Sales management involves the coordination of sales operations, developing a sales force, and implementing sales techniques that facilitate businesses to meet or surpass their sales targets. A sales management process not only helps businesses to attain their sales objectives but also allows them to stay in tune with market changes and grow with the industry.
Thus, a competent sales manager should manage sales effectively by building a team, implementing a profitable sales strategy, and making sales analysis. It is vital to hire an individual who will maximize profits while delivering the best value to customers.
To identify the right candidate for the sales manager position, interviewers need to prepare adequately by knowing the questions that will assess the knowledge and skills of the candidates. Likewise, it is vital to know the right answers to those questions. On that basis, we have compiled the top 20 sales manager interview questions and answers.
1. What are the Daily Routines of a Sales Manager?
The interviewer seeks to know if you are familiar with the typical duties of a sales manager.
Tip #1: State several duties performed by a sales manager daily
Tip #2: Make it prompt and brief
A sales manager sets performance plans and targets for salespersons, meets sales representatives to review targets, progress, and performance, and coaches them to enhance their productivity. Sales managers resolve escalated customer issues, connect customers and salespeople, and prepare budgets. They also develop sales strategies to help win new clients and monitor industry trends and competition.
2. Why Do You Want to Be a Sales Manager?
The interviewer wants to understand your objective in the sales management field.
Tip #1: State the reason that drives you to become a sales manager
Tip #2: Provide a convincing reason and don’t mull over it
I chose a sales manager career since sales management is among the few professions where one’s perpetual action, thorough preparation, strategic thinking, and hard work literally pay off. While it is at times frustrating, it is fun and rewarding.
3. Briefly Describe a Mistake You Made in Your Last Role and What You Learned From It
Everyone makes a mistake at some point and the interviewer wants to know whether you learn from your mistakes.
Tip #1: Describe an error that you made during your previous role
Tip #2: State what you learned from the mistake
One time during my last role, I noted after talking to a potential customer that I had not listened closely. That made me to overlook a buying signal. This mistake taught me to always seek to understand a customer’s thought process, ask questions, and listen carefully.
4. Given These Three Terms: Promotion, Money, and Recognition; Put Them in their Order of Importance.
The interviewer wants to know what you will prioritize among these three.
Tip #1: State the appropriate order based on your reasoning
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you understand what should be prioritised
Money, then recognition, and lastly, promotion. This is because if I can maximize profits for the company and satisfy customers, recognition and promotion will follow.
5. Why is it Important to Have Sales people Who are Team Players?
Here, the interviewer wants to understand the importance of being a team player.
Tip #1: Provide the reason why every salesperson should be a team player
Tip #2: Provide a quick answer without mulling
Being a team player can strengthen those in the team by collaborating and committing to help one another to succeed. Besides, the work gets done faster and they can work towards a common goal.
6. What Three Things Do You Do to Establish Rapport with Prospects?
This is the opportunity to show the interviewer that you know about sales
Tip #1: Describe the approach you take to build rapport with a prospect
Tip #2: Show that you can effectively establish rapport with prospects
First, I make sure to listen carefully to prospects and know all their needs and concerns. Second, I ask questions to understand them better. Third, I establish a connection with them by talking about things that interest them. I also add insight that can provide more value to the things they like.
7. How Would You Help a Disappointed Sales person to Get Back to the Field?
The interviewer wants to understand whether you can inspire your salespeople to continue working even after facing disappointments
Tip #1: Describe how you would motivate a salesperson
Tip #2: Give the impression that you can effectively motivate your sales team
I would begin by understanding what caused disappointment. Following this, I would encourage the sales person to learn from the experience and move on. Besides, I would advise the individual to focus on the positive and never to allow the feelings of disappointment to wear them out.
8. How Do You Keep Yourself Motivated?
The interviewer wants to assess whether you have a genuine enthusiasm for work.
Tip #1: Describe how you stay motivated
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you can be relied upon to work productively throughout
There isn’t anything more satisfying than pitching to potential customers and making them excited about the product as I am. Besides, I inspire myself by reading about strategies that other sales managers have used to overcome challenges in the field.
9. What Do You Understand by the Sales Process?
The interviewer tests your understanding of the sales process.
Tip #1: Describe what is meant by the sales process
Tip #2: Be brief and precise
A sales process constitutes repeatable steps that salespersons take a potential buyer from the stage of awareness to a closed sale. Building a sales process is vital to impact a sales team’s ability to sell.
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10. State the Seven Steps of the Sales Process
The interviewer tests your familiarity with the steps of the sales process.
Tip #1: State the basic seven steps of the sales process
Tip #2: Make it prompt and don’t mull over the answer
The seven steps of the sales process are prospecting, preparation, approach, presentation, handling objections, closing, and follow-up. These steps help to find potential clients, close sales, and retain them.
