Almost every interview for new sales job opportunity ends with the same question: “Do you have any questions for me?”
I’ve interviewed hundreds of sales reps, and I see the same trend over and over: Reps routinely fail to ask the heavy-hitting questions that will help determine if the new role is the right fit for them.
One “wrong” answer to that final question is not to have any questions at all. Every job candidate should come prepared with at least one question. Another “wrong” answer is asking questions about information that is easily available online – this shows you haven’t done your research on the company.
Here are a few “right” questions every sales rep should ask their potential employer to better gauge if the job opportunity is a good fit:
“Can you tell me more about the cadence of the sales process?”
Specifically, is it a fast-paced transactional sale that will take place in 30 days, or is a longer, more complex sales process that will take nine months and involve multiple stakeholders?
“How would you describe your leadership/management style?”
Knowing the leadership style and communication cadence of your potential new manager is important. Do sales reps have to report every new conversation, immediately? Or is the leader hands-off, providing enough ‘rope’ to get into trouble? Different reps work better under different leadership styles (there is no “right” leadership style), and it’s important for candidates to identify how they work best and whether their potential new leader is a good fit.
“Does the company offer go-to-market support?”
There’s nothing wrong with expecting lead generation, marketing and technical support. That said, not every company offers it. It’s critical that you understand the specific ways the company will support you and what it expects you to do on your own. This could make or break your decision to pursue that job opportunity, should you receive an offer.
“How would you describe your target buyer?”
It’s important for every sales rep, before accepting a job opportunity, to understand who they will be selling to and how your solution/service will impact them. This will determine your communication strategy during the sale process. In sales, some reps work better with certain types of buyers or certain products. It’s important that you can relate to and believe in the new products/services you will be representing and feel you can make a connection with the target buyer.
“Could you tell me more about the compensation details?”
This might be discussed during the interview, but if it’s not, it’s certainly appropriate to ask about it. Specifically, what are the on-target earnings, and how many reps hit full earnings last year? What is the quota and how many reps achieved quota last year? How often will you be paid? Are there bonuses and/or accelerators in the comp plan?
Additionally, it’s a good idea to understand the business plan and expected timeline for the business. Do they want to go public, sell to a private equity firm? Do they anticipate growing slowly or quickly? Also, ask about the tenure of the current team and ALWAYS ask for a reference of someone who is doing the same thing you’re interviewing for.
Asking questions at job interviews isn’t just another way to win over your potential employer by showing interest. It’s about evaluating the company, the role and whether the job opportunity is the right fit for you.
Are you looking for the best fitting remote sales job? Check out How to Find the Best Remote Sales Job for You.