5 Questions to Ask When Hiring Sales Talent
Hiring quality talent is hard. You read their resume and chat for a little bit, but how do you know they’ll be a good fit for your team? Asking the right questions will give you deeper insight into who they are and how they can be a positive contribution to the organization. Let’s go through 5 questions to ask when hiring sales talent:
1) Question: Tell me a little about yourself
Why Ask: While hard skills are important, you want to see if the candidate is a good culture fit. See if they can weave their personal story and interests into why they’re interested in sales and why they think they’re a good fit for the role. It is also a great opportunity to see if they are personable and potentially how they would interact with a lead or client.
2) Question: Of all the other professions, why sales?
Why Ask: You’d like to hear why they chose this profession over all others. Was it because they heard it was cool and the earning potential is high? Or is it because they come from a long line of sales reps and want to carry on the family tradition? Or maybe they have concrete examples of times working in another role where it became clear sales might be a better fit for them. Identify what drives the person and make sure it aligns with company goals.
3) Question: Tell me of a time you didn’t get the sale and what you could have done differently
Why Ask: Asking this allows them to not only tell you of a situation when they failed, but allows them to look back on the situation with fresh introspective eyes to say what went wrong and how they could have handled the situation differently. This will show you how/if they learned from failrue and if they have the skills to handle it differently next time.
4) Question: While a lot of sales is about relationship building, what type of sales tools are you familiar with?
Why Ask: See if they have experience using tools that are the same or similar to the ones your organization uses. While a personality fit is great, hiring someone who doesn’t need a lot of technical training would be an asset. What CRMs are they familiar with? Do they use an in-the-field sales tool? See what hard skills the candidate brings to the table.
5) Question: What’s the last sales-related book or blog you read? Tell me about it.
Why Ask: See if the candidate is interested in learning how to be a better sales professional and if they’re keeping up with new industry standards and trends. Perhaps they haven’t read anything new lately and you want to assign them an article to read and ask them to prepare a response for the next time you chat.