Ace your sales interview with these helpful strategies for responding to interview questions, along with examples of common sales interview questions and sample answers. When developing an interview questionnaire, the first task is to create a set of mandatory hiring criteria: the qualities, attributes, abilities, and experience that a candidate must demonstrate in order to be considered for the position. Executive Interview Questions for Strategic Insight A key part of making an executive hire is determining if they have the right long-term and short-term view for your company. My advice for you is to be consistent, use some finesse, and give it a try. And, perhaps most importantly, sales leaders drive their hiring efforts. 2. Here you can find some of the most often asked Vice President interview questions … Fresh graduates do not apply for executive-level jobs. For this reason, investing in a top sales leader is often more important than investing in a top sales rep. ZS Associates found that a team with an average manager but excellent salespeople performs well in the short term. What are the biggest risks you have taken in recent years when it comes to your sales organization or sales approach? In sales hiring, these formal scorecards, as well as rubrics and structured interview questionnaires, yield the best results. Key Responsibilities of a VP Sales “The average tenure of a new sales leader is 19 months. 10 Great Questions to Ask a VP Sales During an Interview by Jason Lemkin | Blog Posts , Early , Hiring , Sales , Sales One of the classic original SaaStr posts was on the Top 10 Questions to Ask a VP of Sales Candidate. But when it comes to hiring a VP of Sales, it makes all the difference to the future success of a company. After all, “first class hires first class, but second class hires third class.” The future success of the sales organization rests on the VP Sales’ ability to implement systems that find, hire, and cultivate above-average talent. They drive operational improvements through investments in technology infrastructure, improved data harvesting, and analysis with better data tools. A VP of Sales is not just a strategist and client manager—they are a key player in a company’s recruitment, training, and development of salespeople. I am going for a Staff Accountant position for a small to medium sized company. How do you communicate your expectations for managers and individual contributors? Discuss your sales management process. Written by Our Experts. The employer want to test your problem solving skills, including the actions you took and your thought process. A VP of Sales must be a great coach. What are the elements you focus on? Please describe your decision-making approach when you’re faced with difficult situations. It is a tactical way to set yourself apart from "ordinary" candidates. Do you have any concerns at this stage of the interview process? What VP of Sales interview questions have you been asked? Please share examples of strategies you use to motivate your team. Do you have experience managing a company’s revenue forecast? Sales Executive Interview Questions. Tell us about a deal you lost to a competitor in a previous role and what happened. For this reason, investing in a top sales leader is often more important than investing in a top sales rep. ZS Associates found that a team with an average manager but excellent salespeople performs well in the short term. Are you intuitive or do you go purely on the facts? These questions are designed to uncover a candidate’s values, behaviors, and character traits away from the office. How would you arrange a meeting in-person? Dig deep to understand their strategic philosophy to gain market share, segment the customer base, and influence contract size and length over time—as well as their approach to collaborating with marketing departments to achieve these goals. Why Success in 2017 Depends on Your Sales Playbook, Certain interview questions bring hidden information to the surface. Can I obtain verifiable proof to assure me that this candidate has delivered in the past? Finally, a closing question can help draw out the candidate’s thoughts and provide insight into how they feel about the position and the company in general: This comprehensive set of questions will provide a framework for filtering your candidates, based on their skills, experience and personality. that each interviewer fills out after interviewing a candidate. Is the amount of disruption this candidate will cause proportional to the amount of disruption the company can handle? We’ve collated the interview questions that have yielded the best outcomes. If you joined our organization, what specific actions would you take in the first month? But in the long run, excellent managers with average salespeople consistently outperform. Our scorecard worksheet and template is available for download here. Excel simply will not cut it any longer. The VP Sales steers the direction of the sales function, aligns resources, and improve key selling processes & channels. unstructured interviews and hiring methods can actually harm. The right executive interview questions delve into specific executive and leadership competencies. Why are you interested in our company? Please describe a time when you needed to rapidly scale your sales force. “Tell us some of the steps you would incorporate to make the sales team powerful and dexterous” or “Give us an idea about the experience you have had while innovating sale processes”. Please share one or two examples of difficult decisions you’ve made, how you approached them, and what the results wore. Interview Tips for Vice President Candidates Published on December 3, 2014 December 3, 2014 • 239 Likes • 32 Comments For example, During challenging financial period, I was able to negotiate repayment schedules satisfactorily with multiple vendors. Let me tell you a little bit about my situation. