity straight immediately; wait until they request it.
Some candidates may plunge right into their planned speech, starting with an eye-catching statistic or story. It's unfortunate that they sold without understanding to whom they were selling.
9. Are you prepared to take an immediate sales call?
Ideally, the response won't be a quick "Yeah, let's do it!"
The prospect genuinely doesn't understand your product, customer objections, sales process, or tools at this point. They most likely haven't even followed any of your salesmen. If they made a cold call at that same moment instead of seeking for their perfect client profile and match, they would be selling with the aim of selling.
10. What’s more important: achieving your quota or keeping customers happy?
This query provides a glimpse into the sales mentality of your applicant. Ideally, you want to show that candidates understand that it's a delicate balancing act.
For instance, you won't be hitting your quota for very long if your customers aren't happy even if you did! If you aren't hitting quota, though, it can be because clients aren't satisfied or don't believe they made the proper decision. Don't be reluctant to start a dialogue about it because there are plenty of factors at play.
11. What's your most proud sales achievement?
Encourage your candidates to stand out and promote themselves. Did they surpass a sales goal? Get unheard-of levels of client satisfaction? discover a chance for sales facilitation? Ask follow-up questions to gain further insight into their background, the working environment, and the activities that enabled them to perform successfully.
12. What made you decide to work in sales?
The fact is that not many young people declare their desire to work in sales when they grow up. Yet many finally come to the realisation that they have what it takes. Perhaps they've always been good with words or like simplifying complicated things (products/services) so that anybody can utilise them.
What was it about a job in sales that appealed to them? You may discover more about someone's motivations and long-term goals for their profession by understanding why they decided to enter the sales industry.
13. Do you have any questions for me?
Strong applicants in general, including the finest salesmen, have questions for the interviewer (s). After all, they will devote their time and effort to this business, maybe for years to come. Don't forget to set up time to invite questions.
Selecting the ideal candidate for the open sales position is only one aspect of the process. It's equally critical that they believe your company is a good fit for them.
Hiring the right salespeople is crucial for the growth and success of any business, and conducting a thorough sales interview is an essential part of the recruitment process. By asking the right sales interview questions, you can assess a candidate's skills, knowledge, and attitude towards the role and the organization. Effective sales interview questions should cover various aspects of sales.
By using the sales interview questions discussed in this article, you will be able to identify the most suitable candidate for your sales team and make an informed hiring decision. Remember, hiring the right salespeople can make a significant difference to your business, so take the time to prepare and conduct a comprehensive sales interview.