Want to Hire the Right Salespeople? Ask These 4 Behavioral Questions

Published on Oct 7, 2017

You’ve narrowed down your selection of sales candidates for your open sales position. Looking at their previous sales roles,you see they have the experience needed for your sales organization. But how do you confirm whether or not the candidate has the specific skills, competencies or traits required for your sales position? Behavioral questions during the interview process can help you assess whether the candidate has what’s needed to get the job done. Why is that important?

Because filling headcount is expensive and time-consuming! According to Glassdoor’s Essential HR and Recruiting Stats for 2016, “On average, it takes 52 days and $4,000 to fill a position.”

Behavioral questions are designed to assess a candidate’s suitability for your sales role based on how they behaved in similar situations in previous positions. Using these behavioral questions can help ensure you get the right people hired for your sales force.

1.   Coachability

Questions: Spend a few minutes letting your candidate roleplay selling a simple item to you, for instance, a pen or a chair. Once that task is finished, ask them to review their process. What did they do well and what could they improve upon?

Analysis: Candidates that are forthright in their assessment of themselves are more likely to be accepting to feedback and coaching. Sales reps that desire coaching are generally committed to developing their sales skills.

2.   Achievement

Questions: Ask the candidate what their most significant achievement was to date and why. How did they accomplish it, and how did they measure their success?

Analysis: In sales, you want to hire someone who not only has a record for achieving goals but can also articulate how they did it and quantify it. 

3.   Passion

Questions: Why does your candidate want to go into sales? Are they passionate about your organization’s products or services, the mission or culture?

Analysis: Studies have proven that when people are passionate about their role in an organization they stay engaged and invested in the organization’s overall success. According to a 2014 article by Deloitte University, “Up to 87.7 percent of America’s workforce is not able to contribute to their full potential because they don’t have a passion for their work. Passionate workers can drive extreme and sustained performance improvements for organizations.”

4.   Persistence

Questions: Ask your candidate to tell you about a time they established a challenging goal for themselves. How did they stretch outside of their “comfort zone” to achieve their goal?

Analysis: You want a sales rep who is goal-oriented and purpose-driven, someone who is persistent and willing to put in the hard work needed to close a deal. Persistent sales reps will be focused on tracking and improving their sales performance data.

Above are just a few examples of behavioral questions that can be asked during your sales organization’s interview process. These questions in conjunction with a Sales Candidate Assessment will help provide a broader assessment of your candidate’s skills and behaviors, resulting in a better understanding of their overall capabilities.

Interested in an evaluation of your organization’s interviewing and recruiting process? Revecent can complete an analysis of your salesforce hiring strategy to identify areas of strength and areas of opportunities.  Request a consult now and start seeing powerful results.Revecent is a national sales recruiting and sales enablement consulting firm. We help  technology and professional service companies recruit and optimize sales talent to accelerate growth.  Contact us today to see how we can help your organization’s sales team exceed expectations.

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