Sunday, November 26, 2023

How To Win A Sales Interview

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Sales secrets to win job interviews

Successful salespeople are lifelong learners. With this question, you can uncover what content the candidate consumes to refine their sales skills.

Ask them to share key takeaways from the materials theyâve read. When interviewing sales managers, also ask about leadership resources to gauge how invested they are in developing themselves as supervisors.

If the candidate canât name any specific sales resources or publications, ask if they can offer details on other ways theyâre trying to improve and grow. Maybe they recently completed a social selling course on LinkedIn, or perhaps they attend sales conferences every year. The point of this question is to see if the candidate is committed to personal developmentâa strong indicator of a top-performing employee.

Can You Describe The Main Differences Between Sales Cloud & Service Cloud

Sales & Service Cloud both act as the core CRM platforms for Salesforce and will be used by the majority of organisations. While both share some similarities, they are distinctly different products that contain different sets of features for their specific function.

  • Sales Cloud This product is designed to support businesses with their sales cycle. Taking a potential customer on a journey from qualifying them through the Lead object to converting them into an Opportunity where the main sales cycle takes place. Sales Cloud also has a number of other features to support this process, from quoting to forecasting.
  • Service Cloud Service Cloud on the other hand helps organisations with their customer support process. Customers initiate a support process by emailing, calling, or submitting an online form. Once this case has been created in Salesforce, agents can use features such as a Knowledge base to help find answers to questions, milestones to ensure SLA are met, as well as features like live chat to talk to customers in real-time.

Read More:Sales Cloud vs Service Cloud What Are The Differences?

Why Did You Pursue A Career In Sales

Why They’re Asking

Like a few other questions listed here, this one helps interviewers gauge how much skin you have in the game. They want to know you have an extremely personal stake in what you do that you approach your career with passion and sincere interest.

With this question, they’re giving you an opportunity to show that you’ll bring solid energy to the position. If you can’t articulate why you like sales, they might think you’re pursuing the position for the wrong reasons.

How to Answer

Be sincere. You obviously have a reason why you got into sales and that should extend beyond, “I wanted to make money.” Start with how you got into the field. Then, explain why you’ve enjoyed it enough to stick with your career trajectory.

Talk about how your personality and skill set align with sales as a practice but also discuss the specific aspects you love about both your day-to-day and overarching goals.

In addition to anticipating some of the most common sales job interview questions, you should be preparing for your sales interview in other ways. Below, you’ll find our top tips.

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Why This Matters For Interviews

Now imagine what would happen if your employees had that kind of fervor for the company too.

Theyd come in fired up every day and probably be way more productive .

This is why the very best companies look for a compelling why in those that they seek to bring on to their sales team. As its been said, the first sale has to happen in the heart of the salesperson otherwise its hard to get your customers excited about your products/services too.

So you need to get clear and right with your why. Making it crystal clear that your why or personal vision is in line with theirs too.

These are questions you should be able to answer :

  • Why sales? What keeps me here?
  • When Ive been the happiest in my job, how would I describe what that looked like and why it was the case?
  • What do I do best?
  • What do I loathe doing?
  • What motivates me to help my buyers?
  • Why should I make a move now?

Make sure you can answer those questions authentically and honestly. As the Japanese say, find your Ikigai :

These are crucial questions to think about to know what you gets you fired up to slay the day! Otherwise, whats the point?

Prepare your soundbites ahead of time and have them dialed in for the interview.

Make sure youre able to easily and clearly speak to:

How Would You Define Your Management Style

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Your candidate will be expecting this one, but itâs worth asking. Whatever answer they give, make sure to follow it up by asking for specific examples of how their management style has been put into action. They should be able to provide stories of times their style was tested, implemented, and successful.

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Tips To Succeed In Your Next Sales Interview

Once you have polished your resume and crafted the perfect cover letter, its time to focus on your interview. Preparing for your sales interview can help you make a solid first impression on your hiring manager. In this article, we provide an overview of how to prepare for your sales interview so you can convey your qualifications and determine whether the job is right for you.

This Article Covers The Top 10 Things You Need To Do To Prepare For Your Next Sales Interview Specifically It Explains Why You Should:

  • Come equipped with your selling numbers
  • Be prepared to speak about specific wins
  • Articulate why and how you win business

Like most aspects of business, the interviewing and hiring strategies companies use have evolved they are now more rigorous and hyper personalized than ever, especially in sales. Because the best sales interview processes are structured to ensure consistency and objectivity in the hiring process, it is now that much more imperative for candidates to be prepared.