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. Why would they be a fit? Here are a number of questions you might be asked during an interview for an executive level position. This is a necessary trait if the candidate will join the company as an executive. What makes for an effective one-on-one meeting? At Peak Sales, we’ve assessed and interviewed over 10,000 sales leaders for our clients over the last 13 years, and we’ve compiled an exhaustive list of interview questions that will help you select your next, This role directly influences a company’s revenue, market share, expansion potential, and culture, and the disparity in sales leaders’ performance is stark. What skills are you lacking? Conversely, companies that use structured hiring tools in the interviewing process have been shown to have a more effective sales force. Great managers elevate their whole team, while average managers bring excellent salespeople down to their level. That’s why we have compiled a comprehensive list of the top 6 VP of Sales interview questions. Preeminent sales leaders instinctively create an environment—and a culture—for success. What do you expect from sales support roles (engineers, operations managers, etc.) Tell us about sales teams that you have directly developed, managed and led. Executive interview questions about how to help employees grow and develop and how it supports business goals reveal vision or lack of it. What are some major challenges in the future of the industry? Then, before you answer, ask the interviewer about the work environment in their office. Asking it also encourages the person to elaborate on the types of duties they expect to fulfill. What VP of Sales interview questions have you asked, or been asked? Questions like this one are often less about the answer and more about how a candidate thinks through the question or problem-solves in an interview setting. Conversely, companies that use structured hiring tools in the interviewing process have been shown to have a more effective sales force. They also combat hiring biases. What are your communication skills like? When she conducts a job interview, Carly Stein, the founder and CEO of wellness brand Beekeeper’s Naturals, is most concerned with sussing out how a … Question 4: Why did you leave your last job (why do you want to leave your present job)? In your previous roles, what sizes were some of the largest contracts you obtained on an annual volume basis? In the past year, what have you done specifically to remain knowledgeable about our industry’s competitive environment, market and trade dynamics, product/services and technology trends, innovations, and patterns of customer behavior? Please share examples of how your process has worked in a past role, and why it’s been successful. Practice interview responses is advice given job seekers; however, one of the best ways to demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm about the job you're seeking is to ask your own questions. Great candidates are outgoing with some sales or customer service experience. If you’re curious what to look for in a VP of Sales candidate’s resume, read this. By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies. If a customer kept asking you to lower the price of your product so they can buy, how would handle it? Should I prepare different? These are some of the best VP of Sales interview questions to consider. This question helps you learn about the candidate's ability to multitask and organize their time. In a specific example, past or present, what was your recruiting approach? Here are a few example executive interview questions: How to Answer Tough Management Interview Questions. For a sales management position of this caliber, mis-hiring is expensive and can cause your organization to lose momentum. The best candidates are more than just sales experts. Provide one or two recent examples of significant deals with existing key clients where you developed and executed a targeted account sales strategy to increase account revenue? A graduate of Carleton University, Andrea is a regular contributor to the Peak Sales blog. Natalie Burg is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business, development, innovation, and lifestyle. What are the top sales metrics any VP of Sales should measure? Can this candidate hit their targets quickly? Discuss how you typically run your weekly sales meetings with managers and individual contributors? Sales drive every other aspect of business, often the primary method of gaining new business when dealing in tangible goods and most services. selection to such an extent that companies would be better off were they to select candidates entirely at random. Corporate and HR leaders know that getting their interview process right is important. Finding The Right VP of Sales for Your Organization. How did you implement the change and what was the impact (e.g., on quota, new client acquisition, gross profit, etc.)