Your personality is a huge part of sales, which is why personality plays a tremendous role in the sales job interview.
To utilize this strength, applicants for sales jobs should be aware of possible interview questions and answers beforehand, so that they have mentally prepared answers that will win them the position. Any time you are asked to provide a negative trait about the position you are applying for, you should tread carefully. Common sales interview questions and answers revolve around how you view the skills involved in a specific sales technique or aspect of the sales process. Any interview questions about your discomfort in sales should always be responded to with a “no” without any elaboration.
Rejections are common within sales jobs, and one of the primary reasons that most personalities could not handle sales roles. As most of my readers know I am a huge fan of using marketing to develop the lead flow for sales people so they don’t have to do cold calling.
Many companies expect their sales people to do their own prospecting, which can be thought of as doing their own lead generation. Lack of Motivation: Experienced sales people hate to prospect, and are usually terrible at it.
Lack of Focus: Even if a salesperson does do some prospecting successfully, as soon as they generate some pipeline, they become too busy to prospect. Sales people have a reputation for being ADD – how does adding more responsibilities help that?
For example, if someone whose primary role is to generate outbound leads begins spending more than 20% of their time qualifying inbound leads, it’s time to look at specializing and creating a separate role just for responding to inbound leads. If I could find the right person, I could usually have a productive business conversation with them. In Desperation, I Tried An Experiment: I’d always assumed that mass emailing executives wouldn’t work. I wrote one email that was a classic salesy cold calling letter: “Do you have these challenges?
I also wrote a totally “short and sweet” different email simply asking for a referral to the right person at the company. And at least five of the emails I received from the short and sweet campaign were positive, referring me to other people in the organization as the best person for a conversation about sales force automation.
I discovered that mass emailing C-level F5000 executives, with specific kinds of emails, can generate 9%+ response rates.  Those high response rates (8-10% or more) from high-level executives have held true year after year, even with my current clients in 2010, seven years later.
In the next month, April 2003, I increased my results by 500% and generated 11 qualified sales opportunities!
Getting clear on your Ideal Customer Profile, including how to describe them and what their core challenges are, is the most important exercise to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing and sales functions. The result of this should be a list of criteria that you want, with an explanation of the reasons why. The book provides some great examples of how to work through this exercise, and what the output should look like. There is always some salesperson or executive who wants to throw in a bunch of salesy stuff (our value, bullet points, attached PDFs) – You have to prevent that. If you don’t yet have someone doing this already, and you are looking for a person to set it up, you want to find someone who is a problem solver, and who is entrepreneurial. After that, you really just want smart people who can figure things out, who know something about business. They should have a good sense of process, because if you are disorganized, it is not going to be effective. The Layers of the Onion idea is all about how to lead a prospect through to becoming a customer.
The high level concept here is that people need to take multiple steps to get to know you.  Sales people need to relax, and stop trying to go for the close so fast. Instead of resisting this trend and staying attached to how potential customers used to, or “should” get to know your company, go with it and give the prospects the control over how they want to get to know you. Present them with a couple of logical next steps and let them decide how and when to move forward (of course, with some helpful reminders now and then if they’ve stalled).
Setting up progressive layers of the onion is key to “receiving sales” or “pulling sales” (much easier than pushing sales). The layers enable prospects and vendors to test mutual compatibility with progressive steps of increasing trust and commitment, to minimize the risk and costs of a bad fit to both parties. As a seller, now you can more easily test out how much of a fit the customer is for you, before you commit extra time or resources to them! If you see prospects getting stuck somewhere in your “layers”, consider redesigning your next-step offers. Let go of trying to control prospects, and trust that if it’s a good mutual fit, and you keep nurturing them and your “layers” are relevant & useful, they will become a customer someday!
You MUST specialize your salespeople, and have, at a minimum, at least one (better is two) outbound reps focused 100% on prospecting – and that means NO CLOSING or inbound lead qualification.
Train your outbound salespeople to be “businesspeople who can sell”, rather than salespeople.


