Recruiting and hiring salespeople can be difficult.
Hiring people to lead your sales team can even be more challenging.
You need someone who is a great salesperson, but also a people person who can manage and build successful sales teams.
Getting all those qualities in a single sales manager isn’t going to be easy.
To help, we’ve got a couple things for you.
First, is TalentSorter, our employment assessment tool that helps you hire for “fit first”:
- Fit with job
- Fit with manager
- Fit with organization
- Fit with customers and co-workers
It will help you test and assess potential sales manager candidates for the qualities necessary to be successful in the role of your company.
This interview guide is different for each candidate you interview and gives you custom questions designed to address the candidate’s weaknesses and focus the conversation on what matters most.
Lastly, we’ve put together a list of 70 interview questions to ask when hiring a sales manager below.
So good luck, and happy hiring!
70 Interview Questions for Sales Managers
1. What is your approach to coaching – what percentage of your time each week do you spend on coaching salespeople?
2. How do you motivate your salespeople?
3. How do your salespeople know what you expect of them?
4. How do you set priorities for yourself?
5. How do you set priorities for your salespeople?
6. Tell me about a time where you played an integral role in getting the sales team back on track.
7. Describe a time when you were able to come up with a new idea or way of doing something and how it helped sales.
8. How do you identify talents in others?
9. Describe a decision you made that was not popular with your salespeople and how you handled it.
10. How many employees have you been responsible for managing?
11. In your experience, what are some of the difficult challenges of being a sales manager?
12. Give me some examples of how you continually grow the talents and skills of your salespeople.
13. What do you think are the biggest challenges our industry faces right now?
14. What do you think are some of the biggest challenges our salespeople face right now?
15. How do you get better at managing salespeople?
16. How do you develop relationships with other department heads?
17. How often do you meet individually with salespeople?
18. Provide me an example of when your ethics were tested.
19. Would you consider analyzing data or information as a strength? Why or why not?
20. Share an experience in which you used new training skills, ideas, or methods to adapt to a new situation or to improve an existing situation.
21. Share an example in which your managerial relationship with a salesperson helped that person be more successful.
22. What do you do when a top salesperson is bored and wants more responsibility?
23. How do you typically deal with under-performers?
24. What type of salespeople do you manage best?
25. What type of salespeople frustrate you the most?
26. Describe a time when you anticipated a potential problem and what you did about it.
27. What have you done specifically to foster a customer-focused culture on your team?
28. Give an example of a time when you involved the sales team and/or other departments in a decision making process.
29. Tell me about some times when you have had to make very quick decisions with limited data or information.
30. Describe a time when you had to build a collaborative relationship with another department in order to achieve a sales goal.
31. Tell me about a time you implemented a creative idea to achieve the budget.
32. Describe a time when you had to give negative or corrective feedback to a salesperson and what the result was.
33. Tell me about a time when you took responsibility for an error.
34. How do you specifically set a positive example and keep a positive environment?
35. Do you empower your salespeople to make independent decisions?
36. Do you think fear or threat-based management style is sometimes appropriate? Why or why not?
37. How do you determine the best motivators and type of recognition for each salesperson?
38. What is your process for setting a salesperson’s goals?
39. Describe how you prioritize your coaching time.
40. Why do you think you are a good sales manager?
41. Describe a time when you had to communicate or enforce a company decision or policy you didn’t agree with.
42. What kind of feedback have you received about your effectiveness as a manager?
43. What kind of financial reports have you done on a regular basis?
44. Tell me about the most recent time you had to fire a salesperson.
45. What motivates you as a sales manager?
46. What part of a sales managers’ job frustrates you most?
47. What has been the biggest learning curve for you as a sales manager?
48. Give me some examples of how you have managed salespeople who have big egos.
49. What qualities or traits should a sales manager in this position have?
50. What makes a successful salesperson?
51. Is there a particular sales process you have your salespeople use?
52. What would you focus on in your first 30 days?
53. What constitutes failure for you?
54. How would your salespeople describe your managerial style?
55. Tell me about a time when you helped someone get better at sales.
56. How do you keep top performers motivated?
57. What are the 3 things you think are most important for a sales manager to do?
58. As a sales manager, how do you go about recruiting salespeople?
59. What methods have you found to be the most successful for recruiting talented salespeople?
60. How do you onboard (training/orientation) new salespeople?
61. How often are you in the field with a salesperson?
62. How do you evaluate salespeople?
63. How do you recognize performance?
64. In a typical week, how do you divide your time among your responsibilities?(Example: X% on in-field coaching, X% on recruiting, X% on paperwork, etc.)
65. Tell me about a time when you had to handle conflict between two salespeople or a salesperson and a co-worker in another department.
66. Why do you want to manage people rather than sell?
67. How do you get people to do what you want them to do?
68. As a sales manager, what feels like a win to you?
69. Do you think you should spend the most time with your top performers, rookies, or under-performers? Why?
70. What has been your biggest accomplishment as a sales manager?
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