How Do Team Leaders Support Sales Staff
Sales might seem like a solitary pursuit, but teamwork is essential to sales. A culture that works toward an overall company goal is likely to be more supportive. You want leaders who share strategies and help you succeed. In a supportive work environment, mentorship opportunities are available to help both you and the business progress.
Tips To Market Yourself In A Sales Interview
A sales interview can be tough, especially because the interviewers already have high expectations from you, with regards to your persuasive skills. If you cannot persuade the hiring manager to hire you for a sales job, then there are little chances that you would succeed in persuading their customers in buying something.
The best way to approach a sales interview is to think of it as a sales meeting. Understand the requirements of the interviewer and see what skills you have got that can be highlighted. Keep an outline ready as to what you can offer, that others cant, in terms of work ethics, resourcefulness, knowledge of the domain etc.
This is easier said than done. Hence, here are our hacks to market yourself in a sales interview:
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.
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Answers To What Is Your Greatest Achievement For Leadership Positions
My greatest professional achievement actually took place before I was an official professional. That achievement would have to be completing my Masters degree in 6 years with a 3.9 GPA. I had absolutely no financial support from my family, as they were struggling during this period. I had to work a full-time job as a waitress while pursuing my engineering degree. This experience showed me that prioritizing my time and staying focused on my goals was the key to success. In a way, the experience made me a better leader, as well. I think struggle and being humble makes it easier for leaders to level with their team, rather than see themselves as a boss. Im invested more in what my team produces because I know how difficult engineering can be. Im very proud of this, and I feel that it gave me quite an advantage in my career now.
What Do You Enjoy About Working With This Company
Asking your interviewer how they enjoy working with the company will give you a sense of how well the company treats all its employees. Some interviewers may generalize their answers, but if you pay attention to their body language and tone of voice when they answer the question, you may be able to perceive the way they truly feel about working for the company. For a better understanding after asking this question, you can also read employee reviews about the company online.
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Answers To What Is Your Greatest Achievement For Finance Department Positions
There was an issue with accounts payable. A lot of money was missing, and none of my supervisors could figure out what happened. Most of the team thought it was stolen. I took the time outside my designated duties to trace the money route for the day and eventually found that the money was in a queue for the wrong vendor. We were able to remedy the issue quickly, and my supervisors were very thankful that I took the time to help out.
I had taken over as bookkeeper for my last employer. Their previous bookkeeper was, unfortunately, not the most modern bookkeeper. I had to spend a lot of time upgrading the bookkeeping plan and implement some new technology to make the process smoother. In the first two months, the number of discrepancies went down 75%. They had been audited every year for three years. In the year I was there, there were no audits. Im pleased to have helped the company improve its financial practices.
If We Hire You What Will You Do In Your First Month
No candidate can tell the future. But the best candidate can always come prepared with a plan. Coming into an interview knowing how youâd adjust to the job reveals a lot of things. It shows that you understand the position, the company, and the demands. Plus, it shows an impressive understanding of how you learn a new routine.
Some folks might be tempted to say that theyâll just âroll with things.â But even more attractive is someone who can say, âI know what I have to do to adapt to a new work environment.â
Even if they donât know the specifics of your onboarding and training experience, it still helps to know theyâve accepted that they wonât hit the ground runningâbut they have a plan to get there sooner rather than later.
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What Type Of Work Environment Do You Thrive In
This question will help you gauge whether a prospective inside sales rep will fit in well at your company. The inside sales process can be stressful, chaotic and very fast-paced. Use this question to understand the sales reps needs.
What To Watch For:
The answer youre looking for will be unique to your company. Before you go into the interview, make sure you have a legitimate understanding of your sales teams work environment, and then listen for how well the interviewees ideal work environment aligns with your own.
How Do You Stay Up
Success in sales demands that you constantly educate yourself on the details and quirks of your target market. The fact is that peoples buying habits change, and sometimes, they can change abruptly.
An employer will want to know that you can keep up with the pace of the industry, and that you wont need any hand-holding when new technologies hit the market.
A good answer:
- Mentions specific resources like blogs, courses, industry publications, etc.
- Outlines your learning routine, including how and how often you do so
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I Sometimes Lack Confidence
Lack of confidence is a common weakness, especially among entry-level contributors. Experiencing a lack of confidence can sometimes cause inefficiencies in your work. For example, you might feel unqualified to speak up at an important meeting when your idea could help the team to achieve a goal.
While being humble when working with others can be helpful, it is also necessary to maintain a certain amount of confidence to do your job at an optimal level.
If this is the weakness you choose to present in your interview, emphasize why you value confidence, your understanding of the value you offer, and ways you have practiced displaying confidence in the workplace
Example:In the past, I have sometimes struggled with confidence. It has been helpful for me to keep a running document of the impact I have made on my team and at my organization to better understand why I should be confident about the skills and unique talents I bring to the table.
I have also made it a point to voice my ideas and opinions during meetings when I feel they are appropriate and will add value to the conversation. Because of this, our team ended up adopting my idea for a new financing process, which resulted in a 10% decrease in time taken to plan our annual budget.
Do You Have Any Questions For Me
This is the most important question you will be asked in the interview. Your answer always needs to be Yes!
You BETTER have a few questions because questioning shows interest. But dont ask questions for the sake of asking questions. Ask questions on things you are genuinely curious about.
Below are a few questions that the best candidates ask during a sales interview.
FYI: Questions number 1, 5 & 6 on the list are very impressive to prospective employers. The candidates I prepped to ask these questions almost always got the offer.
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What Core Values Do You Think You Need To Succeed
Of all questions in this list, this one is the most tricky to answer quickly. You could use humor, or you could give a more systematic, step-by-step answer.