For example, at Peak, interview questions used to assess a potential sales representative are more in depth and role specific than simply ticking down a list of standard interview questions such as tell me about your work experience or what interests you about this position? World-class companies have eliminated these questions and evolved their interviewing and hiring practices to reflect the need to conduct structured interviews that eliminate subjectivity from the hiring process and expose average and below-average sellers.

As a top performer, you actually want to be faced with exacting and challenging questions, because it speaks to the standards and expectations your potential employer has aligned themselves with. If you do find yourself in a generic interview that doesnt spark any thoughtful discussion or press into your ability to achieve your quotas, consider it a red flag this is potentially in line with how the rest of the business is run.

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How Are Changes Tested In Salesforce Before Being Deployed To Production

A fundamental concept of any IT system is that changes should never be made in Production. They need to be tested in a safe environment to ensure nothing breaks and user processes are not disrupted.

Salesforce provides a feature known as Sandboxes. These replicate your Production configuration, giving you a safe environment to test changes and implement new features.

Sandboxes come in different flavours, ranging from a Developer sandbox that only contains your custom configuration, all the way through to Full Copy Sandboxes, that contain all your configuration and data.

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Tip #6 Hire The Technically

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According to Tim Clarke, the best SaaS salespeople are comfortable discussing technology based on his years of experience.

The director of sales at SEOblog explains:

A highly technical category needs a sales rep with strong attention to general technology trends and developments. Its not enough to just know your product. You must also understand its integration and impact that fit other tech products.

Tim Clarke, director of sales at SEOblog

The technical sales reps are like strategic advisors in their fields, according to Tim. Technical questions wont throw them off. They can quickly identify the most appealing features to buyers and educate them on making the most out of them.

Its easier for these technical sales reps to convince prospects that our product is the best choice.

Sales Interview Tips Recap #6: Go beyond the company's product. Dig deep into how it fits in the customer's entire ecosystem.

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Use Common Industry Problems To Capture Their Interest

How can you help solve the problems that this company is facing?

You know the common struggles and challenges facing sales teams because thats your world. So, use that knowledge to sell yourself as the solution.

Heres an example of this from Zety:

Photo credit: Zety

This example pulls at a common industry problem and shows how this salesperson created a solution to that problem.

What To Look For In A Sales Rep

In the previous section, we talked about what are typically considered soft skills, and have a lot to do with drive and interpersonal skills. Now, lets look into traits that are more often called hard skills, which are considered more specific, defined and measurable and should definitely be covered by your sales interview questions.

Even though sales roles can vary from entry-level positions through to account management and even executive positions, its crucial to look for these qualities in all potential salespeople, and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

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Walk Me Through A Sale You Closed

This is not the time to talk about an easy sale. Interviewers want to see how methodically a candidate approaches the complex sales process, and how they overcome challenges.

Choose a sale that was a bit of a struggle and required clever problem-solving. And it shouldnt be all about you, you, you. I would also expect them to demonstrate how much of a team player they are, says Laurie Spieler, VP of Sales for marketing data provider Lusha. It is concerning if they only speak about how they were responsible for the win.

Tip #2 Get Clear On The Companys Best Customers

The Phone Sales Interview

Léonore Fabre joined PickYourSkills six months ago, and she still remembers her interview like it was yesterday.

The junior sales executive had received an email from the head of sales, instructing her to .

After receiving the product documentation and the names of a few current clients, Léonore got to work:

  • Create a fictional company to identify the decision-maker among the different software buyers
  • Research the decision-makers daily challenges
  • Research the PickYourSkills website, blog, and social media accounts
  • Study the product documentation and highlight the relevant benefits when pitching to the decision maker
  • She also asked several sales qualification questions to uncover the right needs and create an interactive pitch .

    While were on the subject of questions, here are a few that Nathan Hughes, digital marketing and SEO manager at Diggity Marketing, suggests you should consider if youre applying for a managerial position:

    Sales Interview Tips Recap #2: Prepare some answers to the questions listed above. More importantly, put together a few sales qualification questions for the mock sales pitch. This will show the hiring manager that you've done the work when it comes to prospecting and active listening. 

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    Insider Tips For Acing A Sales Job Interview

    Congratulations, youve just heard back about an interview for that sales job youre after! If you tell a friend, chances are youll hear some age-old advice. It might be, Youre great, just go in there and be yourself or Give a firm handshake. That’s good advice and Im 100% on board, but lets be honest, it’s a little bit generic.

    The fact is that landing a sales job requires you to impress your interviewer in a very specific way, including by showing your personality and proving your ability to deliver reliable results. You also might be up against intense competition. To truly master your sales interview, you need to use techniques specifically aimed at standing out among other candidates and landing a sales role.

