Looking to land that perfect tech sales job? Be sure that you are doing the right tasks to ensure success.
The diversity that exists in the world today cannot and should not be ignored. Unfortunately, minority groups usually miss out on opportunities because of systems put in place designed to overlook them. In the labor market, talent is everywhere, no matter the demographic and so organizations should not pass on a chance to better their workforce.
Here are some statistics which show why companies must not ignore the minority groups:
- As analyzed by the Bureau of the Census, there will be no clear racial majority or ethnic majority by 2044. The white demographic will form 49.4%, Latinos, 25%, African American 12.7%, Asians 7.9%, and 3.7% multiracial.
- People of color already make up the majority in several states in the United States.
- The Latino community is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., growing a whopping 43% between 2000 and 2010.
- The 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the African American population stood at 13.4%
- By 2060, the multiracial population will also increase to about 26.7 million from 7.5 million in 2012
These statistics show that the demographics are changing, and gradually, separations in opportunity will not only be impractical but detrimental to businesses everywhere. At the moment, however, many minority populations, including African Americans and Latinx, are consistently overlooked in certain industries. The tech front experiences this lack of diversity firsthand, and so there’s a need to bridge that gap.
Re:work Training: How We Can Help
At re:work, we pride ourselves in linking talented members of the Black and Latinx population with reputable companies and vice versa. We pay particular attention to women from these communities who are more likely to receive less pay for their work and remain an untapped resource in the workplace. Our work, since 2016 has benefited Chicago, and is centered around acknowledging and amplifying the untapped talent that are fighting to overcome systematic obstacles.
While we do all we can, it takes a collective effort to make a real change, and for those of differing backgrounds to experience equality, everybody needs to be involved. Are you ready to be a part of that change? Reach out to re:work today! Now let’s take a look at five ways in which we can all join hands to change the narrative.
- Educate Yourself and Your Community
For the longest time, communities brimming with talent have been overlooked because of the misinformation that’s spread about them. Knowledge is the first step, and until you get the proper information about these communities, you won’t be empowered to take action.
There are many sources where you can find out the history, the achievements, and the hardships of these communities to give you some perspective. You can educate yourself by engaging in the following activities:
- Listen, watch and read. Learn all you can about communities that face systemic bias.
- Attend events or classes that are curated and hosted by those who come from these communities and can speak to the experience.
- Visit museums and take notes.
- Choose and learn about the life of an individual. Retrain your mind to see an individual rather than a collective group.
- Actively seek out information about the issues faced by people of color in their everyday lives.
While you’re at it, don’t keep the information you find to yourself but instead spread it around, starting with the people closest to you.
2. Speak Out
Another issue that continues to plague communities of color is the silence and inaction on the part of neighboring communities. Speaking up about an inherent bias in a system or calling out people who discriminate against others can go a long way if you’re consistent. Start with your immediate surroundings and then, gradually, broaden your reach. Here’s how you can make sure that your voice is heard and makes an impact:
- Report any tweets, pictures, and posts you see online that support discriminatory thinking or uphold bias.
- Put your friends and family in check whenever they say anything derogatory or ignorant about a group of people.
- Set boundaries and make it clear about your stance on the intolerance of other cultures and backgrounds.
In most cases, the voice of the systemically overlooked will be ignored, but there is power in numbers, so your input matters.
3. Contribute resources
There are many organizations like re:work training that recognize the value in communities of color and work daily to make that value apparent to the powers that be. These companies seek to support, empower and bridge the gap that exists between them and the opportunities that they deserve. Here are some statistics on this gap in Chicago to give some perspective:
- The white population makes $12,113 higher in Chicago than the rest of the country
- The Black population makes $5,297 lower than the rest of the country
- The Latinx community also makes significantly less in Chicago than they do nationwide
- In Chicago, the Black unemployment rate is 7% higher than other parts of the country
- The poverty rate of the Black population is also 1.7% higher in Chicago than elsewhere in the nation
Clearly, the odds are stacked against Black and Latinx communities. You can contribute time, energy or funds to support the agencies dedicated to balancing these odds. Actively seeking ways to show support and adapting to the changing needs of these communities is not charity, but rather a practical step toward improving your own life and community for the better.
4. Confront your own bias
If you want to make a measurable impact, you’ll have to start with the person in the mirror. If you’re educating yourself the right way, you’ll notice that many of the views you hold are either uninformed or downright prejudiced. It might make you uncomfortable at first, but that’s where true change begins. So here is what you should do:
- Don’t stop listening. Practice it.
- Don’t avoid honest conversations. Lean into them.
