Question 1. Why Did You Get Into Sales?
You want someone who will stay so definitely give less points for people who would say monetary benefits (like commission and spiffs) as their main motivation.
Question 2. What’s Your Number One Signal That It’s Time To Stop Pursuing A Client?
You’re looking for tenacity and persistence. Ask them how many attempts they will make. Ask what creative techniques they’ve used before that turned a “cold-ish” lead into a client. Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group recommends up to eight attempts before retiring a lead.
Question 3. Choose A Topic And Explain?
Let them choose something they’re capable of explaining thoroughly. What you’re looking for is helpful, consultative demeanor as opposed to someone “giving instructions”. Are they patient in fleshing out details, looking at you for cues of interest or confusion? The important thing to note here is how they conduct themselves when faced with the task of explaining something thoroughly.
Question 4. Have You Ever Turned A Prospect Away?
Sales is not about seeing what sticks–that’s why you form buyer personas and pinpoint your ideal clients before launching a sales campaign. If your candidate says they will never do that, it’s time to do some explaining that not all potential customers are good fits
Question 5. How Do You Keep Yourself Updated About Your Niche?
They should be able to give you specific processes they had in place in their past job. Even if they’re from a different niche, they should demonstrate understanding of why being updated is crucial. Having prior go-to techniques is a good demo of this.
Question 6. What Do You Hate About Selling?
Is their least favorite part of the sales process a crucial step in the sales process of your company? Might be better to let them walk.
Question 7. What’s Your Ideal Collaboration Process?
There are a couple of things to watch out for in their answer to this question. First, how do they react to the idea of collaboration within sales teams? Many sales professionals have strong personalities and having the ability to collaborate is key in making a team shine.
Question 8. Tell Me How You’d Use Social Media In Your Selling?
Social selling is touted as the now of sales. You need an inside sales rep who is not social media-savvy but knows the place of social media in inside sales. If they haven’t used social media in selling before, make sure they’re open to learn and use social profiles as an extension of your company (or at least create profiles for that purpose).
Question 9. What’s Your Research Process Before A Sales Call Or A Meeting?
It’s important to ask them what kind of information they’re looking for before the call. Aside from basic information, do they look for important nuggets like mutual connections on LinkedIn? Do they look for cues and clues that would help them further personalize their communications with prospects
Question 10. What Do You Think Of Continuous Learning In Sales?
Look at how they’d respond to this question not commonly asked in interviews. This would give you an idea how they respond to that occasional oddball question from clients and prospects.
Question 11. In Your Last Sales Position, What Did You Focus On More, Nurturing Existing Client Relationship Or Chasing After New Clients?
While this question’s answer probably largely relies on how their past companies managed sales, you want to be on the lookout for aspirants who know that one or the other can never be left behind. Both are crucial in inside sales and expanding the sales pipeline.
Question 12. What Drives You?
Screen for cheesy answers. Get to the core. Is it money? Recognition? Helping others? Being on top? Depending on what your company’s values are, you’ll get an idea if you have an applicant that could fit your sales culture well.
Question 13. Have You Ever Had The Experience Of Probing Why A Deal Failed?
You’re looking for salespeople who are persistent and are willing to get better after every call. These are the type of employees that drive success from the sales floor. Make sure that they are able to understand why this is important–and if they never had the chance or direction to do so, ask what they would do if they were in such a situation.
Question 14. What Can We Do Better?
Ideally, your aspirant has researched about your company, your sales process and your products. More than having the right suggestions, what you’re looking out here for is if they did research before the interview. Major brownie points if they did.
Question 15. How Do You Stay Positive During A Tough Day?
The sales life is ridden with rejection. It’s definitely crucial for a salesperson to have the ability to self-inject positivity when needed. Ask them for their techniques.
Question 16. How Would A Past Client You Closed A Sale For Would Describe You?
In the age of consultative selling, we’re looking for words like “knowledgeable” and “helpful”.
Question 17. What Are Your Top Three Approaches When Handling Customer Objections?
Ask them about techniques they use when responding to price objections, early objections and other types of resistance from customers. Listen if they have a process in place.
Question 18. What Would You Prefer: No Happy Customers Or Not Hitting Quota Each Month?
Of course, no one would prefer anything here–but ask them what’s worse. Depending on the position they’re interviewing for and the goals of your company, they can make the wrong or right answer that would demonstrate their fit.
Question 19. Tell Me About Your Longest Slump And How You Turned That Around?
It’s good to let them know that yours is a reasonable company. You know that everyone has bad spells. Ask them to tell you about it: what led to it and how they turned it around.
Question 20. What’s Your Favorite Question To Ask Prospects?
With today’s sales climate, salespeople are really better off asking questions that shooting spiels. Ask them what’s their go-to question that gets prospects to open up about their pain points.
Question 21. What Will Be The Pinnacle Of Your Career?
According to Glassdoor, lack of opportunities for growth is one of the top reasons salespeople go on to look for another job. If your company is unable to provide growth opportunities to the person you’re interviewing, you’re better off letting them walk than to have to go through hiring again sooner than you’d like.
Question 22. How Do You Use Content In Sales?
Nurturing leads and attracting prospects through useful content are major ingredients of the inside sales recipe. Ask the aspirant how they would use content in day to day operations.
Question 23. Describe Your Ideal Prospect?
This is a test of whether they did research on your company or not, and if they are capable of selling to your target clients or not. You’d have to watch out for details–how well do they know the audience and if they can give a general overview of the common pain points for ideal clients of your company and product.
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