In an ideal world, the perfect sales candidate would walk into your office and you would hire them immediately. But in reality, the hiring process is far more complex, time-consuming and does not guarantee any results. The candidate could turn out to be an asset or just turn into a liability whose only contribution is to leave a dent in your time and resource. Often, managers go with their gut instincts while hiring a candidate. You can hire based on your instinct but it’s bad decision making if it replaces an exhaustive assessment process.

The Right Sales Candidate

Perhaps, there is no other role that can impact your organisation the way sales can. Sales executives are the links that connect your brand to potential customers. Such an important role demands a foolproof assessment process where each interview question for sales gives you insights into the candidate’s attitude and personality. This assessment becomes even more difficult when you are interviewing up to 50 candidates in a day. In such a situation, finding the right candidate is like looking for a needle in a haystack. We, at Paramantra, understand the importance of hiring the right candidate and the impact a passionate employee can have on your organisation. So, we have compiled questions that will help you assess the personality, attitude, work ethics of your potential sales executive.

Question 1: How big is the industry?

While candidates do their share of homework about your organisation and products, you want to find those who go the extra mile. This question will help you assess the effort the candidate has put in learning about the industry as a whole. While the candidate’s knowledge of the industry, its scale, scope and challenges may not be thorough, a basic understanding can tell how interested the candidate really is in your field of work. The better the candidate’s grasp of the work you do, the better is his/her ability to sell your products.

Question 2:  How big is the industry in [insert region]?

This question, just like the first, does not base its assessment on the right answer. The candidate might be unable to tell you the geographical reach of the industry but what you want to look for is the attempt. Sales executives need to be on their toes because they can be faced with any question from the buyer. This question helps you assess how quick-witted the candidate is. It will also help you assess how quickly the candidate can join the dots about your company and the industry.

Question 3: Give 5 reasons why a company should use our product? 

Notice how the questions are getting more specific? Well, this is deliberate. The answer to this question will let you know how well the candidate understands the application of your product. While you can train the candidate about product features, you want to know how well he/she understands the problems your product can solve. The candidate can’t sell without identifying the needs of the consumer and how best your product solves these needs.

Question 4: What would you like to accomplish in the first 5 days of working at the company? 

You have asked about your organisation, the product and the candidate’s understanding of the problems you solve. Now we come to the candidate’s attitude and approach to work. You will gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s attitude and work ethic when he/she answers this question. The candidate will answer based on what he/she wants to prioritise during the first 5 days- is it building rapport with colleagues, understanding the business or adapting to the work culture? While all these are not mutually exclusive, the candidate’s priority will help determine the foundation he/she is building before diving into work.

Question 5: Share two quotes that inspire you.

While there is a debate around asking personal questions about candidate’s beliefs and mottos during interviews, it is important that you do so. When the candidate shares quotes or instances that have inspired him/her, you will know what motivates the candidate. What you will also know is who he/she considers a role model and why. This question helps you determine how well the candidate can adjust to your organisational culture and if the candidate’s long-term goals align with yours.

Now that you can hire the best candidate for your sales’ role, you need to adopt a CRM that will help them bring their best to work every day. Even the best sales executives cannot maximise their performance if they are burdened with manual data entry. A CRM that automates your sales process while eliminating redundant data entry is what will help your team perform well and generate consistent results.

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