A VP of Sales mainly heads a sales team, ensuring that it meets and exceeds all the set goals. Therefore, these individuals play an essential role in the organization, ensuring that the business stays profitable. They have several duties, including hiring new employees, developing a talent pool, and training the new hires on some of the techniques required to keep the key performance indicators.
This article will cover some of the questions you should expect in a VP of Sales Interview. Remember, this is an executive position, and therefore, you must prove to the interviewer that you have all it takes to lead and inspire your team members. Take a look at the following questions to know what to expect while interviewing for a VP of Sales role:
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
After working as a sales manager for the past three years, I would love to try something different. I believe that I have acquired all the necessary experience and skills required to succeed in this new role. I would love to tackle new challenges and give someone a chance to better their career through my current position. I am sure of my ability to deliver given a chance.
2. What Are The Roles Of A VP Of Sales?
A VP of sales plays a number of essential roles in the organization. They promote the company’s products and services, manage different sales teams, come up with sales training programs, motivate the sales team to work on the set goals, recruit and hire sales staff, manage the sales budget, organize and maintain sales operations as well as develop proper plans and strategies.
3. What Are The Qualities That A VP Of Sales Needs To Be Successful?
A VP of Sales requires a set of qualities to perform. They must have high self-awareness, control and motivation, resilience, empathy, curiosity, and proper relationship management. A good VP should also be able to socialize freely, given that their success is based on the sales team’s performance. Lastly, they should also know how to manage expectations and organize their work.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
Even though I had a great time working with my previous employer, the budget allocated to the sales team was inadequate. I had trouble performing basic activities required for a healthy team, such as enhanced training. I organized a sit-down with some of the top executives where I presented my concerns around the allocated budget, showing them how inhibiting it was. I also used my convincing and negotiation skills to increase the budgetary allocation. I am glad that they believed in me, and I didn’t disappoint.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A VP Of Sales?
I have a packed day as the VP of Sales. My day revolves around managing the sales team and ensuring that sales operations are moving smoothly, motivating the team members to work on and achieve their goals, monitoring the market and our competitor’s activities, organizing detailed forecasting, reviewing different customer activities, and anticipating their needs as well as managing the sales budget. I also occasionally report to the CEO and other executives in the organization.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
I have spent over ten years in sales. I began as a sales assistant, helping sales managers and sales representatives in their careers before becoming an outside sales representative helping the company get new clients through phone calls and personal visits. I then steadily rose in ranks to become a sales manager, which I held in my former workplace. I have vast experience in operating several sales software and tools as well as managing a large number of people. I am optimistic that my experience will help me succeed in this job.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
The success of any VP of Sales depends on the sales team. Therefore, the best strategy is to ensure a proper team constitution at all times. A VP of Sales should hire the right people, develop a good talent pool and constantly train the team on the different techniques necessary for meeting all the key performance indicators. The team should also be well-balanced and capable of going all out. To answer the second part of the question, a VP of Sales must have a result-oriented mindset since their success in this role is defined by the results achieved at the end of the day.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
This is my first attempt at this job. Even though I have all the requirements needed to ace this role, I am a little nervous since this is a new role that requires me to manage lots of people and report directly to the CEO. Therefore, I may need some time(maybe a couple of days) to acclimatize to the new surroundings and requirements. However, I am optimistic that this will not stand in my way of succeeding in this role, given that I know how to adapt fast to changes and be at my best in no minute. I hope to have a good experience working here as the Vice President of sales.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
I love what I do. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing the business profitable and expanding its doors. I don’t, therefore, struggle with motivation since mine is intrinsic. I also have career goals and targets that push me to give my all and be at my best at any particular time. I usually set personal deadlines and targets when working on a project, which I strive to achieve. Lastly, after work, I take some time to meditate and do some yoga, which helps me concentrate and focus while going about my work.
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?
My first time as the Vice President of sales wasn’t all rosy. I was nervous and not ready for the challenges that came with the role. I set periodic sales goals but didn’t come up with good strategies. Luckily, one of my older team members who had vast experience in sales noticed that some of our strategies wouldn’t help us achieve much and approached me. He realized that I was nervous and still getting used to the role and assured me that he would offer all the needed help, given that he was close to the outgoing VP of Sales and therefore understood quite a lot about it. This experience taught me the importance of teamwork and involvement. I haven’t looked back ever since.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
This is my tenth year working in the sales department. I have worked for several entities in different industries, giving me the experience level needed for this role. I was an interim sales department manager for my former company- a role that taught me most of the things I should know about sales and profitability. I also know how to work with other people in team settings and be at my best always, which I believe will come in handy in this job. Lastly, I am self-motivated, diligent, hard-working, and able to meet all the set deadlines. I have reasons to believe that I will perform if given this chance.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
My most outstanding achievement in this career was helping the last organization I worked for escape insolvency and emerge as one of the best-selling companies of the year. The firm struggled with marketing and pushing its products, even though it had existed for two years. I had to get down to work immediately, hire new team members and train them on the techniques needed to achieve key performance indicators. I also worked with other executive leaders in the organization, and together, we were able to turn the business around and make it profitable.
