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How to ace Sales Interview

Every day, I review hundreds of resumes and speak with dozens of awesome talents. Day in and day out this has been productive and a fulfilling experience. One of the most frequent mandates which we get is related to Sales and Business Development.

Fintechs, eComms, Edtechs, Fortune 500 etc., all need awesome sales folks to keep their organizations afloat. 

My Take: Sales is one of the most critical verticals in a company. Sales folks are the ones who bring in revenues - direct revenues. In this post I outline a few pointers that’s utmost importance for you to grab that exciting sales offer.

If you’re sharp, dynamic, and love talking to people, sales or business development could be a great fit for you. You’ll get to work in a job where every day involves helping different customers or working with different products, and where the results of your efforts are very tangible, in both quotas and commissions.

But to successfully break into sales or business development, you have to be able to sell yourself as the best person for the job. So, this is the single most important factor - To be able to sell yourself

Think of yourself as a lucrative product, a Brand. A brand with a pull. Everything else is a byproduct of you. The person sitting across the table should be convinced that you are the best bet. Remember, this is a Sales Role. What better way than to start with You.

Your prospective employer is your client when you interview with them. In a consulting interview, you may do a case, but in sales, your entire interview is a case. How you contact your interviewers, follow up, and present yourself is a preview of what they can expect. Your interviewers are asking themselves: Would they buy from you?

The hiring process for a Sales Role is unique as well, because the first rule of sales is that people buy from people they like. Interviewers know this, so it’s important to be likable and make a connection with your interviewers and recruiters. One key thing to remember is that every sales organization is different. You’ll want to remain teachable, flexible, and open-minded. What works in one industry or company may not work at all in the next role, so always look for ways to learn and grow as a salesperson and professional.

Unlike other fields, jobs in sales have performance metrics that are clearly defined and easily measured. Either you met your number or you did not meet your number. Either you carried a quota or you did not.

As outlined earlier, I’ve seen countless resumes and conducted numerous interviews, and many people new to the role think it’s about being persuasive and smelling good. Yes, the business is about results, and an ambitious or aggressive nature is a prerequisite. But it’s also about trust, knowledge, and service. Find a way to demonstrate these items and you’ll be trusted with the lifeblood of any company—its customers.

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Let’s highlight a few pointers that will help you get started:

 

  • Use the job interview to convincingly sell your most important product - yourself - to an employer who is well-versed in sales strategies.
  • Be prepared to talk about the specific sales skills that you bring to the table, making sure to highlight those skills that were listed as “preferred qualifications” on the company’s job announcement.
  • It is important to take the time to carefully research the company and its products and/or services so that you’ll be able to make an informed presentation, based upon your needs-based analysis of their organization, about how you intend to grow their market share.
  • Candidates for sales positions need to be absolutely sure they are comfortable selling the product or service the company is marketing because if you wouldn't buy it, you're going to have difficulty selling it.
  • Check our Post on Interview FAQ's. This will help you improvise your answering strategy
  • Lastly, you need to know who is hiring when you need a job. You cannot (and shouldn't) run helter skelter shooting your resumes in the dark. Sign Up for our talent community to get timely notifications about Sales/BD Roles
Think about developing a relationship with a recruiter you trust instead of only contacting one when you’re desperate and looking.

Don’t let shyness or fear of rejection stop you from entering the field. It’s an amazing way not only to begin your career but to establish your ground as well. Not everyone is cut out for Sales. It’s few, very few who can make it big in Sales. Is you intend to make it big in Sales, then trust me – You are going to have a super adventurous journey

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