August 13, 2013
July 30, 2015
Effective sales managers are rare creatures. They need to combine the skills and drive of raw salespeople with the managerial perspective of someone totally removed from the madness of day-to-day sales. If you find a few you like, you may feel the overwhelming excitement to just hurry up and hire one. The interview should provide a nice speed bump in your hiring excitement. Take a moment and a breath. Amongst your usual questions, include these 5 interview questions to ask sales managers.
The correct answer is yes, reps should get warm leads, but this is not because they’re lazy or can’t successfully build their own business from the ground up. Lead-driven sales are typically more cost-effective than having expensive sales reps make cold calls. Yes, leads are expensive up-front, but the eventual cost per acquisition and overall lifetime value and margin for the business on those new customers are usually much better when reps are making more efficient use of their time with warm leads.
Ask for details. What went wrong? Why weren’t salespeople performing? The problems could be:
Then, the candidate should be able to provide more details about what he or she did to fix these specific problems.
Phrasing questions to ask sales managers in this way prompts the candidate not just to discuss the mundane ways in which he or she prospects (e.g., “I usually set aside an hour each morning‚”) but to explain why those methods work. A candidate who can answer sales interview questions like this cogently has given thought to the sales process and is not just running through the motions. Furthermore, the self-reflection and awareness required to piece together why some prospecting methods work better than others may indicate that the candidate is more receptive to change and coaching.
When looking for questions to ask Sales Managers, put the candidate on the spot. You don’t want “yes” or “no” responses from someone who will be responsible for managing and leading your sales team. Sales are always shape-shifting and unique. Your next sales manager should reflect those traits (in a good way). If they can’t quickly describe why they’re best, how will that translate in front of a sales team?
The answer to this question can be as unique as the candidate. Maybe it’s money. Maybe they’re foregoing some earning ability, which they could earn as a straight salesperson, for some stability. Look for some personality in the answer and the drive that will lead to this new sales manager’s over or underperformance.