Aaron says that, in their marketing and prospecting, companies and people do way too much selling. I have recently posted a slide deck that talks more about this topic here: Using Outbound Prospecting to reach highly targeted prospects. Because the financials can vary so much from company to company and quotas, there’s no set answer. Agree 100% with this article and have used the practices listed, including Salesforce… to make this work. Well it depends ?? If you can offer a free trial that they sign up for themselves, that’s usually the best way to get them started. Iam working as a sales manager for the Italian Market..the crisis is everywhere,so what would be your best advice speaking about problematic economies and obviously problematic bussines?
SMBs come in all different stripes: restaurants are different than coffee shops are different than fast-food shops from yoga studios, and so on.
Describe a time when you had to build a collaborative relationship with another department in order to achieve a sales goal. Describe the work environment or culture and its management style in which you experienced the most success. Describe three components of your philosophy with sales management that demostrate the value you add. Give me an example from past experience about a time when you had an underperforming employee reporting to you? If I were to interview the people who have reported to you in the past, how would they describe your management style? Rate your management skills on a scale of 1 to 10 representing the excellence in management skills. Tell me about a time where you played an integral role in getting the sales team back on track?
What factors are crucial within an organization and must be present for you to work most effectively? MORE ABOUT BRANDONAfter being physically and mentally disabled by a brain tumor, Brandon overcame the odds to regain his health to help his pregnant wife in her fight against stage 3 breast cancer. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Sales professionals have a unique ability to pick up on minute changes in behavior and exploit them. Below you will find several common interview questions and tips for how to answer them effectively. An example of an answer that effectively resolves the question is, “Walking away from a sale when I know the prospect could benefit from our solution.” This answer shows you know that there are times where you need to walk away and show that you understand that sales is about solutions.
For example, “What do you see are the key skills in closing a sale?” Answers to these types of questions should always focus on responding to the buyer’s concerns and on how the product or service will benefit the recipient.
Though you should absolutely practice answering job interview questions, you should also prepare your attitude. Instead of spending hours trying to look up how I should answer questions I adjusted your answers to suit me. The main reason for this is the high cost of salespeople, and as a result, the high cost per lead that is created using this technique. For example, qualifying web leads is a much lower value distraction for sales people than managing current clients.
Different roles makes it much easier to break out different steps in your processes, which means better metrics. The sources of these leads are either marketing programs, search engine marketing, or organic word-of-mouth. In today’s world of “frictionless karma”, someone needs to be dedicated to making customers successful–and that is NOT the salesperson! For example, it can often make sense to have different reps for different vertical industries that get to know and understand the customer problems, terminology, and specific vertical messaging.
The second person you hire, after a salesperson who can close, should be a sales rep who is dedicated just to generating leads for your first closer.
When your reps, as a group, are spending more than 20% of their time on a secondary function, break out that function into a new role.
If you are going to implement a cold calling 2.0 process, this is an critically important starting point. The trick is to being specific enough about who you should talk to, or what you do, in a very short way. Ideally you want to have someone in your company who  would like the opportunity to do this. The old way of marketing and selling involved pushing information onto prospects and then working to control their steps along a sales process. With the layers of the onion, a prospect can engage right away at the level they feel comfortable with, and then can work their way up the trust & commitment layers as they and you see fit. Committing to a bad-fit customer is an enormous cost, and the right layers can help you avoid those landmines.


You’ll have to accept that most prospects that initially sign up for a blog, trial or demo just won’t be ready to do anything. What is the next “juicy morsel” they would want if you showed it to them, that would help them take another step forward? You can generate quality referrals from cold contacts who have never heard of you via short and sweet email templates. Measure results-based activities (“# Scoping Calls Completed”) as opposed to metrics like dials. Not only do they need to have a multi-step outbound sales process that works, they also must be able to have an intelligent conversation with high-level executives, whether via email or phone. How could you say it in simpler terms, so it relates to more what’s before and after this sentence?
In the US, we refer to them as people that have their hair on fire, and really need to find a solution. Majority of sale professionals are hired under 1099 contractor agreements and considered full time employees with paid benefits plus commissions.
A listing of five easy to follow answering tips will help to guide you throughout the process to gain favor and win success at your next interview.
Gaille is one of the top business bloggers in the world, and he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. The best applicants for a sales job are those that can adapt their answers and behaviors to what they know the interviewer is looking to hear, and present them in ways that influence their opinion.
At your job interview, the interviewer will be looking for your sales skills, and the aspects of the process that help close deals. Sales interviews are about who you are as a person and how you answer questions at the job interview.
When she is not writing she indulges in reading, cooking, really good coffee and photography. I was so confident in the interview I was asked back for a second interview days later and got the job.
Aaron’s group came up with several important breakthroughs which enabled them add over $100m in incremental recurring revenues over a few short years. However in certain situations, it does make sense to augment marketing with outbound cold calling.
Any individual that tries to juggle too many responsibilities, will have a much lower ability to get things done.
Another type of specialization that can make sense is based on customer size: one group for large accounts, and another for smaller, as their problems and required solutions and messaging are different. I realized I spent most of my time hunting for the right person – not trying to sell or qualify them. Best is if you can have two people starting this at the same time, so they leverage the buddy system.
What new layers, content or products can you create that are compelling and relevant to who the prospect is and where they are in their evaluation & buying cycle? Aaron was kind enough to share a sizeable sample of the book (the first three chapters) for our readers, which you can download by clicking here.
We have inbound sales development staff who qualifies leads and takes them through the following steps: 1) Initial call, 2) ROI analysis with the customer, 3) Online presentations. This requires careful identification of the specific vertical industries and applications where this is true, and then creating a targeted marketing and outbound prospecting program to reach those people.
In short, my question is ” Should or should not an SDR build in-house lists of prospects by searching? Most companies do not consider hiring outside sale representatives due to the expenses incurred for compensation and travel.
This article reviews some of those best practices which provide a recipe for others to make outbound prospecting a repeatable and predictable revenue generator. But consider if there’s another onion layer you can create to offer to make it easier for them to take another step.
Aaron and his co-author Mary Lou Tyler also run a consulting company Predictable Revenue, Inc. Your job is to lay out tempting morsels one after the other to get them to take another step forward.
With inbound marketing or magnet marketing, we are primarily prospecting the satisfaction of our customers rather than the figures in our sales. Is this taking it too far in your opinion or should we perhaps even start the trial and take them through that process?
Obviously it is time consuming and as per your book, SDR, what I understood is trying to convert the prospects given to him already. In order to remain competitive and grow your career, expect the following related sales job interview questions to cross your path.



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