Tell Me About A Time When You Met Your Sales Goals
Interviewers ask this question to get a sense of your past sales success, how you set and meet goals and the kind of success you may be able to bring to the company.
How to answer:
Reflect on your sales experience and the goals youâve been able to meet. Write down the details in quantifiable terms, such as the goal sales volume.
Prepare to tell a story about the sales situation, the goal, and the actions you took to meet the goal.
Other forms this question might take:
âWhat sales experiences are you most proud of?â
âTell me about a sale you closed or a goal you met.â
Tell Me About A Time You Made A Mistake At Work How Did You Deal With The Situation
Discuss a minor mistake like a miscommunication, productivity issue, or situation in which you were reactive instead of proactive. Show that you can recognize your errors, accept and integrate feedback, and learn from your mistakes.
Example: Early on in my last role, our team was given low-quality visuals to include in our sales presentation. I was afraid to speak up about the quality of the visuals for fear of seeming too critical as a new hire. After our team didnt make the sale, I brought up the issue of the visuals. Because no one on the team had design skills, I volunteered to learn how to use Photoshop to improve our visuals. After two months, I put together high-quality visuals that helped our team close the next deal.
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Question : What Are The Top Five Questions You Ask Your Prospects If You Get On A Discovery Call
Why ask this question?
Similar to the previous question, the answer to this will show how seriously they take discovery calls and whether they follow a good qualification process. Ideally, they should be able to say one question. And admit that the rest of the questions would be natural follow-ups in the direction the conversation is heading. The rep should be able to direct their questions to find the root cause of the prospects problem.
If you want to make this round a little more interesting, ask them: What do you ask a BANT-qualified lead?
Question 1: How Do You Define Success In A Sales Role
Why ask this question?
Booking meetings and closing deals both are standard success metrics. But knowing what kind of activities or processes to focus on to be successful as a salesperson also matters. Do they understand that the roles success depends on the business objectives? Some companies would want to focus on a volume game, so success means doing as many outreach activities as possible or closing deals as soon as possible.
And if the company is focused on enterprise-level deals and the deal value matters, success would mean knowing their product strengths and weaknesses and knowing how to differentiate or which market would be the best to target.
For example, its like youre building an MI phone, but youre prospecting in Apples market. So yes, success is not only about reaching the pole-sitting atop the Burj Khalifa. Its also about carrying a harness, using kit gloves, and knowing how to get there. People who eat success for breakfast dont always go by the book. They double-check if theyre using the correct harness, suitable gloves, and the right map to get there.
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Have You Had A Mentor If So What Made Them So Crucial To Your Growth
Its always good to have a candidate that can reference a mentor or other leader that had a strong impact on their professional or personal development. It lets you know they value learning.
If the mentorship was informal, you might also find that the candidate sought the mentor out on their own. Again, this shows drive and ambition both are essential for success in sales.
Sales Interview Questions And Answers
This sample of Sales interview questions will help you evaluate candidates skills and hire the best salespeople for your company. We gathered the most common sales interview questions and categorized them by seniority level and position, including account managers and in-store representatives, to help you pick the most suitable ones for your open role.
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What Has Your Attainment Looked Like
Interviewers ask this because:
All sales teams are under pressure to hit their goals, and that means they need to focus on bringing on top performers. If theyre bringing on someone with a less than stellar record, they want to know why.
How to answer:
And be honest here, too. Its easy to fact check!
And its ok to explain situations that are less than ideal, but be careful that you dont sound defensive or like youre making excuses. For some of these stickier questions, you may want to practice with a friend first!
Whatever you do, dont blame anyone else. And please be specific about how often you did or didnt meet quota.
In 2021, I hit quota three out of four quarters. I missed quota in Q1.
I had enough pipeline at the beginning of the quarter, but I was counting on closing a deal that ultimately didnt come through because my buyers boss stepped in at the last minute with a change of direction.
I learned two really valuable lessons from that miss.
First, I learned not to count my chickens before they hatch. I also learned to improve my discovery process, specifically with how I identified members of the buying committee. I may not have been able to change that persons mind, but if I had seen it coming, I could have given myself time to develop more pipeline to make up for the gap.