    Consider me your friendly neighborhood sales expert. Ive secured six sales roles, worked in sales recruiting for a Fortune 500 company, headhunted sales talent across the country, and provided career coaching for sales associates and C-suite executives alike. Ive seen the sales hiring process from every possible angle, and its given me unique expertise on how to master sales interviews. Here are my five top tips to help you ace yours.

    How Do You Organize Your Day

    The correct answer is going to sound a little boring. Be boring. Sales jobs have plenty of excitement, but theres a daily grind to the work, too. It takes organizational skills and endurance to get to the thrilling moments. Interviewers want to know a candidate is willing to put in the hard, unglamorous work. I always ask about the average daily number of cold calls, how many result in appointments, and how many become customers, says Bruce A. Hurwitz, executive recruiter and career counselor for Hurwitz Strategic Staffing.

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    What Do You Like And Dislike About The Sales Process

    This question is asked to explore the candidate’s self-awareness and motivation.

    • Know your strengths in the sales process as these will translate into what you like.
    • Your “likes” and strengths should correspond to the main priorities of this sales position.

    For example, if your strength is negotiating, describe how you enjoy this aspect of sales and your satisfaction at coming up with win-win solutions. Highlight how this has resulted in both satisfied customers and increased sales which is what this position is looking for.

    When responding to the “dislikes” go carefully!

    • Thebest approach is to choose a characteristic of your present or previous company such as its poor delivery on the sales you made or its lack of flexibility when it came to negotiating sales solutions.
    • Answer in a positive manner as someone who is able to take these sort of problems in their stride and constructively improve on them.

    For example if the delivery of company products was slow and resulted in angry customers, discuss how you instituted a follow-up process that accelerated delivery.

    Tip #1 Research The Companys Current And Future Outlook

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    Michael Weinstein cites the mock presentation as the most challenging part of his sales interview.

    The enterprise account executive, who also runs Sales Trax on the side, was tasked with presenting the companys product to the hiring manager and VP.

    Michael began his preparation by researching the companys website. He also read about the company on Gartner and Forrester and watched the latest keynote speech.

    Based on these resources, Michael was able to determine the direction of the product and position his presentation accordingly. He even signed up for the companys free trial and incorporated it into his slides.

    I tried to learn where the business was heading to, not just where it had been previously. This way, I communicated that I really cared about their business.

    Michael Weinstein, enterprise account executive

    It wasnt anything pretty, shares Michael. But it showed I really wanted the job. And it worked!

    Sales Interview Tips Recap #1. Come prepared, whether it's signing up for the free trial or reading up on the latest news about the company. Publications, FAQs, and knowledge base forums are loaded with insights that will no doubt help with your interview.

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    Prepare Questions To Ask The Interviewer

    Most people take a wrong turn in interviews when they say things like Ive got everything I need or You covered it all, I have no more questions without having asked anything of consequence.

    Do Not Do This! This is an important life decision and hiring managers expect you to treat it as such. It affects you AND them if either party gets it wrong and they need your collaboration to get it right.

    Take notes during each interview and through out your research. Before you show up for the interview, take some time to think about what has stood out and where you need more clarity. This is your opportunity to confirm/deny if the role is truly remarkable for you.

    Think about what questions you need to ask to figure out if the company youre interviewing with is or is not that next step.

    As I always say, seek to understand not to sell or respond. This is not exception to the rule.

    Doing this shows the person interviewing you that youre thinking critically about whether theres a good fit. This puts them at ease, makes you look sharp, and is a prequel to how youll be in the role.

    Consider How To Convey Them In A Concrete Measurable Way

    One way to communicate your achievements is by attaching numbers to them. By using concrete details, you can up-level the quality of your communication, back up your assertions with “proof,” appeal to the logic of the interviewer, and challenge them to imagine themselves in the numbers.

    Here’s how:

    Instead of saying, “I have experience in cold calling,” you’d say, “At my last company, I’d make X cold calls per hour and successfully convert around X% of them into warm leads.

    Instead of saying, “I’m skilled at fundraising,” you’d say, “I fundraised X dollars last year for the .

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    Can You Describe In Three Sentences As If You Were Pitching To A Client

    This is a creative, sales-related spin on the traditional question, âWhat do you know about our company?â They probably prepared for that questionâbut they might not be prepared for this unique way of asking it. Itâs a tactic used to see if they can rise to the challenge without a lot of stalling.

    Hopefully, the candidate has researched your business in-depth to understand your product or serviceâput that knowledge to the test.

    A candidate should be able to deliver a succinct, captivating pitch. They should also present accurate details that go beyond the information found on your home page. If itâs a really top-notch candidate, they should be able to weave together a pitch thatâs so good youâll be sold on your own product or service.

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