Sales Interview Questions Guide.
Sales interview questions should never come as a surprise to a salesperson. Being prepared to answer a broad range of social interview questions with great answers is about putting your best foot forward in selling yourself to the hiring manager.
This is a list of popular sales interview questions used by many leading sales organizations globally. We all know that selling is a producer’s role, so interviewers will have high expectations regarding your ability to communicate, to demonstrate your persuasive powers, to perform under pressure and leave them with an impression that you are the one!
So, you need to walk into the room prepared to sell yourself, your track record that qualifies you for the job, and show the prospective employer that you have the ability to close deals.
Remember the sales interview starts in the corridor.
An age-old trick of hiring managers is to break the ice with you as they walk towards the meeting area and to get a measure of you. They will be asking themselves if you have researched them and do you have initiative. So always a good idea to share information you have researched about them and break the ice – “I noticed you have been with Acme for six years, you must have interviewed lots of people:
Some Tips for Answering Sales Interview Questions
Much like a good story, your answers should have a beginning (you understand the question), a middle (the answer with concrete data or examples) and an ending (did I answer that OK or would you like more detail- closing). Come armed with information on how you can be an asset to the company and help them grow sales. Always have numbers (printed to handout is good) to support your statements. An example could be, “While at ABC company, I broke into [named account] which is now one of the most profitable customers. (maybe share a press release or email congratulating you on the win from your boss).
Ensure you get a few minutes to outline your best achievements to the interviewer. Be specific and passionate – “I take it as a badge of honour that I overachieved my annual sales target by 25% for the past two years, making me one of the top performers in the company.
Interviewers are always keen to hear and be convinced that you have the necessary skills to fulfil this role.
Always make sure to tailor your answers that matches the company’s products, services, and industry. Do your research on the company via their website, blog, press releases, Leadership team bio’s, analyst coverage and competitors. The more you know about the company, their industry and market, the better equipped you’ll be able to communicate your candidature.
Sales Interview Questions and Sample Answers
Q= Tell me a little bit about yourself.
A = “I grew up in Townville, My Dad was a [position]. From an early age I was always taught to set goals and then go after what I want, plus to never give up. I love sport, I was team captain for 2 years. In college, I worked to part-time to fund my studies (and repay some of the money to my parents). I studied business and finance because I’m fascinated how business works.”
Q= Why did you choose career in sales?
A = Well I chose a sales career because I see it as a stepping stone into management. Sales is one of the few professions where hard work, performance, research and preparation pays off. I want to use my sales success as proof that I can grow further with more responsibility. It’s also fun, challenging and rewarding.”
Q= Are you comfortable making cold calls
A = Yes, I still believe cold outreach has its part to play. In fact one of my larger accounts was the result of a cold call. Someone I had connected to online but showed no interest in my product when I first interacted with them, so I picked up the phone.
Q = Have you consistently met your sales goals?
A = Yes, I have achieved or surpassed my sales targets and personal goals every quarter over the past three years in the business. In fact, last year I exceeded my sales target by 25% which helped the team target come in 10% above plan. I was thrilled with that result.
Q= What is your best memory of a sale you won?
A = “The one I remember most is a sale I won against all odds. I knew I was in competition with 3 other vendors. Each meeting I felt I was closing the gap (list some obstacles) and getting closer to the commitment and then suddenly they were hard to reach, it seemed like priorities were shifting and the sale was slipping away. I realized quickly I had to get more strategic in my approach so I [ went back to my other contacts, did the following…proposed the following…..]. After securing another meeting, we won the deal. This was just so rewarding as I never gave up.
Q = How would your people describe you?
A = As part of my self-development I had to ask three work colleagues that question recently. They have told me that I am organised, committed and passionate. During one sales team meeting, the team praised me helping training on a new product especially with the newer members of the team. Our sales manager won manager of the month for how quickly our team got selling the new product, which was great.
Q = What are you most proud of?
A = “I am most proud of earning enough money through my sales success to not only repay my parents for my college fees but also to have saved enough to purchase my own home.
There are many other sales interview questions, others to prepare for include:
What are your long-term goals?
What do believe are your strengths and weaknesses?
What do you find most challenging about selling?
Tell me what do you know about this company?
Why did you apply for this sales position?
What makes you a great sales person?
What motivates you the most?
What sales skills do you feel are important in selling today?
What is your understanding of a sales process?
What is your view on sales training?
So, there you have our sales interview questions and answers guide. Does it cover off every question you could be asked at a sales interview – No. However, we hope this article might help you in some small way in preparing for your next move in your sales career.