Do you wish to make a career in Sales? Then get ready to answer some popular Sales Interview Questions that you can expect in your upcoming Sales interview.

1. How do you stay updated on the target market?

Possible answer:

To stay updated on the target market, I like to read blogs by experts, follow trends on social media, and listen to several sales podcasts. This helps me understand various possible strategies, and how they can be used to connect with the target market.

2. In your last position, how did you balance maintaining current relationships with generating more leads?

Possible answer:

In sales, while it is important to generate new leads to enhance brand recognition, forming relationships is also key to the growth of the company. Balancing the two can be a delicate task and is decided based on the cost-benefit impact to the company.

3. What is your method of handling customer objections?

Possible answer 1:

Acknowledging the objection and suggesting a workaround with the product can help the customer feel heard. At the same time, it gives me the chance to explain another feature of the product.

Possible answer 2:

I feel that being considerate is a good way to handle any customer objections. In such cases, over-talking or dismissing the concern raised by the customer should be avoided. One should take the objection as a feedback for a clearer dialogue. One can even use the point of objection to elaborate on a specific benefit of the product.

4. What role does social media play in your selling process?

Possible answer:

Social media is a great platform as professional sites like LinkedIn allows me to better research the targets to identify their needs. Twitter and Facebook are great for finding a common social ground to build a rapport.

5. What is the best way to research possible clients before a sales call?

Possible Answer:

Researching clients on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter can help identify their needs. Competitor testimonials can also be a great learning as they can help identify what exactly worked for the customers with respect to the product or service.

6. What according to you is our (company’s) USP?

Possible answer:

The relationships that the Company has with long-standing clients is something I admire. In sales particularly, it is important to have a good rapport with clients as not only does this encourage regular sales but can also work as a reference for potential clients.

7. How long should you pursue a client?

Possible answer:

An important factor for successful sales is need. If the client has absolutely no need at the time for a product, constant perseverance may be taken as annoying. Here, it is best to stop pursuing the client but be sure to check with them occasionally.

8. What is the difference between a short sale and long sale cycle?

A short sales cycle calls for quick action and an ability to close the deal quickly while a long sales cycle promotes extensive dialogue and building of rapport before the sale is confirmed.

9. What would you consider to be your most significant sales deal, why?

Possible answer:

I had been dealing with a senior level manager in a company for my product and the sale was almost finalised, when he went on a sabbatical. His replacement was someone quite different in personality and didn’t seem eager on continuing the deal. I had to modify my approach and reconnect with him in a way that he found suitable. Although it took a while, I felt rewarded when I closed that deal as my perseverance paid off while cultivating two business relationships.

10. Share an example of a sales deal that failed. What was your key take-away?

Possible Answer 1:

In one instance, I was too focussed on selling the attributes of the product rather than understanding the client’s requirements. Instead of taking a step back and letting the client explain his need, I kept pushing the product. I didn’t get the deal, and I realised that even though I may know how perfectly the product can be integrated in their business, it is important to respond to their questions and hear their requirements first.

Possible Answer 2:

I was working in a team and we were pursuing an important client. However, as everyone wanted to be the one to win them over, we often stepped on each other's shoes. The client got irritated because he would receive calls from different team members saying the same thing without moving forward together. I learnt that communication within the team is crucial to put a united front for the client and to avoid overloading the client with information.

Related: How to answer 'what is your greatest failure in life'?

11. Do you have a follow-up system with clients, if so what?

Possible answer:

Yes. Regularly checking in with the clients after the sale via email or call is important to build a healthy relationship while supporting better customer service.

12. How do you cultivate a rapport with a prospect?

Possible answer:

I prefer to study the prospects before speaking to them. I generally look for common grounds online on their social profile or company website. Finding a shared sport or business idol can help break the ice and bond easier with the client.

13. What excites you most/least about sales?

Possible Answer:

I love meeting new people and finding new ways to communicate with different people. I also love being the go-to person. Sales is a great fit as it allows me to engage with clients and offer them solutions for business problems they may be facing.

My least favourite part is turning away a client when they are interested due to stock problems. I also dislike leaving a potential client midway as I love closing the deal.

14. Tell me some of the core values every salesperson must have?

Possible answer:

There are many important qualities that a salesperson should possess.

