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Preparing for a Sales Interview

General Approach

  • When preparing for an interview, it’s not best practice to try and predict the questions going to be asked.
  • Rather, the proper preparation can be most compared to when a politician debates.
  • Politicians don’t know what questions are going to be asked.
  • Though, they do know what is important to the audience and know what points they are going to work in regardless of the questions to ensure they hit those key points.

What Employers Want

Employers want someone who can bring on new business. When a company wants that, it’s important to cite concrete examples of the strategies you used to achieve those means…

“I was able to make a compelling case for why clients should use our solution as opposed to a competitor’s.”

Talk about the strategies you used to exceed quota

  • How you managed the sales cycle.
  • For instance, you were able to form good enough relationships that you were able to cut down the average sales cycle from ___ to ___.

Discussing Past Sales Roles

1. Explain the previous firm in 1-2 sentences. Keep it simple.

“On an overarching basis, the firm specialized in ____”.

2. Discuss what your role was
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If it is not relevant to the employer’s needs, it’s best that you downplay the experience.

e.g. “I was recruited for my ability to bring on new business. Ultimately, the challenge when I got there was this strategy was selling into ___, and they’ve had trouble with that in the past…..

3. Discuss what has made you successful.

“I stopped treating clients like a walking dollar bill…. And I made sure to know more about the technology than other people, so that I could best help them.”

Relevant Discussion Points

The following is a list of topics that are worth discussing in order to draw parallels between past and current positions

  • the product or service you sold
  • the complexity of the sales cycle
  • who you sold to in organizations
  • what size companies you sold into
  • the personalities of the people
  • whom you sold to
  • the size of the company you’ve worked at
  • sales cycle length
  • average sale amount