- Don’t disrespect or dismiss the views of others. Embrace and analyze them.
- Don’t be fragile or resort to victimhood when you are called out. Learn from it.
5. Acknowledge your privilege and use it for good
If you don’t belong to a group of people who are systemically overlooked or treated with bias because of their race, ethnicity or background, accept the fact that you have a form of privilege.. After you have come to terms with this within yourself, the next thing will be to leverage that privilege you have to even out the playing field. To be an ally is to be an empathetic and reasonable human being, and it is counterproductive to leave the problem for only those directly involved to solve. Here are a few things to consider:
- Everybody deserves the opportunity to achieve financial freedom.
- A human rights issue is your issue too.
- When your neighbor succeeds, so do you.
The world has evolved past openly segregated workplaces, schools and neighborhoods, but the roots of the issue are still very much alive and producing bitter fruit. We still have an extensive journey ahead and now, more than ever, everyone has a responsibility to help get there faster.
Do you run a business that is interested in tapping into the endless talent that untapped communities, particularly the Black and Latinx, have to offer? This is your chance.
Related: 2019 Annual Report
The sales industry and those who work in it tend to have a bad reputation. Some people have had negative experiences with people trying to sell them something, and have since then categorized everyone working in sales in the same light. Others might not realize how lucrative a career in sales can be.
Either way, don’t let the false image of a sleazy guy at a car dealership distract you from the truth: sales can be a great career, and those in it can enjoy and enrich the lives of their customers. Here are a few reasons why sales might just be the perfect career for you to consider.
Perceptions Are Starting To Change
Sales is quickly shedding its bad reputation & stepping into the spotlight. The pushy, handsy, over-eager sales person preying on unwilling customers is, thankfully, becoming a thing of the past. People in sales these days are far more dynamic and in tune with the current market, trends and needs of the consumer.
Part of the reason for this shift is that the modern consumer is more knowledgeable and informed about the product. All it takes is a quick google search, and a customer will know a significant amount of information about what they’re buying. The statistics support this, with an incredible 94% of business to business buyers reporting that they research before purchasing a product.
A good salesperson will not only be aware of this but embrace it, working with the customers instead of just trying to move stock. Realizing that you don’t have to be a smooth-talking grifter to be a salesperson has opened the way for interested individuals to learn about the benefits, namely high commissions & flexibility. With perceptions changing rapidly, more people are moving into sales and sales related work.
People are now seeing sales as a lucrative and stable career. Check out re:work to see how you can break into the industry.
You Can Make A Lot Of Cash
Sales is a vast and accessible field that is a necessary part of every industry. Practically every company has a sales team, and they often pay their salespeople well because without them there would be less revenue, or none at all. If you’re good at it, which anyone can be, there’s a decent amount of money to be made.
After an analysis by Glassdoor, a company who routinely compiles work-based analytics data, it was made apparent that wholesale and manufacturing jobs within sales are those who can make the most money, as well as those in the property sphere.
In terms of hiring, it’s also been proven that a diverse sales team is essential for the success of a business; that’s why re:work training empowers individuals from diverse backgrounds and untapped communities with the tools and resources to succeed in the sales field.
In other fields, you’d usually need to work your way up before making good money. In sales, it’s up to you when and how you can begin making the figures you want.
If you are interested in the financial opportunities that sales presents, you can find organizations that are designed to help you break into the field, like re:work. Or, dive right in yourself!
Peace Of Mind
There will always be a need for people in sales.
No matter what industry, there will always be a vital component of the business that wants to expand its customer base. Even if a company goes out of business, there’s a good chance a salesperson can find another similar job elsewhere, relying on their experience and network connections.
Even when times are hard, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are still utilizing sales teams to try and drive their businesses to new heights, even more so with the market turndown, which will probably continue as the global economy suffers throughout 2020. It’s a skill that you can put to use across many industries, as long as you learn a little about the industry before getting into it. This is because basic sales principles will always remain the same.
If flexibility is what you’re after, a job in sales can be the perfect fit. In many cases you can work from home, and all you need is a laptop and a phone. It’ll save your employer money because they won’t have to rent an office space, and save you money on the commute.
Not all sales jobs are like this, but if you can afford to wait and be a bit picky, you can really find something that suits you perfectly. The same goes for targets, or goals. You may work better during the week rather than the weekend. But as long as you hit your goals for the month, your schedule can be flexible; it’s up to you when those targets are hit, which gives you the freedom to play to your own strengths.
Want a great work-life balance and a lucrative income? Contact re:work for more tips and tricks!
