Have an interview coming up for a sales position? Be prepared for when the hiring manager asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Your questions (or lack thereof) may make or break your chances of getting hired
These questions will help you determine if the job is a good fit and show the employer that you are indeed serious about pursuing a sales role in the company.
1. How do you measure success in this position?
The definition of success varies greatly by company and by role, and there shouldn’t be any uncertainty about how your performance will be measured.
You should know the key performance indicators (KPIs), quota ramp time and the percentage of reps who achieve quota after ramp.
As a follow-up to this question, you can ask about typical expectations for someone in the role at 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.
2. How are sales leads sourced, and what are the sales team’s prospecting tools?
You should know if the position has lead generation support and how many leads you can expect to receive daily, weekly or monthly. Are the leads distributed evenly, and what is the lead to opportunity conversion rate? Will you have SDR/BDR support? Does the company invest in lead generation such as marketing events, trade shows, webinars or advertising?
If you will be relying on the sales department to provide data, you want to ensure that they have a solid foundation of quality internal or external data sources.
3. What is the general culture of the sales department?
The company culture, on a whole, is important- but you’ll be working most closely with the sales department, which may even have its own sub-culture. You need to understand who you will be reporting to directly and what their management practices and policies are. It’s also essential to get a sense of the sales team dynamics. Do sales reps collaborate? Will others lend a hand if needed? What are their communication practices?
4. What training is offered?
As a new sales pro, much of your initial success will be determined by the amount and type of training the business provides. Ask these questions:
- How long is the new hire training program?
- Will the company provide sales training, product training or both?
- Who will conduct this training?
- Will you be assigned a sales mentor?
- How often does the business conduct ongoing sales or product training?
Get outside feedback – Ask a current or former employee about the company’s training program. Most companies fail to properly train their new employees, and this significantly impacts a reps ability to be successful.
5. How is the compensation plan structured?
Each company structures its sales compensation plans differently. It’s critical that you ask detailed questions. For example:
- What is the total compensation package: On-target earnings and base to variable breakup?
- Are there accelerators, decelerators and/or bonuses in the plan?
- How is quota achieved?
- How and when are commissions paid?
- How often and when is the Compensation Plan reviewed?
You should also ask for a copy of the company’s Compensation Plan in advance. This document will outline, in detail, the compensation requirements and include all corner cases.
This information will help you understand the full compensation package and earning potential of the job.
Never say you don’t have any questions.
Now that you know what questions to ask, you should know the 5 Things All Sales Managers Look for During an Interview