How to Improve the Sales Interview Process

Written by Josh Hirsch Posted on April 27, 2022 In
handshake after a sales interview

Finding the right talent acquisition is the key to better sales

Key takeaways:

  • Create the right interview questions
  • Assess if the individual has leadership skills
  • Determine if the candidate is fit for the job
  • Introduce your company to the candidate during the interview
  • Speak to them about sales numbers so you know you’re hiring the right fit

Sales interviews are crucial for choosing the right candidates for your company. There may be a lot of information about interviewing, but it’s sometimes hard to come up with the right questions that tell you everything you need to know about an applicant. This article will discuss how to improve your interview process to get the information you need.

Improving sales interview questions

There are several ways to improve the questions you ask candidates in sales interviews. The first step is to understand what you’re trying to accomplish with your questions.

For example, if you want to hire someone who can remain positive and professional when they receive criticism, you can ask them how they would handle a situation where their supervisor disagreed with their prospecting strategy. This will give you an idea of how they might handle this situation; it will also show whether they can think on their feet.

Another way to improve your sales interview questions is by including some that are designed to assess whether the candidate has leadership qualities

For instance, asking candidates if they have ever been praised for taking charge of a difficult project will give you an idea about whether they can lead others when necessary.

You can also gauge leadership qualities by asking candidates if they have ever been promoted in previous roles because of their ability to work well with co-workers and customers alike.

Aligning your questions with your goals will help you create the right questions to prompt the responses you need.

Conducting good sales interviews

Conducting a sales interview is a bit tricky. You want to ask questions that will help you determine whether the candidate is going to be a good fit for the job, but you don’t want to bombard them with too many questions or make them feel like they’re being interrogated.

Here are some things you can do to make sure that your sales interviews go smoothly:

  • Ask about the candidate’s previous successes in sales roles.
  • Ask about their sales process and what makes it work.
  • If possible, give them some data on your company and see how they react.
  • Encourage them to tell you about themselves and their goals.
  • Ask about their knowledge of your company and its products or services.

It’s important to remember that conducting an interview is a two-way street — you want to be sure that the candidate feels like they have a good chance of getting the job. At the same time, you want them to get a clear picture of what the job entails and what working at your company will be like.

Hiring the best candidate

Hiring the wrong candidate for a position in sales can be costly. In addition to poor performance and low morale, it can also decrease company revenue. While it’s easy to assume that hiring the wrong candidate is just due to bad luck, it can actually be prevented with thorough research and a proper interview process.

Here are some of the best ways to know whether you’re hiring the right sales candidate.

Check their references

When hiring a new salesperson, check their references to make sure they have a history of performing well in previous positions. If they have no references or their references are negative, this could be a red flag indicating they aren’t the right fit for your company.

Review their past sales numbers

This is a great way to determine whether someone is suitable for a sales position. If they have a history of exceeding quotas and performing well overall, then the chances are good that they will do so again in your company.

Ask for testimonials from past customers

Another way you can determine whether someone is right for a sales position is by asking them for testimonials from past customers or clients.

Questions to ask during sales interviews

It’s not enough to just say, “Tell me about yourself.” You’ll never get the information you need to determine if a candidate is worth hiring. You have to ask the right questions so that you can get insights into the candidate’s ability to think and deal with real-life situations.

But what should those questions be?

Here are a few examples of the right questions to ask:

  • How do you overcome objections?

Asking this question helps you gauge the candidate’s convincing power.

  • How do you keep your pipeline full?

The answer here will provide insight into the candidate’s ability to network and strategize for sales.

  • Are you comfortable selling over the phone?

The answer informs you about the candidate’s versatility to sell when the prospect isn’t available in person.

  • What’s your favorite sales objection, and how do you handle it?

The answer will show the candidate’s sales experience and demonstrate how they actually deal with an objection.

  • Why sales? What makes you want to sell things?

By asking this question, you will get an idea of whether the candidate is a natural fit for a sales job and whether they actually enjoy it.

You can also ask the candidate to tell you something interesting about themselves that has nothing to do with work or sales. This allows them to demonstrate their personality, and it will also give them the opportunity to share something about themselves that might be valuable for understanding their work ethic and interests as an employee and a person.

Great interview questions are the key to hiring great candidates

Asking the right sales interview questions is crucial. These are questions that can be used during your interview process to identify the best candidates. When talking with sales candidates about their prior experience, ask thoughtful questions that get insight into what they did well and what can be improved for the next sales position. It’s also beneficial to ask competitive interview questions that uncover how candidates interact with customers, get along with peers, and handle prospecting opportunities.

MetaGrowth Ventures has the tools, skills, and experience to help organizations hire, train, and manage a winning sales team. To learn more about how we can help meet your goals, contact us, and we’ll help your business thrive.

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