11. Why Do You Think You are the Best Candidate for this Job?
The interviewer wants to know the aspects that make you best suited for this job.
Tip #1: State outstanding qualities that make you the best candidate
Tip #2: Focus on the positive
I believe I am best suited for this job because I’m a target-focused, hard-working, and self-driven person who can work optimally under pressure. To work effectively as a sales manager, a unique skillset is needed and I believe I possess such a skillset. My 5 years’ experience in sales management and degree academic qualification make me the ideal candidate for this job.
12. What Qualities Should a Good Sales Manager Possess?
Successful sales managers possess certain qualities. The interviewer tests whether you understand those qualities.
Tip #1: State several qualities that a good sales manager should possess
Tip #2: Make it prompt, precise, and brief
A competent sales manager should be able to set SMART goals, train and coach sales persons, and communicate effectively. Good sales managers have great leadership, organization, and negotiation skills. Besides, they are good problem solvers, listeners, and motivators.
13. What is the Biggest Challenge that You Foresee in this Job?
Here, the interviewer wants to know whether you can deal with challenging situations
Tip #1: Describe a huge challenge that you anticipate in this job
Tip #1: Demonstrate that you can handle challenges at work
I anticipate a challenge in dealing with difficult customers. These include individuals who refuse to pay for the company’s products and those that damage their already purchased products but insist the products were faulty and they should be compensated. To handle such cases, I will ensure to understand the company’s policies regarding such cases so that I can take appropriate actions. I will also seek help from relevant department as need arises.
14. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
The interviewer seeks to hear your career goals and what you aim to achieve in five years’ time.
Tip #1: State where you see yourself after five year
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you have goals that you are determined to achieve
In the next five years, I envision myself as someone who will have great expertise in sales and management. I hope to take up more managerial responsibilities. Besides, I hope to be more experienced in the field such that I will be able to make more accurate predictions that will inform planning.
15. How Would You Monitor The Performance of Your Sales Team?
The interviewer wants to assess whether you can measure and track the performance of your team members
Tip #1: State how you would measure your team’s performance
Tip #2: Demonstrate that you can effectively monitor performance
First, I would set clear goals and expectations for my sales team. I would ensure that all members understand those goals so that everyone can work towards them. Second, I would come up with a plan to assess short and long term goals. The plan will help me to assess every task and activity against the set goals and expectations. Doing this regularly will help me to monitor the performance of my team members.
16. Describe Your Management Style
The interviewer is interested in knowing the style of management you adopt as a manager.
Tip #1: State the management style you use
Tip #2: Briefly describe your style of management
I utilise a coaching style of management such that I put more emphasis on the personal and professional growth of my team. I take time to mentor my team. This involves guiding my team and sharing advice. I always seek opportunities to help my team thrive in their work.
17. How Would You Handle an Underperforming Salesperson?
Here, the interviewer wants to know whether you can enhance the performance of your underperforming members to improve the overall performance.
Tip #1: Describe how you would deal with an underperforming individual
Tip #2: Show that you can help employees improve their performance
First, I would seek to understand what causes the salesperson to perform poorly. Second, I would advise the individual on ways to improve performance. If the employee is unfamiliar with assigned tasks, I would seek to know what they can do better and redeploy them accordingly.
18. What Career Development Initiative Have You Taken in the Past 12 Months?
The interviewer wants to know whether you have taken any initiative to enhance your skills in the past year.
Tip #1: State what you have done to improve your skills
Tip #2: Provide the impression that you improve your skills continuously
Seven months ago, I enrolled in a digital marketing course at a local management institute. Through this course, I have gained great insight into marketing products online. With this knowledge, I will be able to make effective digital marketing plans that will help to market and sell products online.
19. What are the Roles Performed By a Sales Manager?
The interviewer seeks to know whether you understand your roles as a sales manager.
Tip #1: State several roles performed by sales managers
Tip #2: Give the impression that you are familiar with your roles
A sales manager ensures that the sales targets of the company are met. This is achieved by planning and budgeting effectively. A sales manager develops strategies and techniques that help to achieve the set sales targets. Sales managers map potential clients and generate sales leads. Besides, they motivate their team members, monitor performance and progress, and ensure relationships with clients are maintained.
20. What Do You Understand by a Sales Funnel?
The interviewer tests your understanding of the sales funnel concept.
Tip #1: Define a sales funnel
Tip #2: Support your answer by briefly describing how sales funnels work
A sales funnel refers to the visual representation of a customer’s journey, from awareness to action. It illustrates that every sale starts with many potential customers and ends with a few individuals who eventually make a purchase. The customer journey depicted by sales funnels differs from one prospect to another based on various aspects including product type, niche, and buying personas.
These questions and answers significantly simplify your hiring process and make it easy to identify the right candidate. You can quickly familiarize with them and get started with your interviewing process.