10 Sales Interview Questions to Hire the Perfect Sales Team

If you think interviewing sales people is a simple job, I would like to introduce you to my professional connections who can tell you otherwise.

Salespeople are not just judged on their quota. There is a range of skills that separate the best from the rest, and success belongs to companies who can identify those valuable qualities.

How do you know if the person has what it takes?

By asking the right questions in interviews, you can get better results.

As a recruiting leader, Ive seen the hiring process firsthand. It’s not always perfect.

There are four questions that will help you identify the ideal candidate: What is their definition of success? How do they feel about taking risks and making mistakes? What does it take to annoy them or make them angry? And what motivates them more than anything else in life business (money, personal growth, etc)?


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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

6 Ups Account Executive Interview Questions to Find the Best Talent

When you hire for your sales team, it’s important to take the time to find good talent.

If youre looking for someone to fill the Account Executive position with a $1 million annual quota, it costs upwards of $4,000 every day that role goes unfilled. But if you hire the wrong person for this job then your losses could be even greater.

So whats the problem?

Too many sales managers have trouble identifying the right questions to ask during interviews, which can lead to extended interview processes that leave companies without revenue.

But the good news is that job interviews are not set in stone. All it takes to transform your interview process is learning what questions you should be asking during an interview.

The right questions are essential to finding the perfect person for your company.

Here are some of the best questions to ask during interviews.

1. Can you describe your process for staying up to date on current developments in your business or target demographic.

More and more people in sales are finding that rigorous follow-ups, a solid pitch, and great objection handling skills just arent enough. With the rise of social selling (i.e., LinkedIn), everyone is vying for attention among thought leaders.

Instead, top salespeople are using their emotional intelligence to connect with prospects and have engaging conversations. You need people who will be a good fit.

This question will tell you if the candidate is aware of the changes in workplace environments and how they can thrive there. Article: As a manager, it’s important to be able to know your employees on a personal level.

A top-talent salesperson should be able to talk the talk, no matter what type of environment they are in. That is a principle that has been around for many years and will continue to exist.

2. Which is more important: fulfilling sales quotas or ensuring customer satisfaction?

In the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry, prospects are typically committing to products for months or years at a time. This means that transactional sales don’t work anymore.

If a customer is not satisfied, it can cause long-term problems that affect both the customer and Customer Success. In some cases, this may even lead to attrition.

Thats why they will be on board with consultative selling. They know that a signed contract is just one part of the process – it could ultimately lead to a loss if they dont have the right product for their customer.

Customers need to be interviewed, and the salesperson needs to have time for that interview.

This question is a bit of a trick because it’s not always easy to answer.

The best answer to this question would be someone who is not too far in either direction. They need to feel that there needs to be an equal balance.

Sales reps often focus on quotas, but its important to be able to consult with the customer and make them happy.

On a similar note

3. When do you determine that a prospect is not a good fit?

Sales reps need to know when its time to give up on a lead. It can be difficult for them, but they have to learn how.

Sales reps are under a lot of pressure, and they hate giving up an opportunity that would get them closer to their quota. Good sales people also tend to be competitive, so it can be hard for them admit when they’ve lost.

If you can never give up, it’s what makes someone a great salesperson. But they also need to know when to quit and take the loss.

If an account isn’t going anywhere and there are only a few weeks left in the quarter, smart sales reps will do what they can to turn their attention elsewhere.

The best salespeople will recognize the wisdom in this. Its all about balance, you don’t want someone who always bails on a sale at the first sign of trouble but also doesnt want to be too stubborn and never let go when it’s necessary.

4. Tell me about a time when you collaborated with members of your sales team or with members of other teams.

Sales jobs are often attractive to people who are more independent, but it’s important for them to work well with their coworkers.

Competition over accounts and commissions doesnt help the company, since it can create conflicts.

Ask them how they feel about working as a team to produce results.

In order to get a job in sales, the candidate must be able to work with people outside of the department.

Its common for marketing and sales to have a tense relationship. When they work together, though, the sky is the limit.

When a candidate says they have no use for marketing leads or that it doesn’t add value, it should be an immediate red flag.

5. How do you follow up with a prospect once a transaction is lost?

Its always possible to improve sales skills. It takes a lifetime of work.

This question will help you identify candidates who want to improve by learning from mistakes, even if it means asking prospects for feedback on a lost deal.

In addition to this, feedback from prospects can also be a source of insight that will help you make improvements across the company. For example, if your product isn’t good enough for them or they don’t like something about it.

It’s important to know why a prospect said no, and it should be included in the follow-up conversation.

And if they do, you’ll know that the candidate can handle criticism and is okay with being vulnerable.

If you want to succeed in sales, and especially if youre a new employee or just starting out with your first company, it’s important that you’re able to take criticism well.

6. What profession are you uninterested in?

Each salesperson has their own specialty and interests.

Ask candidates what they like to do and why, so you can see how driven they are.

When it comes to diversity, the interests of your new hires are always going to align with their strengths. Once you know what these things are, you can direct them in a way that will best suit your company’s needs and keep them from getting burnt out.

4 Obvious Interview Questions in Sales

The sales profession is a bit different from many other professions. But most of the interview questions are similar to those you would ask any candidate for another role.

Ask the candidate

What are your weaknesses in the workplace?

How do you handle objections?

Why are you quitting your job?

Ask your candidates about their career goals and what they hope to achieve.

In five years, where do you want to be?

TIP: Its important to make sure you don’t get too distracted by the questions that are only relevant for sales positions, and forget about all of those other basic interview questions.

The Takeaway

Its not enough to know if they can sell; its important for employers to know that the candidate is up-to-date on trends and skills necessary for success.

Great answers to the above questions will show that the candidate youre interviewing is on top of their game. They also know how to use new tools and strategies in order to meet quotas.

You should never overlook the need to evaluate your candidate’s core sales skills. The best way to gauge a candidates potential for a job is by seeing how well they sell.

When interviewing for a salesperson, I always ask them to give me an example of how they persuaded someone in the past. A good salesman should be able to answer confidently and persuasively.

interviewing sales people


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.