I first became a sales manager in 1999 and since then I have had hundreds of interviews. Over the years I have found my favourite B2B sales interview questions that have helped me identify the best candidates for the role I was hiring for. There is definitely more that goes into hiring than just the interview questions, but selecting the right ones can help identify desirable traits and capabilities. Sometimes they can even bring up red flags.
I hope you find this blog timely with a lot of new hiring associated with the new sales year. Here are my top 5 B2B sales interview questions with experienced sales reps.
Dig Into Their Sales Experience
Tell me about your biggest sales win or the win you were most proud of. Be specific. How did it start? What specific steps were taken?
By being specific and diving into the sales opportunity, you can get a great feel for the role they played in the win. Were they a big player, did they inherit the account, or did they close a cold prospect? I would also suggest asking for second sales opportunity so that you can examine their past activities and thought process.
Tell me about your biggest sales loss. Where did it go wrong? What would you have done differently?
This is a good question to determine how well they know the sales process and if they can learn from their mistakes. This question can speak to the prospect’s level of coachability as well as understanding their sales process.
Discuss Their Previous Workplace and Future Goals
What was the best thing about your old manager? What was the worst thing?
This is a great question to look for red flags and conversely positive attributes like coachability.
What would you like to be doing in two years?
A decade ago I would have asked for their 5 year plan, but sales reps often don’t stay around that long. You may be looking for a sales person to be a sales leader in the future. This could be one of the opportunities for the candidate to explain that. There is also nothing wrong with them saying they hope to be a better sales person and to be making lots of money.
Discover the Sales Tools They Prefer
When I say CRM how do those 3 letters make you feel?
There is a group of sales people that do not embrace CRM use. This would be a significant non-starter. They should see the value and use it actively every day. For a modern sales person, there are also a number of other sales tools that they will need to be comfortable with in order to be a competitive candidate.
If you have questions on the interview process as you grow your B2B sales team please connect with me and we can talk about it.
Note: This article was first published on December 2017 and has since been updated.