recruiting

The perfect interview question to ask a sales rep

January 22, 2024 - 2min. read

Hiring in tech sales? When it comes to hiring top-notch sales reps, every detail counts. Understanding the unique traits that make sales professionals stand out is especially important. So how do you do that?

The key lies in the interview. And there is one perfect question you could ask your candidate: “Why do you think clients have bought from you specifically?”

Why asking this? Well, the question bypasses generic answers and canned, rehearsed responses. Good sellers are self-aware. They understand their strengths and how these contribute to their success. The answers to this question can be quite telling. You might hear responses like, “I’m always very honest,” “I listen carefully,” or “I know my product perfectly.” While these aren’t bad answers, they’re somewhat generic. Honesty, attentive listening, and product knowledge are basic expectations, not differentiators.

So, what you’re looking for are creative, insightful answers that show a deeper level of understanding and skill. For instance, a candidate might say, “I’m adept at spotting buying signals, allowing me to push or slow down the process as needed.” This answer reflects a strategic mindset and an ability to read and respond to customer cues effectively.

Another great response could be, “I don’t shy away from hard questions, leading to quicker yes or no answers.” This approach not only speeds up the sales cycle but also indicates a candidate’s confidence and ability to handle challenging situations.

A particularly impressive answer is, “I can tailor my narrative to different actors in the buying process.” This shows an understanding that selling isn’t one-size-fits-all and that a successful sales rep must adapt their approach to resonate with varied stakeholders, like a CFO or CEO.

So, next time you’re interviewing a sales professional, throw in this question and listen carefully. The answer might just reveal the perfect candidate, one who aligns with the ambition, culture, and goals of your tech company. And remember, it’s about finding the right fit, not just filling a vacancy.

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