Home > Management > Thinning the herd

Thinning the herd

Hi, my name is William. I am new to this forum and new to being a sales manager. I am currently in month 10 of my position at a small financial service firm. With little to no management training, I feel as if my Boss has thrown me under the buss. Hey, I guess it makes for a great learning experience and a beautiful influx of gray hair.

We are a young firm and tend to seek candidates that are currently in or just out of college. Our most successful sales employees have had no prior sales experience.

My question is:

When hiring new sales employees, what are some good questions to ask the potential candidate to see if they will be successful at sales?

I know that this question is vague and different companies are going to have questions geared towards their specific needs and expectations.

Thank you,

William - by William
When hiring new sales employees, what are some good questions to ask the potential candidate to see if they will be successful at sales?
Find out during the interview... does the candidate want to succeed in sales bad enough that he or she is willing to do what it takes for however long it takes to achieve success in sales? The questions you ask to discover that information is up to you. - by Calvin
Find out during the interview... does the candidate want to succeed in sales bad enough that he or she is willing to do what it takes for however long it takes to achieve success in sales? The questions you ask to discover that information is up to you.
I would find out about previous training and their ability to learn the program. - by Slick
I would find out about previous training and their ability to learn the program.
Find out during the interview... does the candidate want to succeed in sales bad enough that he or she is willing to do what it takes for however long it takes to achieve success in sales? The questions you ask to discover that information is up to you.
All good ideas. ;co - by SalesCoach
How 'hungry' are they? What are their income goals? Are they willing to put in the time to get where they want to go?
Also, you certainly have some people who work for you who are succesful. Why? What qualities do your succesful reps possess? Can you narrow it down to 2 or 3 and then develop interview questions which get to whether your candidates have these qualities?

Susan - by susana
When hiring new sales employees, what are some good questions to ask the potential candidate to see if they will be successful at sales?
Ask them where they plan to be in five years. If they have an answer ask them how this opportunity gets them closer to achieving that goal. ;co - by Jolly Roger
Get them to rank the following 3 qualities and explain why they made their decision.
  • Drive
  • Integrity
  • Work ethic

It’s the explanation that is more revealing than the ranking. - by Tony Dunne
A quick add-on to Snowman’s great “ranking” response. As they discuss their responses:
  • Listen for candidates who are motivated solely by what they can get for themselves − they’ll make money for themselves but could hurt your business.
  • Remember to follow up on their answers by asking “Why is [was] that important to you?” You may want to repeat that question a number of times to help get to the core of their beliefs (and thus their instinctive behaviors).
  • Dig deeper by asking questions like “Tell me about a time when you felt your integrity was tested and how you handled it.” “Tell me about a time when things didn’t go well for you and you felt discouraged. What did you do?” Be suspicious of candidates who say they've never experienced discouragement or challenges to their integrity.
  • With any of their answers, look for opportunities to ask “So what did you learn from that experience?”
  • Finally, perhaps after you’ve done some screening, ask: “What questions do you have for me?” and then stop talking and give them an opportunity to lead.
You’re looking for the insight, skill with questions, and ability to combine rapport and integrity that will separate out the best from the rest.
- by tom behr
Hi, my name is William. I am new to this forum and new to being a sales manager. I am currently in month 10 of my position at a small financial service firm. With little to no management training, I feel as if my Boss has thrown me under the buss. Hey, I guess it makes for a great learning experience and a beautiful influx of gray hair.

We are a young firm and tend to seek candidates that are currently in or just out of college. Our most successful sales employees have had no prior sales experience.

My question is:

When hiring new sales employees, what are some good questions to ask the potential candidate to see if they will be successful at sales?

I know that this question is vague and different companies are going to have questions geared towards their specific needs and expectations.

Thank you,

William
One thing I have always done William is made sure that the potential appointment I am putting on wants my seat. That shows that they are willing to push hard and even harder when they have the desire to move up the corporate ladder. Having an employee that is happy earning $50000/year and not striving to better themselve is moving nowhere and doesn't do you or the organisation or themselve any justice. - by Snowboy
Get them to rank the following 3 qualities and explain why they made their decision.
  • Drive
  • Integrity
  • Work ethic

It’s the explanation that is more revealing than the ranking.
Brilliant Snowman - by Snowboy
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.