How Would Your Previous Manager Describe You In One Sentence
This question evaluates your self-awareness and also assesses the extent to which your disposition aligns with company cultures.
Example: My previous manager would describe me as outgoing and eager to help others. I appreciate opportunities to assist colleagues as much as I enjoy helping a customer understand how our product can solve a nagging business problem.
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Would You Close A Guaranteed $15000 Deal Or Attempt A $115000 Deal
Depending on your business and expectations for sales teams, either answer could be the right answer. Theres no denying that small deals add up quickly, and a guaranteed deal allows salespeople to also nurture other prospects.
However, a salesperson willing to take risks and who has the confidence and experience to close a huge deal is an asset to your team. Ideally, a candidate is interested in pursuing both prospects and can balance their workflow accordingly.
Weak Candidate Answer:
- An overeager candidate who chooses to go after the larger deal without explaining how they make this choice or how theyd secure against the potential loss is too much of a risk for many sales teams.
- On the flip side, someone who plays it safe without explaining how theyd support sales goals with other prospects doesnt show the initiative to pursue and balance several midsize deals.
Strong Candidate Answer:
Both are appealing, but it ultimately depends on my sales goals that month and what other prospects Im nurturing. If I have several midsize deals that are close to closing, it may be worth the risk to go after the big win. If weve been experiencing a seasonal slump, then I dont believe its wise to pass on guaranteed revenue of any size. Id also consider my personal workload and if the $115,000 deal is even a great fit for both parties.
Whats Your Greatest Sales Success How Did You Close The Sale
This question is an opportunity for you to highlight your unique skills while condensing a large volume of information into a cohesive story. Quantify your success in a way that will help your interviewer understand the impact of the sale.
Example: I did my research and reached out to a high-quality lead via email and phone, but got no response. I called again a few days later, and she picked up to respond with a heated objection before abruptly ending the call. I didnt take it personally and gave her some space. A few weeks later, she emailed to request a demo, and wanted to know how our CRM software could remedy some big issues that the company was struggling with in relation to their current CRM software. I bantered with her throughout the process, even while fielding objections. Towards the end of the call, she admitted to knowing that our solution was a major improvement over their current CRM softwarebut what sealed the deal for her was my patience and authentic approach to connecting with customers. She was looking to create an ongoing business relationship with a company that could assist her enterprise as it expanded into new markets over time. I maintained this business relationship throughout my time in that role, which increased our year-over-year revenue by 20%.
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Common Sales Interview Questions And Answers
Sales are the lifeblood of the organization. So its not enough to look like you are good on paper. The interviewers goal is to see if you have what it takes to drive sales and profits. So they will ask open-ended questions during the interview process to reveal your true capabilities.
Here are open-ended sales interview questions you should be prepared to answer.
What made you interested in working with our company?
This is a question to see if you have done research on the company and the offerings. Read more about why do you want to work from us.
I have always been a fan of your company. I love that you give back through organizations that help young entrepreneurs. Plus, I have five years of experience working with companies that deliver technical business solutions in e-commerce. Let me tell you about how I created profitable opportunities and developed plans to strategically engage with clients in this niche.
What is the proudest achievement of your career?
A hiring manager asks this question to gain insight into the value you could bring to their organization. Share an example of a time that you tapped into your strengths and leveraged that to achieve measurable results.
In all the roles I have held, I am really the proudest of my achievements with American Insurance Company. In just six months, I exceeded all my sales targets and 30+ new clients in my role as an insurance sales representative.
What Steps Would You Take To Be Successful In This Role
This question is a good way to measure a candidate’s willingness to exceed expectations in order to be successful in a future role. Consider asking this question to measure their work ethic, motivation and openness to accept additional responsibilities.
Example:”First, I would do all I can to research our current client base to gain an advanced understanding of their needs and preferences. Next, I would do all necessary research about our company, our services and current sales practices. If needed, I would use my time outside of work to complete these studies and ensure I’ve learned all I can from training materials. I would also do my best to form positive relationships with my coworkers to learn from their expertise and seek support when needed. Finally, I would ask thoughtful questions and apply feedback to my work to actively seek means of improvement.”