13. How Do You Think We Can Win Over Our Competitors?
Thanks to my years in sales, I have discovered that the best way to win over competitors is to take advantage of their flaws. By reviewing their business model, mode of operation, customer management, and many other crucial items, one can easily find a niche worth exploiting. Offering consumers something that other businesses do not provide is a sure way to win them and beat the competition. Also, constantly ensuring that products are of Hugh quality is a good way of beating other competitors.
14. Do You Have Any Expectations From Other Sales Support Roles?
Yes. I expect all the other sales support roles to cooperate with me in all stages to ensure that the business remains profitable. I also expect them to be highly motivated, dedicated, and ready to work to allow the sales department to meet all the set goals and milestones. Fortunately, I have been part of several teams before and therefore understand how to rally others towards a given objective, making me optimistic that I will work well with all the other support roles to better the business. Luckily, I expect them to participate freely in meetings and projects.
15. What Makes You A Good Leader And Coach?
I possess many attributes that I believe make me a good leader and coach. I attribute my success in this field to these attributes. I am always ready to listen to others, including my subordinates, to better the organization and the working environment. I believe in spaces where people feel free to air their views and concerns, something that every leader should strive to uphold. I am also strict and constantly focused on the bigger picture, necessary for every leader. I know for a fact that I will perform if given a chance.
16. What’s Your Decision Making Approach When Faced With A Difficult Issue?
I usually take some time to thoroughly go through my options before deciding unless it is urgent. I usually look at all the decisions’ pros and cons before settling on the best one. However, I can also be quick and decisive when an urgent decision is needed, or I don’t have time to think it through. I usually choose to involve the team when making such decisions because ‘two’ are better than one. However, only a few people are always involved in managerial decisions.
17. What Drives You To Succeed When It Comes To Sales?
I pursued sales out of passion, and therefore, I am constantly motivated to give my all. It offers me a reason to wake up every day and work hard. I also compete against myself, setting new targets based on the previous ones, which I always strive to achieve. Furthermore, I think about my team and love making them proud, which pushes me to stay motivated and give my best in this career. I am happy with what I have done and achieved so far.
18. Mention A Risk You Have Taken Recently To Your Sales Organization Or Approach?
I decided to focus more on direct sales while working for my former company. It was a pretty new organization, struggling with online marketing and sales. However, when I was appointed to the sales department, I decided to change things by directing that we employ a sales and marketing team who explained to customers what we had to offer and convinced them that we had the best deals and that our products were of high quality. We still went ahead with online marketing and sales, just that we focused more on direct sales and interactions with customers. I am glad that it worked out.
19. In Your Opinion, What Is The Best Way Of Managing A Sales Team?
As a VP of Sales, one of my primary roles is to manage the sales team. I have dealt with different teams before and tried several management techniques. However, I have found out that the best way of managing any team is to focus more on becoming a leader than a boss. One should inspire others towards achieving the set goals and rally them towards a common course. A VP of Sales must also know when to lead and lay back, allowing others to prove themselves.
20. How Do You Normally Motivate Your Sales Team?
Team motivation is vital if one intends to succeed as a VP of sales. I usually ensure that my team is adequately trained and exposed to everything they need to succeed. I also create an accessible environment where they can air their views and concerns, assuring them that they are respected and valued in the organization. I also provide incentives and publicly acknowledge them, which has always proved useful.
21. In Your Opinion, What Is The Best Way Of Training The A-Team?
I only hire those who can help the team achieve the set goals and meet the set key performance indicators and, therefore, rarely struggle with training my team. I.prefer a blended training approach where we deal with theory and application. When training my team, I also use charts, tables, and other visual elements.
22. Mention An Attribute That Qualifies You For This Role
I believe that one of the attributes that makes me a good pick for a VP.of sales position is my excellent interpersonal skills. I know how to interact with people and create meaningful relationships, which is vital in this field since I am charged with managing a team and reporting to the CEO and other top executives. These skills also come in handy when dealing with customers, whose welfare should always be upheld.
23. What’s Your Ideal Team?
Even though I can work with different teams, I prefer a motivated and well-equipped team. A motivated team doesn’t have to be pushed to realize the set goals. I usually motivate all the team members to give their best through incentives and public acknowledgment. Properly equipping the team gives them an easy time to work towards meeting all the KPIs. Lastly, I prefer a disciplined and well-balanced team.
24. How Do You Go About Making Hiring Decisions?
I believe that making hiring decisions is one of the most critical roles for any VP of Sales. Therefore, I am always thorough when looking for new people to join my team. I usually ensure that I only end up with those who can contribute positively to team success by helping us achieve our goals. New hires must also be talented, promising, and willing to put in all the needed effort.
25. How Do You Normally Maintain A Proper Life-Work Balance
I have a set of hobbies that I focus on whenever I am not in the office. I play soccer, paint and occasionally play video games with my son, keeping me rejuvenated and relaxed. I also enjoy watching rugby matches, given that I was a rugby player for the better part of my time in college.
You must adequately prepare for your upcoming interview if you intend to succeed. We have covered some of the most common questions in the VP of Sales Interview to give you a head start. Ensure that you are also versed in the technical aspect of this field.