But remember that the interviewer needs to see whether youll be an asset to the company. If a company has a progressive, loose culture, you dont your answers to be rigid and full of sales clichés.
A good answer:
- Speaks to your integrity, work ethic and character
- Aligns your values with those of the company youre interviewing with
- Explains why those values matter to you as well as the company
What To Say For Weaknesses In An Interview: When They Are Related To Personality
Lack of patience is a major weakness of mine.I tend to suffer from a lack of confidence in some work situationsI like getting solo assignments and working alone despite knowing that teamwork is betterImage from Startup Stock Photos under pexels licensemy inability to acclimatize fast enough to different personalities on a team.
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When A Customer Rejects You Or A Sale Falls Through How Do You Respond
What theyre really asking about is how well you handle disappointment and rejection. This is another chance to highlight your emotional intelligence and ability to handle tough situations.
Potential Answer: “Well, thats not ideal, and I do hate losing a sale. But, I dont take rejection personally. Ultimately, the customer has every right to say, no. In a situation where they are a definite no, I would thank them for their time and move on to another opportunity. If theres a chance they might change their mind, I would continue with the sales process as defined by the company. And if a sale falls through, Ill ask for feedback on what I could do better , and then apply what I learn in the next deal.”
What Makes You A Good Salesperson
What They Want to Know: Your response will give interviewers a sense of the qualities you think are most important in a salesperson. Ideally, your answer will match what the company looks for in a candidate.
I enjoy the personal connections with prospects and customers, but I think where I really shine is in the details. I’m hyper-organized my calendar is full of reminders to follow up with customers, and I never let an email linger without quickly responding. Plus, I always spend time with new productslots of time. This allows me to be able to answer questions fluently, showing off features that aren’t always obvious.
More Answers: Why are you good at sales?
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What Is Your Main Career Goal
This question should be the most fun to answer, so dont miss the opportunity to make eye contact and smile when you speak!
Here, its OK to show that you have career goals that dont relate to money. If you plan to raise a family and send your children to college, tell an interviewer precisely that!
A good answer:
- Lines up your career aspirations with what the company can provide
- Considers both short-term and long-term goals in your career
- Shows your goals are realistic and achievable and that youre already taking steps to make them a reality
Don’t Listen To Boring And Repetitive Advice Online
If you search “Follow up email after interview” in Google, you’ll come across incredibly boring email templates, such as this one:
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me yesterday. It was such a pleasure to learn more about the team and position, and Im very excited about the opportunity to explore a career with your company.
I look forward to hearing back from you about the next steps, and please let me know if I can provide any additional information.
So, what’s wrong with it?
- It’s incredibly boring.
- The same thing could be written to any other interviewer.
- Fails to mention any personal connection or topic of conversation that occurred during the interview.
- Conveys a lack of interest in the company.
- Provides no added value to the interviewer.
If I sent this as my follow-up thank you email, I might as well not have sent one at all. I needed to prove that I deserved the job. That I was the person this team needed.
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Approach It Like A Sales Meeting
If youre a good sales person, you should be able to sell yourself. Think about it from the companys point of view if youre not able to sell yourself, how are you going to sell their product? Youll also be representing them in the marketplace so bear this in mind throughout the interview.
You should approach the interview like you would a sales meeting. Thoroughly research the business youre talking to and try to think through every possible scenario. What weaknesses may they identify? What do you offer that the competition do not?
One thing to bear in mind is that you should definitely look to be consultative rather than salesy. More than ever, businesses are looking for sales people who offer solutions to their clients problems. Few now go for an aggressive old-school sales approach.
How To Answer Why Sales
Why are you interested in sales? You need to know the answer to that question before you sit down for your interview. Think of this like an elevator pitch. Develop a short, catchy explanation of what attracts you to sales and why you think youre going to be good at it. This should be about 30 seconds to a minute long, no more. Youll likely have a chance to elaborate further, but the idea is to sell yourself without selling.
- Does the challenge of closing a sale get your heart pumping?
- Do you feel strongly about the product or service youre selling?
- Do you get supercharged by the competitive aspect of beating out your colleagues?
You can tailor your answer to the company for which youre interviewing, too. Check out their website and visit sites like Glassdoor to see what makes the business tick. If employees talk about monthly sales quotas or tiered commission, see if that resonates with you. If so, reference that as you being committed to surpassing monthly quotas by 10% or something similar.
Above all, its important to be honest. Youre likely interviewing with someone who has been through this process countless times and met with dozens if not hundreds of applicants. They can smell a lie from 10 miles away. In other words, dont ramble on about your 100% close rate unless you have the cold, hard figures to back it up.
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Questions To Prepare For
You should prepare for questions in a number of specific areas. In particular, you should be ready to be asked:
- About key sales principles and practices
- Your thoughts on customer service crucial to success in sales
- Competency-based questions exploring your adaptability, persuasion, negotiation and presentation skills
Specific questions you are likely to be asked include:
- Have you always met your targets?
- What has been your biggest career challenge to date? And how did you overcome it?
- What sale are you most proud of and why?
- What would you do if you were not getting a response from one of your clients?
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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Have A List Of Questions Ready
When the interview is coming to a close and youre asked if you have any questions, dont just say no. Thoughtful questions indicate to the interviewer two things: 1) your interest in the company and the role and 2) your ability to listen to what youve been told during the interview .
To avoid getting stuck, its safe to go in with a list of questions that you can pull out on request. Some examples include:
- What qualities do the most successful sales people at your company possess?
- What percentage of your sales force hit their targets?
- How much flexibility do sales people have to negotiate deals?
- What are the main barriers to success for your sales team?
- How big is your sales team and how is it structured?
- Whats the best thing about working in sales at the business?