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What Sales Technologies Do You Have Experience Using
Interviewers ask this question to discover your familiarity with sales technologies, including whether youâll need training to use the programs that the company uses to sell products.
How to answer:
Make a list of sales technologies youâve used and details of your experience with them. What were you able to accomplish using them? How did they make the sales process easier?
Investigate the latest technologies in the companyâs industry that you donât have experience using. Write down your questions about them, what interests you, and your ideas for how you might use them.
Prepare to answer honestly about your sales technology experience and discuss which tools the company may want you to use.
Other forms this question might take:
âHave you used before?â
âHow comfortable are you with ?â
Question : Have You Learned Anything New Recently
Why this question?
Its a simple question. But a powerful one. The answer is a window into your candidates liveshow they view the world, their priorities, and their personalities. Salespeople are constantly learning new things or investing their time in new activities. It could be anything from sports to creative arts to music or anything under the sun. Whether theyre, in fact, a curious person, this answer will show.
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What One Achievement Are You Most Proud Of
Interviewers ask this question because they want to see what kind of professional you are, be it a career-driven, talented or success-oriented person. If its not too many, mention all the achievements and awards you have received. If the list is long, pick 2 or 3 of the proudest achievements that have to do with your sales experience.
Answer Example:Thanks to my communication and negotiation skills, I was named the top-performing employee for 5 consecutive months in my previous company, and I even got a small trophy for always meeting my targets.
What Is Your Communication Style
Are they a direct communicator who has no problem speaking up and asking a question? Or are they an indirect communicator who needs a little time to warm up? Again, there is no right or wrong answer here the point of this question is to get to know the candidate better. Ideally, your organization should be inclusive of all communication styles.
Additionally, this would be a good time to ask about their preferred methods of communication. Do they prefer to send a message on Slack instead of email? Are they easier to get ahold of via phone?
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Question # : How Do You Stay Updated On Your Target Market
Sales is about knowing your customer, speaking their language, and identifying their pain points.
A good salesperson will be able to describe a specific process they use to stay updated on their target market, and some may identify as part of it. All should be able to name specific websites, magazines, and other publications they use to listen to their target demographic.
How Do You Research Prospects Before A Call Or Meeting What Information Do You Look For
What to look for:
Neglecting to use LinkedIn to research clients is not a viable option in today’s sales environment. Ensure that candidates are searching for personal commonalities in addition to professional information so they can tailor communication as much as possible. Looking into company trigger events would be the cherry on top.
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How Do You Find Pitch And Close Sales Opportunities
If youre interviewing for a sales position, you may also have to demonstrate your sales knowledge. Your hiring manager will want to make sure that you have both theoretical and practical skills required to deliver on your responsibilities and make a sale.
I find a sales opportunity through cold calls, client targeting, and calculated preparation. I make a pitch by listening to a clients unique needs and helping them understand how product A can help them. Finally, I close the opportunity by building a connection with the customer and gaining their trust in both the product and me, until we reach a positive agreement.
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Over The Last Several Years Have You Been Working From Home Or From An Office
Interviewers ask this because:
They want to understand which environments youve worked in.
Workplaces are in flux right now all over the world. Some are back in the office, others are fully remote. Some offer certain days of the week in office, others offer certain teams to be in the office. Some require vaccinations, and some require masks.
How to answer:
Dont be afraid to be honest about your preference, but if being flexible is an option, make sure they know that.
If you know you will only succeed in an office or working from home, it is important to talk about it upfront.
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Tell Me About Yourself
This is a pretty vanilla question. But the answer can be illuminating. Dan Tyre, a 30-year sales veteran and HubSpot director of sales, says, “If they spend the whole 25 minutes talking about their experience or complaining about past teams, that tells you everything you need to know.”
Look for concise, positive answers that touch on their experience and what led them to apply for this position.
What Appeals To You The Most About This Sales Position
In addition to knowing how much you have researched the company, your answer will reveal what attracts you to their company – work culture, specific products or services, incentives, or the opportunity to grow.
If I think from the perspective of a Digital Marketing Specialist, I can see the immense potential your marketing product has. I think its crystal clear that marketing specialists will benefit from how efficient, yet simple your product is. I think its important to sell products that you truly believe in or relate to.