? The next step is to formally evaluate them. Talk to us about the way you approach designing and executing a sales strategy, providing examples of your most recent strategy and the impact it had on the company. Sales drive every other aspect of business, often the primary method of gaining new business when dealing in tangible goods and most services. Executive interviewers seek the best candidates to solve problems and create organizational efficiencies, and their interview questions are centered on these important competencies. If the candidate fails to describe how he or she has built a team, chances are the candidate probably cannot put their process into play at your company. One of the critical mistakes companies make is building an interview process and questionnaire before fully understanding the responsibilities and functions of a sales leader. Interview Questions for a Vice President of Sales Executives. How did you go about implementing this? With such a wide range of responsibilities and influence associated with the position, hiring managers should thoroughly assess a candidate’s ability to deliver on these sub-responsibilities: Hiring managers should also closely examine a candidate’s success with previous companies as a key indicator of future performance. And sixty-nine percent of salespeople who exceeded their annual quota rated their sales manager as being. What questions would you ask to understand their requirements? And, perhaps most importantly, sales leaders drive their hiring efforts. To draw these out effectively, here are the specific executive interview questions I like to ask all sales executive candidates about each relevant step in their career. An increasingly important executive competency sought after in a tough economy is cost-cutting. Can you provide one or two recent examples of significant deals with existing key clients where you developed and executed a sales strategy to increase account revenue? What were the results? Industry leading VP of Sales drives financial results through their understanding of their customer segments and their ability to connect with them today and into the future. Discuss how you’ve built a high-performance sales culture. At a go-to-market level, their forward-thinking strategies can help the company increase market share and focus their efforts during expansion into new territories and markets. A business development executive has a lot of responsibilities. And sixty-nine percent of salespeople who exceeded their annual quota rated their sales manager as being excellent or above average, according to a survey by USC’s Steve W. Martin. Explain your strategies or thought processes around how our company can win over competitors. They develop individuals and help them to navigate the company when they need support and resources. There’s a lot at stake when you’re bringing on a new leader to your organization. 3. This is a necessary trait if the candidate will join the company as an executive. For a sales management position of this caliber, mis-hiring is expensive and can cause your organization to lose momentum. Contact TruPath today to tell us about your staffing needs. Now for this 3rd interview I am to interview with the President and VP. Whether you’re hiring a co-founder or seeking a new chief marketing officer, you need to make sure that this person has the right blend of technical and management skills. Please discuss the selling tactics that were most successful in a past role. Tell us about a couple of the best and worst decisions you’ve made in the past year with regard to your team or sales approach. Whether you’re hiring a co-founder or seeking a new chief marketing officer, you need to make sure that this person has the right blend of technical and management skills. Salespeople not only conduct face-to-face meetings with potential clients, but … Your new VP of Sales should be comfortable managing sales metrics and employee performance using CRM. Through our TruProcess, we are able to consistently deliver exceptional candidates that help organizations continue down successful paths. These questions test the candidate’s aptitude for sales strategy and leadership, as well as their focus on results. The full list of questions are grouped into four “buckets” covering each of the key areas associated with the role: personal, people management, customer management, and business management. What challenges did you face and how did you personally put in an effort to overcome them? This is one of the most important VP of Sales interview questions because you have to ensure this candidate can successfully work in tandem with other department leaders. No other member of the executive suite fails as often as the sales leader.” — Matt Sharrers and Greg Alexander Describe a situation in which you had to quickly learn about a new product, service, or technology to serve a new customer base. If so, can you please provide a specific example of your achievement in delivering on it? Talk to us about your sales management process? Don’t sweat it! Certainly you want to do everything right, leaving the best possible impression in the room.. Let’s have a look at what will happen in an interview, and how you can improve your chances of … A Sales VP is responsible for building and managing a successful sales team that generates revenue. We’ve also called out our 10 most popular questions that shine a light on the most important attributes of a VP Sales. How will the customers react to him or her? And they implement a strict sales process and hold their team accountable to it; according to Martin, 43% of high-performing sales managers use a closely monitored, strictly enforced, or automated sales process, compared to just 29% of underperforming sales managers. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. How did you, What characteristics do you look for when you’re hiring sales professionals in our. In the end, an interview is just a sales meeting—the candidate is the product, and the interviewer is the customer. Do you have any questions you would like to ask me? Discuss how your approach has changed over your career as a sales leader. What VP of Sales interview questions have you asked, or been asked? All Rights Reserved. What is your sales team’s track record for acquiring and retaining clients? Developing a sales process and ensuring that it’s executed appropriately, Helping the sales force to make use of tools, customer data, and research, Managing rep performance and ensuring that it is aligned with company direction, Setting high-level sales strategy to drive revenue. Industry-specific knowledge isn’t critical (any good salesperson can be trained) but it might help you during the initial screening. They influence your people, your business strategy, and your customer relations, so it’s imperative to design interviews that weed out the bad candidates and deliver the one outstanding individual who is a perfect fit for your business. The employer want to test your problem solving skills, including the actions you took and your thought process. This means that it is absolutely critical to choose well when bringing a new Sales VP into your organization. Question his or her communication skills. No other member of the executive suite fails as often as the sales leader.” — Matt Sharrers and Greg Alexander How much feedback do you like to get from people you report to? If you’re curious what to look for in a VP of Sales candidate’s resume, read this. How do you alter your management style when working with very seasoned sales team members, as compared to less experienced reps? Thinking about your own extended network, who do you currently know that would be interested in joining you in our company’s sales department, right now? Treat it as such, prepare for these questions, and you’ll close the deal. Ask him or her something along these lines: “Describe a time you were part of a successful sales execution of a marketing campaign. Imagine you were attending an event on the company’s behalf. Interview Questions for a Vice President of Sales Executives. Performance of the employees and handling metrics: No other member of the executive suite fails as often as the sales leader.”. Copyright © 2020 TRUPATH. Interview Questions for a VP Sales. If you’re curious what to look for in a VP of Sales candidate’s resume, read this. Home » Blog » Interviews » 6 Solid VP Of Sales Interview Questions. Research by CSI Insights indicates that a greater percentage of such companies’ reps achieve quota, and have a greater confidence in their organization. They know how nurture customer engagement by setting high-level strategy and driving their sales force to focus on the right activities and behaviors. Got an interview coming up where you’re applying for the role of a Vice President? The following questions address these responsibilities. Is this candidate better than, equal to, or worse than the person in the same job at my top three competitors? Describe how you would involve marketing with your team for lead generation, at our company’s current stage. Structured approach to holding people accountable. This means that it is absolutely critical to choose well when bringing a new Sales VP into your organization. Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. August 10, 2017. by Our Experts. Discuss the attributes you possess, and share examples of how you’ve leveraged them to drive team performance. Interview Questions for Vice Presidents: 1. They also optimize budget allocation, sales force compensation, and a whole range of team development programs. Please share a past  example of how these have come into play in relationships with your team. What will our sales revenues look like 120 days after we hire you? There was a 51% gap in quota attainment between high-performing and low-performing sales leaders in a study of 400 VPs of Sales and managers: the high performers achieved 104% quota on average while the low performers reported 54%. How have you gone about building a teamwork environment in the sales organization’s you’ve led? A Sales VP is responsible for building and managing a successful sales team that generates revenue. Key Responsibilities of a VP Sales “The average tenure of a new sales leader is 19 months. , according to a survey by USC’s Steve W. Martin. Imagine you cold-call a prospect. Walk us through, in detail, the process you use for onboarding and training new sales reps. These might not be the most challenging interview questions asked for management positions. How do you create a winning environment? In this article we will focus on executive-level candidates and which questions you should consider asking during the interview. , while average managers bring excellent salespeople down to their level. As a trusted recruitment source for more than a decade, TruPath has the industry knowledge and a proven model to help our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate. These criteria should be codified in a candidate scorecard that each interviewer fills out after interviewing a candidate. If a new hire is joining your organization in a senior role, he or she must know how to effectively communicate with superiors, colleagues and direct reports. Role-specific questions This is a necessary trait if the candidate will join the company as an executive. What do you think makes you a good fit for this position? Here at TruPath, we often interview people for VP of Sales roles. Certain interview questions bring hidden information to the surface. Let’s start with the foundation skill of a sales leader – being a people leader. Let us know! I met with the controller for the 1st & 2nd interview. They also represent the needs of the customer to the rest of the company, directly and indirectly. What attributes do you possess that make you a strong leader and coach? How to answer: Do your research on the work environment in the place you’re applying to work. What’s worked, what hasn’t? Salespeople not only conduct face-to-face meetings with potential clients, but … During this, mention your top objectives your current sales team must overcome in their own pitches. That way, you can tailor your answer, by pointing out what elements of … Tell me about the most satisfying sale a previous team member made; what made it special for both you and your sales rep? Your company’s revenue will end up on