Use It To Push On
Working in sales in any capacity is an excellent way to build your interpersonal skills, which may allow you to succeed in other areas of work, such as procurement or even management. Many successful entrepreneurs & executives gained their success by building on a career in sales.
If your goal is entrepreneurship, it’s much easier to start your own business if you have a background in sales, especially if you have an excellent client base. For example, in car sales you’ll often see people setting up showrooms who once worked for in a showroom themselves.
Another point, that can’t be stressed enough, is that sales skills are always going to be in-demand skills. You’ll learn how to effectively collaborate, persuade, adapt to different situations, talk to and find common ground with people from different walks of life, manage stress, and figure out how to hit key targets and KPI’s.
It can be a challenging role if you’re working in a saturated market, but that only adds to the satisfaction of doing well!
The sales role has changed over the years, and people’s perceptions about it are changing as well. Now is the perfect time to break into the industry because the demand is higher than ever, and there are more resources for training now than ever before! You can learn skills that are transferable to any & every aspect of life, enjoy the opportunity for flexibility and creativity, pursue entrepreneurship & and reach new financial heights.
If you choose a career in sales and stick with it, your hardwork will pay off. That’s a guarantee.
It can be frustrating applying for a job when you have no work experience, especially if companies are making it a requirement. Don’t be discouraged! Even with no experience, a good resume can make a huge difference.
Here are some tips to fill out a resume with no experience.
Start With A Brief Bio
A lot of people will avoid writing a bio on their resume, even if they have plenty of skills and experience to share. When you don’t have the experience, it’s highly recommended to bulk up the resume with a bio. This doesn’t need to be a life story, but perhaps a short paragraph on your skillset to showcase who you are & why you are valuable to potential employers.
Try to stick with words that are more relative to the workplace rather than being too generic. For example, if you’re a good listener, then perhaps you could translate that into taking direction well or working efficiently both in a team and individually. When you lack experience, this can be an excellent opportunity to show the interviewer that your personality is a good fit for the job.
If you’re struggling to create a bio, ask your friends and family how they would describe you professionally. There’s no shame in getting a little help!
Need help getting a job? Check what re:work training have in store for you
Figure Out The Layout
The layout is an important one because the recruiter is going to be seeing a lot of applications, and many of them are going to have the same generic format. You want to consider the traditional ways that resumes are laid out and then figure out how you could make it stand out from the rest of the applications. That doesn’t mean you should be implementing crazy ideas or something out of the ordinary; instead, it’s the finer details that might help bring your resume to life.
The types of formats you’d usually have for a resume are chronological, functional, and hybrid (a mixture of both). Chronological order refers to the time sequence in which the events have occurred. For example, events in 2013 will come after 2012. A functional one focuses more on the skills, so this might be a better way of laying it out to benefit you.
Don’t Overcomplicate It.
Try not to overcomplicate the resume and keep it simple and to the point. Most resumes are one page, but two is pushing it. Anything longer than two pages will usually be dismissed because of the amount of time that the recruiter will have to use to go through it. Think about font sizes and clearly label each section of your resume so that the recruiter can skim over it. It’s helpful to bold fonts to focus on the crucial elements.
Make sure that you’ve perfected the content so that there are no punctuation, grammatical, or spelling errors. Otherwise, this makes it look as if you’ve rushed it or are inattentive. Have a friend or family member read through it to give you some insights on what to add or take out. You can also look at their resumes to get some idea of what to put in yours.
Add some variations to your words to prevent being repetitive. However, you should avoid using overly complicated words in every other sentence, so you don’t’ look too pretentious.
Note Down All Your Achievements
Achievements are something to be proud of, and it can tell the recruiter or person reading the resume more about you as an individual. It’s probably worth mentioning more than any other experiences you have had. Again, try to make it relative to the job industry that you’re applying to or at least something that can be attributed to the work rather than you winning your school’s talent show. Unless it was significant in some professional capacity and related to the job you’re going into, try to avoid off-topic achievements if possible. However, it’s essential to try to factor in all the accomplishments you’ve made in your life. This is something that the recruiter is likely to ask you during the interview.
Consider All Your Skills & Education
The majority of us will have an education, and when it comes to skills, this can vary from person to person. Make sure that you jot down all your academic achievements, and if there’s a lot, then try to condense it down to the most recent ones, and do an overview of the grades or qualifications you have received. The further you go down the line, the less you’ll need to factor in high-school education, but with the lack of experience, education becomes a vital asset.
