A lot of sales representatives are hired by companies every year, but not all of them make a successful career out of it. There can be a lot of reasons for their failure- too aggressive while dealing with frustrated clients, bad at accepting rejections, unable to build customer rapport etc. But for owners to build a strong sales organization, it is imperative to recruit people who can definitely nail it.
Here is a list of questions you need to ask before you hire a sales rep so you can pre-assess their future performance.
Q.1) What is more important: fulfilling sales quota every month or emphasizing more on satisfying your customer needs?
Depending on your company’s goal, either answer could be the right one. If your company is into sales then reps achieving their sales quota is company’s prime priority, and if it is more inclined towards addressing customer needs and demands then their satisfaction is the ultimate goal. But if your company generates profit by practicing both the activities, then you have to avoid those reps who prioritize sales quota over customer satisfaction.
Ask them for few examples where they dealt with difficult customers and how they managed to do so. Every customer has a distinct nature and behavior, handling them all differently can be really strenuous. Asking them this question can help you to know how good they are at handling people with different temperaments. For ex: Clients who constantly keeps changing their heart, demands one thing on the phone but has a completely different choice to make on email an hour later. The sales rep, in this case, should record the call and use it in case of a conflict.
Q.3) At what stage in the sales cycle would you stop perusing a client?
The more persistent and persuasive your sales reps are, the better it becomes for the organization. Trish Bertuzzi, a founder of The Bridge Group, recommends six to eight attempts before throwing in the towel.
But at the same time your sales rep should also know when to pull back. You can ask your candidate, if they went through a situation where they gave up on their client, and what made them to do so.
Your sales rep should draw a line between persistence and annoyance. They should only focus on leads who are ready and willing to buy. Going after a prospect who doesn’t need your product, would be like; unnecessarily extending your sales cycle.
LinkedIn or twitter is highly considered options used for searching prospect’s details. The more your candidate knows about their prospect’s background, the better they pitch them with the product. Moreover, through these social networking sites your reps can get referrals from their existing clients. So, asking this question will let you know how active your candidate is on social media.
Q.5) How do you keep up to date on your target market?
Even if your candidate had a different target market in their previous job, their answers will help you to know their abilities and how they remained updated with their relevant trade publications and blogs. What sources did they use to keep their eyes on their competitor’s strategies? And ask your candidate about a situation where they managed to acquire a client who was doing business with their competitor.
Q.6) What questions do you ask your prospects to qualify them?
The best way to gain insight on your prospect’s skills is to ask them ‘lead generation/lead qualifying’ questions. The questions which should be asked by the sales rep to the prospect should be of this sort:
How are purchasing decisions made in your organization for a product like ours?
What challenges or problems is your business going through?
How long have you had this problem?
When would you like to have this problem solved?
What are your expectations for the investment to purchase our solution?
Q.7) What are your achievements till date?
Here you can know whether your candidate is a high-achiever or not and how their accomplishments will be beneficial to you. You may find one or two of their achievements which are directly related to the job offered. Identify their situations, the actions they took, skills they used, the positive outcomes, and quantify the benefits where possible.
Q.8) What do you wish to achieve from this role in your long-term vision and how does this profile match your needs?
This open-ended question can be quite difficult to answer. Employers ask this question because they are looking for people who know what they want to do and who are focused on specific professional goals. If your candidate lack goals, they will have difficulty answering this question. Be sure your candidates arrive at the interview with a clear vision of what you want to do today, tomorrow and later on in their future. Whatever their answer is, it should be employer-centered.
These 8 inside sales interview questions can help you appoint the best-fitted reps for your sales team. You can suggest more questions, I would love to hear from you.