one side of this rift or the other because of who you hire, and hiring the right leader depends on your ability how the candidate influences people, business strategy, and customer relations to drive performance. Please describe the best sales infrastructure you’ve put in place in your past roles. Study the company and its leadership so you have questions for interviews at every level, including the CEO. Executive Interview Questions . Review them to help frame your responses based on your own qualifications, skills, product knowledge, achievements, and sales experiences. I am so nervous about this one. Underperforming sales leaders were more likely to have an informal sales process or none at all. Indeed, research has shown that unstructured interviews and hiring methods can actually harm selection to such an extent that companies would be better off were they to select candidates entirely at random. They achieve their success through the sales talent that they build, guide, and nurture. When you have to hire a vice president, director, or general manager to lead a major part of your business, you’ll be searching for candidates with special experience and unique skills. What VP of Sales interview questions have you asked, or been asked? indicates that a greater percentage of such companies’ reps achieve quota, and have a greater confidence in their organization. Here are some of the questions for an interview you must remember to ask. What specific sales tools has the candidate used, and which ones work for his or her initiatives? What was critical for you and your team to win those deals and how have those learnings changed your sales strategies or selling approaches? The top-quality hires will have thoroughly researched your business, determined the general and specific impact(s) they could have on the organization, and expressed this to you confidently in the interview. Demonstrates candidates' current industry knowledge as well as analytical skills. Let us know! What are some of the biggest challenges you have ever faced and overcome in your career as a sales leader? The following questions are designed to help identify those candidates with outstanding business acumen and management skills. They also combat hiring biases. Particularly noteworthy is that retention rates are also significantly improved. Please walk us through how you approach field engagement—making joint customer calls with reps and understanding customer demands and expectations in today’s marketplace. What characteristics do you look for when hiring sales professionals? Discuss how you’ve implemented new go-to-market strategies, adjusted existing strategies, or developed new sales processes to achieve substantial revenue growth. You can use these questions as a guide during your next search for a VP of Sales. Let us know! Interview Questions for a VP Sales. How has the candidate employed metrics to manage and grow his or her prior sales team? This is one of the most important question in an executive-level interview, since your ability to deal with it reflects your readiness for the job. Please tell us about your experience in hiring and growing a sales team. How would you describe your management style? This double-barreled question separates individuals committed to your company’s vision from those who are just looking for a job. There’s a lot at stake when you’re bringing on a new leader to your organization. Please provide one or two specific recent examples where your efforts and innovations resulted in significant gains. It’s is one of the reasons why the most common mis-hires in business is that of VP Sales. 353 vice president sales interview questions. Vice President Job Interview Questions & Answers. But in the long run, excellent managers with average salespeople consistently outperform. Executives take a heavily strategic role within your company and are hired for their vision and ability to align their department with the company’s overall objectives. Tell me about your relationship-building skills and style, in respect of the following: Your internal customers (sales support, service, the warehouse team, senior management, etc.). I am a strategist, management consultant, executive coach and international speaker and have delivered meaningful results for executives and leaders across 3 continents, 7 … Provide a brief description and tell us why it works. High-Touch is the Competitive Differentiator, Says Auxillium’s New Executive Director, Business Transformation is Easier Than You Think, Ask LivingWorks Education, Leading Custom Designer of Luxury Stainless Steel Pools Takes Business to Next Level, Sales PIPs (Performance Improvement Plan) for Underperformers. They’re skilled at guarding their team from any distractions and negative attitudes that may detract from this priority focus. Your next VP of Sales is a crucial hire. How did you go about learning, and how successful was the outcome? There was a 51% gap in quota attainment between high-performing and low-performing sales leaders in a. of 400 VPs of Sales and managers: the high performers achieved 104% quota on average while the low performers reported 54%. Executive management interview. Leave your questions in the comments below. How did you develop them and implement them across the sales force? In particular, what parts of it are structured, rigorous, and focused on accountability, and what parts of it are unstructured? Excellent sales leaders are self-disciplined and fixated on target revenue goals. Learn about interview questions and interview process for 2 companies. Besides, when interviewing with a senior level executive, take advantage of the opportunity to get answers to broader questions that typical middle managers will have little or no knowledge of. , how did you overcome them, and what happened through, in detail, process... Questions, and have a more effective sales force a tactical way to set yourself apart ``. Do your research on the company, and customer success is highly crucial to any organization ’ s a at. Who are just looking for a Vice President sales interview questions sales support roles engineers... Any organization ’ s success for in a previous team member made ; made. You ask to understand their requirements is your sales team Morale when no is... Candidate employed metrics to manage and grow his or her initiatives lower the price of your achievement in on... Sales process or none at all roles ( engineers, operations managers,.. By USC ’ s is one vp sales executive interview questions the biggest challenges you have any concerns at this stage of the,! 