Video interviewing is fantastic for screening sales people. You get to see and hear them early in the recruitment process, check out their sales patter and assess their motivation.
But if you want to spot the truly great sales people from all those who apply, what questions should you be asking? Here are my top ten video interviewing questions for sales jobs.
1) What are you currently learning about?
This is my favourite question for sales jobs, in fact virtually any job. Being a life-long learner is increasingly important in sales as it demonstrates a candidate's desire to improve, their curiosity and self-motivation.
2) Explain the theory behind the B2B (or B2C) sales process
Although this isn't technically a question, it's a great way to assess a couple of important things: Can a candidate articulate a concept in a concise and easy to follow way. It also demonstrates the sales process they follow - does this match your way of working?
3) When do you stop pursuing a prospect?
The right answer will vary depending on your sales process and industry, however in general the most successful sales people are tenacious and persistent. Studies show the best sales people will typically make ten to twelve attempts before giving up.
4) What motivates you?
Sales people need to be motivated, but what motivates them? It could be money, recognition or a desire to help customers; it just needs to be consistent with your company culture. For instance, if teamwork is important in your sales team, a candidate motivated by personal achievement may not be the best fit.
5) How do you research a prospect before a call or meeting?
In today's sales environment it is vital that sales people research prospects so they can tailor their approach. Candidates should mention using LinkedIn, industry related blogs and publications. Setting up Google Alerts for a company, sector or individual would be the icing on the cake.
6) What do you do if you're going through a bad spell?
All sales people will have off days or bad weeks, so be wary of anyone who claims they've never gone through a bad spell. Assess how they respond to disappointment or failure, do they change something or do the same and hope things will improve.
7) How would former / current customers describe you?
Here you're looking for words like 'helpful', 'trustworthy' and 'responsive'. For the majority of modern sales roles a consultative approach is increasingly important.
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8) What's your least favourite part of the sales process?
If they mention something that's a key part of your sales process this should be a red flag. Their answer can also highlight weak areas that you should probe further at their face-to-face interview.
9) What type of sales cycle or process do you prefer? Tell us about the process you follow and why you enjoy it?
The right answer will depend on your sales process and the type of product or service you're selling. You're looking for candidates that have been successful selling in a similar way and to similar customers as yours.
10) What's worse: missing your targets or failing to meet a customers needs?
With this question you can quickly see if a candidate's priorities match your company's objectives. You can adapt this question with different options depending on the behaviours you're looking for.