Interview Questions for Hiring a Top Sales Manager

Unlocking the Best Interview Questions for Hiring a Top Sales Manager

The Best Interview Questions for Hiring a Top Sales Manager is the key to identifying and hiring truly superior sales leadership talent. Many hiring managers have a rough sketch in their mind of the ideal Sales Manager candidate. However, to replace ambiguity with precision, we’ve tapped into the expertise of a leading industrial psychologist who specialises in identifying top performers.

An exceptional sales manager’s skill set extends far beyond inspiring a team or being a proficient deal-closer.

Such individuals excel in dissecting strategic data, crafting durable sales plans, and propelling an organisation’s long-term sustainability. They have the rare ability to transform sales obstacles into triumphs and meld varied teams into a synergised, high-performing unit. Amid today’s customer-driven landscape, they anticipate and strategically act upon evolving revenue opportunities and emerging business needs.

This engaging guide provides you with:

  • Crucial insights to help identify high-calibre sales managers.
  • A comprehensive list of compelling interview questions.
  • A peek into the mindset of a top sales manager through these questions.
  • Common personality traits associated with top performing Sales Managers along with Hard & Soft skills to look out for.

Compelling Interview Questions to Discover Top Sales Managers

1. Can you share an instance when you had to build a sales unit from scratch? What was the toughest part, and how did you overcome it? Explain what part of the result you are most proud of ?

What this tells us: This interview question unfolds the candidate’s approach to start-up scenarios, their ability to tackle growth challenges and their problem-solving skills.

2. How do you combine analytical thinking with sales skills? What tools do you use to look at data, and how do you set up ways to track and report this data effectively?

Why this matters: This probes the candidate’s analytical thought process, their pragmatic approach to utilising analysis, and their proficiency in employing tools for data interpretation.

3. Could you describe a situation where you turned an underperforming individual or team into a high-performing contributor? What were the steps you took, and what was the specific outcome?

Why ask this? : This question allows the candidate to demonstrate their talent for motivating, training, coaching, and capitalising on a salesperson’s potential.

4. What, in your view, are the best practices for team building? Can you provide an example where a cohesive team you inspired had a positive impact on the company’s bottom line?

What this tells us: This sheds light on the candidate’s understanding of team building, their strategies to create a united team, and how this unity boosts sales revenue.

5. Could you discuss your personal sales record and how your experiences and skills influence your approach to training and coaching your team?

Can they lead by example: This provides an understanding of the candidate’s own sales experiences and how their personal journey impacts their leadership and training methodologies.

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6. Please share an instance when a customer was dissatisfied with a salesperson on your team. How did you resolve the situation and utilise it as a learning opportunity for the team?

How do they deal with conflict: This offers a glimpse into the candidate’s customer-relationship management skills, their conflict-resolution strategies, and their approach towards learning from challenging situations.

7. If we were to ask your former team members about your leadership, what do they think is your most admirable quality and why?

Why ask this question: This question aims at uncovering the candidate’s self-awareness and their perceived value from the perspective of those they’ve led.

8. How would you describe the culture you foster within your teams? Why is this culture crucial for your success?

Why this question matters: This explores the candidate’s understanding of workplace culture, their approach towards fostering a productive culture, and the significance of this culture to the organisation’s success.

9. How do you forecast the future needs of your clients and partners? What steps do you take to ensure a forward-thinking team strategy?

What this tells you about the candidate: This assesses the candidate’s strategic mindset, their foresight regarding future client needs and their approach towards maintaining a proactive team strategy.

10. Why are you passionate about sales?

Some people were born to sell: A sales manager who genuinely loves their work is an asset. This question aims to discern the candidate’s passion for sales and their commitment to the profession.

Recognise How Important Sales Is

If you want to hire a top sales manager then you need to recognise the importance of the sales function in your business. Every business, irrespective of its size or industry, fundamentally relies on sales for its growth and survival. It’s the fuel that drives the engine of profitability and sustains the long-term viability of an organisation. Therefore, finding a results-oriented sales manager is not just desirable, it’s absolutely essential.


Find the Right Sales Person

A competent sales manager doesn’t just meet sales targets; they are instrumental in defining and refining the sales strategy, guiding the sales team, and building enduring customer relationships. They have the unique ability to combine strategic vision with practical execution, which is pivotal in navigating competitive markets and achieving business objectives. Furthermore, a goal-driven sales manager acts as a coach, a mentor, and a leader for the sales team. They foster an environment that promotes learning, motivates performance, and rewards success. 

What is the best personality profile for Sales Managers?

The best personality profile for a sales manager generally involves a blend of charisma, assertiveness, resilience, optimism, and adaptability. They should be outgoing and personable, yet also able to assert authority and make tough decisions when necessary. Moreover, they should be resilient and optimistic to handle the ups and downs of sales, as well as adaptable to the rapidly changing business environment.

Hard and Soft skills that are critical for successful Sales Managers

Hard Skills:

  1. Sales expertise: A solid understanding of sales techniques, strategies, and methodologies is essential. Sales managers need to be adept at everything from prospecting to closing deals.

  2. Data analysis: The ability to analyse sales data, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions is crucial in today’s sales landscape.

  3. Technology proficiency: Sales managers should be proficient with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, sales automation tools, and other relevant technologies.

  4. Strategic planning: They should have strong skills in strategic planning and execution to drive sales growth and achieve targets.

  5. Industry knowledge: Having a deep understanding of the industry, market trends, and customer needs is crucial for designing effective sales strategies.


Soft Skills:

  1. Leadership: Good sales managers lead by example, inspire their team, and foster a collaborative and motivational work environment.

  2. Communication: They need exceptional communication skills to clearly convey expectations, provide feedback, and build strong relationships with their team and customers.

  3. Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing their own emotions and those of their team can help build a positive team dynamic and improve sales interactions.

  4. Problem-solving: Sales often involves overcoming objections and solving problems, and sales managers need to be adept at finding innovative solutions.

  5. Resilience: The world of sales can be challenging and filled with rejection. Resilience enables sales managers to stay motivated, maintain a positive attitude, and inspire their team to do the same.

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