Interviewing potential salespeople is a very difficult task for most sales leaders, Franchisees and/or business owners today.  Why?  Because the candidate has been trained on what to say, what questions to ask, how to dress and how to use nonverbal communication skills to their advantage. In other words they are great interviewees but they don’t necessarily make great employees!

So how do sales managers or sales leaders separate the pretenders from the contenders as it relates to hiring new sales talent?  Here are some of my favorite interview questions to ask potential sales candidates:

  • At the end of this interview what are the two things you’d like me to know about you?
  • What attracted you to this opportunity?
  • How did you prepare for this interview?
  • Describe your job search activities.
  • What part of the selling process are you best at?
  • What part of the selling process needs the most improvement?
  • How do you qualify/disqualify opportunities?
  • Highlight any personal/professional development activities you engaged in in the past year.
  • If you were offered the job what actions would you put in place in the first 30-days to “hit the ground running?”
  • How would you build your pipeline?
  • Describe your time/territory management process.
  • Tell me about the most difficult customer situation you ever encountered and how you overcame it.
  • What motivates you?
  • Tell me about the best manager you ever worked for. What made them so good?
  • What are your income goals in the first year? In three years?
  • What does a “fair” compensation plan mix look like from your perspective?

By asking 8 to 10 of the questions above you’ll be able to make a more informed decision as to who would be the “best fit” to join your team.  If you begin to make better hires (that get up to speed more quickly and consistently perform month-in/month-out) sales managers/sales leaders will be able to drive sales productivity while improving management effectiveness!

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