Sales is a competitive field, so it's important to put your best foot forward in your interview. To help you prepare, here are some tips on how to ace your next sales interview, including sample answers to common questions:1. Research the company and the role.The more you know about the company and the role you're interviewing for, the better prepared you'll be to answer any questions. Be sure to read the job description carefully and research the company's website, social media pages, recent news articles, and know the names of key people such as the CEO and Sales Director.2.Practice your answers to common sales interview questions.There are a number of common sales interview questions that you can expect to be asked, such as:Tell me about a time when you successfully closed a deal.How do you handle objections from customers?What is your sales process?What are your sales goals for the next year?Why do you want this job?Take some time to practice your answers to these questions in advance. This will help you to deliver clear and concise responses during your interview. Remember that detail is king. Make sure to have examples prepared to back up your points.3. Be prepared to talk about your sales experience and skills.In your interview, be sure to highlight your sales experience and skills. This could include your track record of success in closing deals, your ability to build relationships with customers, and your knowledge of the sales process. If you have any relevant sales awards or accolades, be sure to mention them as well. 4. Have your numbers readyHave your sales figures to hand to show billings in similar positions, as well as any notable deals or KPIs you successfully worked to.5. Be enthusiastic and positive.Sales is a people-oriented business, so it's important to project a positive and enthusiastic attitude during your interview. Show the interviewer that you're excited about the opportunity and that you're confident in your ability to succeed in the role.6. Ask questions.At the end of your interview, be sure to ask the interviewer some questions about the company and the role. This shows that you're interested in the position and that you've been paying attention during the interview. Here are some sample answers to common sales interview questions:1. Tell me about a time when you successfully closed a deal."I was recently working on a deal with a new client (insert name) that I had identified and approached. It took a number of attempts to get a hold of the right decision maker but eventually I got speaking to the right person (insert name). They were hesitant to buy at first as they weren’t sure if they needed the offering we had, but I was able to build rapport with them and understand their needs and challenges in their business. I then tailored my sales pitch to their specific requirements and was able to close the deal by presenting a solution to an issue they had."2. How do you handle objections from customers?"When I encounter a customer objection, I first try to understand their concerns. I then address their objections directly and provide them with information that will help them to make an informed decision. I also try to find common ground with the customer and build a relationship with them."3. What is your sales process?"My sales process typically consists of the following steps:Prospecting: I identify potential customers and reach out to them.Qualification: I determine whether the customer is a good fit for my product or service.Needs assessment: I learn more about the customer's needs and challenges.Solution presentation: I present the customer with a solution that meets their needs.Handling objections: I address any concerns that the customer may have.Closing the deal: I ask the customer to purchase my product or service."4. What are your sales goals for the next year?"My sales goals for the next year are to increase my sales by 15% and to close 10 new deals. I believe that these goals are achievable and that I have the skills and experience necessary to achieve them."5. Why do you want this job?"I want this job because I am passionate about sales, and I believe that I have the skills and experience necessary to be successful in this role. I am also excited about the opportunity to work for a company that is growing rapidly and that has a strong reputation in the industry."By following these tips and practicing your answers to common sales interview questions, you can increase your chances of acing your interview and landing your dream sales job.
Are you a recent grad ready to take on the corporate world? Are you currently weighing up all the options in terms of what direction and career path to take? Then you should be seriously considering a career in sales. Software sales is one of the hottest industries to work in at the moment and Dublin (frequently referred to as the Silicon Valley of Europe) hosts a wide range of international tech companies who have set up shop here and are hiring for sales positions. Not only are these tech companies super cool places to work by their nature (casual dress code, on-site bars for post-work pints, treadmill desks, chill-out areas equipped with massage chairs, hammocks and beds… need I go on) but they also offer an unparalleled opportunity to kick-start a very lucrative career in sales. With many of these companies in their start-up phase here in Dublin, these tech companies tend to be very flat and transparent organisations and offer huge opportunity to develop business acumen and to progress within a sales career relatively quickly. Sounds great, but how do I know sales is for me?If you are a highly driven and competitive person that enjoys reaching and achieving goals, then sales offers you the means to let that streak shine through. Sales offers you the challenge you crave while being lucratively rewarding and offering a clear and defined career path that is completely in your own hands to achieve. So how do you get your foot in the door?Below is a brief overview of the things that are going to aid your application and help you stand out. Education:Almost all of these tech companies now look to university results as their first gauge on candidate applications, irrespective of experience and level of position. For an entry-level sales position you need to be coming out of college with a minimum of a 2.1 BA/BSc/MA/MSc degree or higher. Experience:For entry-level sales roles it is somewhat expected that your experience is going to be limited but you wouldn’t believe how relevant some of the experience you have is going to be! Any fundraising or charity work demonstrates core sales skills such as self-motivation and the ability to quickly build a rapport, as does working to targets in a retail environment or doing a part-time job in a call centre at the weekends for some extra cash. Be proud of your experience and where possible try to gain some sales focused experience or internships. Your willingness to work for free or work your way through college demonstrates not only your independence and eagerness to learn but also your tenacity and motivation – crucial skills needed to succeed in sales. Extra-curricular activities:Don’t knock how important your hobbies and interests are. Participating in team sports shows your ability to work as part of a team and also shows your competitive streak (again both key factors in signaling success in sales). If you have an interest in economics and current affairs it shows your ability to take on more numerical and high-level problems. Do you volunteer in your spare time? This demonstrates your more human side and your ability to engage and develop relationships with people.
The market trend in the sales industry at present, is that a lot of companies are hiring, which offers more opportunities to graduates. By far and away the industry with the most marked increase is the construction and technical sector. After a number of hard years for both clients and candidates, there is a tentative upsurge in this area. Numerous companies are now returning to the market, hiring additional staff. In the IT sector there has been very strong growth in inside sales functions with many businesses investing in graduates or junior sales people, so that they can grow them through the ranks. Domestic IT companies have returned to the market with field based sales roles becoming more common after years of cutbacks. Things are looking bright for the Irish FMCG Market for the rest of2017, particularly for many smaller companies and SMEs. The rise in popularity for diverse ranges of produce such as artisan food and craft beers has led to the creation of many more local operators within the industry. Demonstrated sales experience is key. In interviews candidates are being quizzed on their figures and achievements and an inability to demonstrate these clearly makes the difference between getting the role or not. There is a slight disparity across all industries in relation to what candidates are seeking and what is on offer from businesses. Companies want to hire people who can generate new business, whilst candidates are seeking more senior account manager type roles, having ridden out the recession years. This puts a strain on the market as business development roles get turned down in favour of more appealing account manager positions. Salaries in the ICT sector have seen the biggest increase as multinational companies with deep pockets have been driving entry level and experienced salaries up. This has put pressure on smaller companies who can’t compete at those levels. Irish companies need to realise, that they are now competing with multinational companies for talent, as graduates from all backgrounds work in Google, Twitter etc. If you as an employer want someone with 12 months sales experience – so does half the country so be prepared to compete for them. Another factor that is affecting salaries is living costs. A lot of people are struggling with living costs when working in sales roles, especially if commission or bonuses are not paid on a monthly basis. If as an employer you are offering a low base and an annual bonus, you run the risk of failing to attract quality staff or losing them to employers who reward their staff more frequently. Those looking for a career within sales need to get online and make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and relevant to what you want to do next. Every recruiter and company out there is going to look you up online and they want to see someone who is professional and connected regardless of the industry they are in.