  • Listening skills
  • Networking skills
  • Ability to relate to customers from different backgrounds
  • Adaptable to different situations
  • Enthusiasm and perseverance

15. What are the top factors that you would attribute your success to in Sales?

Possible answer:

My perseverance and ability to adapt to difficult situations are my key strengths. The support of my team also helped me improve my overall sales pitch and tactics.

16. Explain to me what this company does as if I am a prospective customer?

Possible answer:

We are a leading player in the Financial world. Our products benefit consumers by providing them the required financial security without having to sacrifice much of their earnings. We have been awarded 2 Premier national awards in recognition of your services.

17. Sell me something.

Possible answer:

Earlier during the interview, you mentioned that you have been facing an obstacle in your business process. I would like to take a moment to share how it can be resolved with this product. (Product details)

Sales HR Interview Questions and Answers

1. How can you contribute to this role?

Possible Answer:

My experience in sales is an ideal fit for this company. I am confident that I can bring a fresh and unique style to the company. I am good at analysing data and can help identify the stronger potential targets to close more deals. Also, I see that you have been trying to branch out in the Medical industry and 30% of my clients in my previous company were from the medical field. I am certainly eager to further my learnings.

Related: Why should I hire you?

2. What are your strengths as a salesperson?

Possible answer:

A salesperson needs to have multiple qualities. Some of my strengths as a salesperson would be:

  • My ability to listen
  • My ability to ask the right questions at the right time
  • My social and interactive nature
  • My ability to stay motivated at all times
  • I am able to build a rapport with different people quite easily.

Related: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

3. How comfortable are you working in a team?

Possible answer:

I am a good team player as I believe that working in a team can help each individual member learn something from the other. Not only does it help the members to interact with each other and build a relationship, but it also helps them to grow on an independent level. All this can be done while accomplishing the common goal of the team.

Related: Difference between group and team

4. What is your main motivation for sales?

Possible Answer:

I am goal-oriented, self-motivated, and money-motivated – all of this fits perfectly with my interest in sales. I love challenges and tailoring each sales pitch to connect with different clients is a major motivator.

Related: How to answer 'What motivates you'?

5. How important is money for you?

Possible answer:

Money is important for me as it can be a crucial source to accomplish a lot of my dreams. However, I also enjoy the challenges and dynamic nature of the sales industry which constantly allows me to meet people and converse with them. I love networking with people, learn new things, and explore business opportunities.

6. How do you spend your free time?

Possible answer:

I enjoy reading autobiographies and fiction books. Currently, I am reading XYZ. I used to play football in college and now enjoy watching it with friends. I also like to socialise on the weekends.

Related: What are your hobbies?

7. Do you have any questions for us?

Possible answer:

  1. How many people are there in the sales team currently?
  2. How do you measure success in sales?
  3. What is one thing you would like to see this role accomplish in the first six months?
  4. What are some of the reasons why you love working here?
  5. Where do you see the company in ten years?

Related: Questions to ask in an interview

Tips for answering sales interview questions

Keep these interview tips in mind before going for your sales interview.

  1. Practice your answers
    Sales have a lot to do with confidence communication. Practice common sales interview questions and answers in front of a mirror or with a family member to gain fluency and confidence.

  2. Refresh sales basics
    As sales is a practical field, it can be easy to forget certain technical terms. However, before going for an interview be sure to read about relevant terms and trends in your field.

  3. Give specific examples
    Whenever possible, strengthen your answer with an example. For instance, if you are asked about the important qualities of a salesperson, give an example of how a quality made you close the deal.

  4. Do not discuss details of clients
    While giving examples is good, don’t discuss confidential details of your clients in an attempt to impress the interviewer. Be discreet and focus more on how you navigated a particular sale.

  5. Be honest
    Building a rapport with an interviewer is easier if you are honest. Don’t say something if it isn’t true as it can reflect poorly if you are caught.

Related: 21 Interview skills you need to crack an interview

Further useful resources:

Here are some useful resources that can help you do better in the sales interview.

Popular sales blogs and Youtube channels

Sales Hacker, HubSpot Sales Blog, Sales Solutions Blog, Victor Antonio, Grant Cardone, Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Training Channel

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