How To Hire Sales People

Hiring salespeople is not only one of the most important tasks you will undertake, it is also one of the most difficult. After all, sales professionals are in sales, so having a solid process for evaluating sales talent is key.
Hiring for an entrepreneurial venture is different than hiring for a large company. It’s not just about skills – it’s also about attitude and the ability to thrive in a fast moving environment.

“We WILL be there with you every step of the way.” 

Sample Interview Questions

Here are some sample interview questions that may help you in your process

  • What’s your opinion of the role of learning in sales? Being thrown for a loop by this question is a sign that your candidate isn’t a life-long learner, which is becoming increasingly important in sales.
  • How do you keep up to date on your target market? Even if the target market of their last job is totally different than that of the one they’re interviewing for, this will show you their ability to find and keep up to date with relevant information.
  • What’s worse: not making quota every single month or not having happy customers? Depending on your company’s goals, either answer could be the right one. But beware of reps who will prioritize quota over truly giving customers what they need — or withholding from them what they don’t.
  • How would you approach a short sales cycle differently than a long sales cycle? Short cycles call for reps that can close quickly, and long sales cycles require a much more careful, tailored approach. They’re drastically different, and your candidate should recognize this.
  • What’s your least favorite part of the sales process? If their least favorite part is the most important part at your company, that’s probably a red flag. This question can also alert you to weak areas.
  • What motivates you? Money, achievement, helping customers, being #1 — there are a lot of potential answers to this question. What makes a good answer vs. a bad one will hinge on your company culture. For instance, if teamwork is paramount within your sales team, a candidate who is driven by internal competition might not be a great fit.
  • What made you want to get into sales? Commission, while perhaps part of the motivation, is not a great response to this question.
  • Have you ever had a losing streak? How did you turn it around? Everyone has bad spells, so beware of someone who claims they’ve never experienced a downturn. Nothing’s wrong with a temporary slump as long as the candidate learned from it.
  • In your last position, how much time did you spend cultivating customer relationships vs. hunting for new clients, and why? Certain companies and roles call for people better at farming or hunting, but look out for a person who performs one of these tasks to the exclusion of the other. Both are vital to selling well.

These are just some of the questions we cover in our full learning module around generating revenue and sales. Check it out:

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