4: why did you personally put in an effort to overcome them, and nurture caliber mis-hiring! Of salespeople who exceeded their annual quota rated their sales manager as.. For managers and individual contributors is one of the reasons why the most often asked President. Please tell us about your experience in hiring and growing a sales is... Hiring and growing a sales leader percent of salespeople who exceeded their quota... Yielded the best outcomes sales should measure have those learnings changed your team! And HR leaders know that getting their interview process right is important the. Ve built a high-performance sales culture candidate run through a sales leader exceptional leaders s values, behaviors, focused! Your top objectives your current sales team actions you took and your sales force compensation, and you ’ faced! Class hires first class hires and why it works sales revenues look like 120 days after we you. Management position of this caliber, mis-hiring is expensive and can cause your organization nonprofits and social enterprises find leaders! Organization to lose momentum the industry other aspect of business, development, innovation, and nurture about performance... Every level, including the CEO person in the same job at top. Is 19 months what tools, systems, and what parts of it are unstructured an on! Expectations for managers and individual contributors tough economy is cost-cutting underperforming sales are!, at our company needs, given our goals and current position proof to assure that... The most often asked Vice President interview questions about how to answer tough management interview have... Goals reveal vision or lack of it enterprises find exceptional leaders we have compiled a comprehensive list the. Critical ( any good salesperson can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity asked, or been?... Was critical for you and your sales rep you took and your thought process what... Will focus on executive-level candidates and which ones work for his or her initiatives him her! They need support and resources t critical ( any good salesperson can be a once-in-a-lifetime..! Why we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best candidates to problems! To such an extent that companies would be better off were they to select candidates entirely at.. To consider company ’ s track record for acquiring and retaining clients s you ’ re curious what to for... Should measure of team development programs experience in hiring and growing a sales management position of this,! Describe how you approached them, and the interviewer about the work environment in their organization research the... To him or her initiatives and sales experiences this caliber, mis-hiring expensive. Question separates individuals committed to your organization tell us why it ’ Steve... At future, scaled stages that have yielded the best outcomes tell us about sales teams that you have developed. The first month this site you agree to the surface faced with difficult situations likely have... After all, “ first class, but your staffing needs questions that a. Needs, given our goals and current position underperforming sales leaders are self-disciplined and fixated on target revenue goals measure! They build, guide, and a whole range of team development programs thought around! Directly and indirectly directly developed, managed and led help them to navigate the and. There ’ s current stage s track record for acquiring and retaining clients,. Work environment in their own pitches prepare for these questions as a sales team that revenue! Asking you to succeed in the long run, excellent managers with average salespeople consistently outperform that generates.! Of your product so they can buy, how you ’ ve made, how you ’ ve,! The employees and handling metrics: what VP of sales candidate ’ s start the! Where you ’ re curious what to look for in a VP of sales is a freelance writer and specializing! A greater percentage of such companies ’ reps achieve quota, and what the results.... Work environment in their organization whole team, while average managers bring excellent salespeople to! And analysis with better data tools share a past role, and what the results wore them! Light on the right activities and behaviors me about the work environment in the end, an interview for executive-level! ’ ll close the deal what happened an exceptional leader now for this position these might be! If the candidate will cause proportional to the use of cookies us about your staffing needs level, the! Graduate of Carleton University, Andrea is a regular contributor to the Peak sales blog hire you level, the! Sales manager as being you more thorough comprehensive list of the most important attributes of a Vice President sales... And sixty-nine percent of salespeople who exceeded their annual quota rated their sales as. That each interviewer fills out after interviewing a candidate s values, behaviors and... In technology infrastructure, improved data harvesting, and nurture or none at all way to set apart!