Skills can vary from physical to verbal; you could be a good public-speaker or a good listener. Think about all the skills you have and list the ones that make you stand out. This should be tailored towards each job you apply to, so it matches with the position you’re going for. Make sure this section of your resume accentuates your best attributes.
re:work training can network and get you hire at the top corporate tech firms
If you lack some skills or experience, then it’s worth expanding your resume by looking at opportunities through re:work training. This training provides you with the resources necessary to succeed in the tech and sales industry. They leverage their network of corporate hiring partners to get you to notice by top software firms.
Don’t give up when it comes to your job search. Not every business will hire simply because you have the experience. Several factors contribute to you getting an interview, and skills and education play a significant role. You can also get a sense of the person by the feel of the resume, and of course, the bio section.
So what are you waiting for? Create your dream resume and get the skills you need with re:work training.
Building & maintaining a diverse workforce has a myriad of benefits. For starters, it shows that you have an inclusive and open company culture that doesn’t support prejudices or bias. Secondly, diversity will improve creativity & innovation within your company.
Hiring people from different walks of life and ethnic backgrounds creates an environment where unique experiences are considered a strength in the workforce, not a weakness. This inclusive environment ultimately translates to a better and bigger pool of knowledge to utilize.
If you’ve already taken steps to create a diverse workplace, kudos! However, every company can make improvements when it comes to diversity and supporting an inclusive culture in their workforce.
The best way to get started is through purposeful recruitment. It’s essential that your recruiters have a growth mindset & are searching for potential candidates in diverse pools. If not, your business is in danger of missing out on fresh, untapped talent!
What is Workplace Diversity
Workplace Diversity is an ideal work environment in which people from differing backgrounds can collaborate, innovate & feel free to be their authentic selves. It’s more than a concept, & has clearly been proven to produce better results than a homogenous workforce. Businesses therefore are encouraged to move forward into today’s best practices for recruitment by checking both their unconscious and conscious bias. Often the common biases are gender, or race. These are inarguably significant when looking at diversity, but they don’t encompass the entire problem.
Inherent diversity often includes demographic characteristics like race, sex, and age. However, acquired diversity, on the other hand, include factors such as education, experience, values, knowledge, and skills.
Are There Really Benefits to Having Diversity?
As stated before, it’s been proven! Forbes has concluded that a diverse workspace directly correlates to internal innovation and business growth. Not only that, but there is statistical proof to back up this claim. A study of more than 500 companies and organizations concluded that every 1% addition to racial and gender diversity meant a 3% to 9% increase in sales revenue.
These results are no surprise. Having a diverse set of people from various backgrounds in your organization means you’ve got more experiences to call upon, people who are accustomed to different situations, have unique skills and can provide fresh ideas.
How Can You Increase Diversity?
To increase diversity, you need to look differently, not harder.
First, you need to start searching for diverse talent in diverse places. Look into communities that are virtually untapped instead of going to the same old job fairs or university campuses.
Second, craft your job posting strategically.
Avoid using strong, dominearing words, and try to keep the post as neutral as possible. On the same note, you should ensure your policies are inclusive & equitable. For example, ask yourself: does our dress-code policy marginalize a specific group of people? If the answer is yes, consider what that could mean for your workplace environment.
Third, it’s beneficial to examine your working policy to determine what can and can’t be adjusted. For example, most people want to avoid a huge commute to work each day. Is it possible for them to work from home sometimes?
This is the sort of thing you can think about ahead of time & establish in your recruiting strategy. Having a more flexible working policy in place gives your employees a chance to implement the proper work-life balance, and therefore tends to be the most attractive attribute to a job posting.
Want to increase diversity in your workplace? Contact re:work for more information!
Kill The Unconscious Bias
Let’s be honest: we all have unconscious bias’ towards others, whether it be about race, gender, sexuality, etc. It might have been ingrained at a young age by a family member, or it’s just something that’s grown over time. Regardless of how it came to be, it can be a difficult thing to nail down.
You can check out our website for more information; we are not a recruiting agency, but we use a unique and tried approach to bring diversity to the tech industry. By empowering black and Latinx individuals, especially women of color, with the right education, resources & opportunities, re:work has been able to introduce companies to a diverse & work-ready set of employees.
Don’t forget that enrolling in an unconscious bias course can also help you in the future. Remember, if there are other people in your company other than yourself who are in charge of employment or recruitment, then they will also need the training to help ensure they make an unbiased hire.
In some cases, it might be worth rolling out this kind of training to your whole workforce. It can be a long process, but just try to bear in mind the overall positive impact it will have on your team. As they are sifting through applications or conducting an interview, they will have the tools they need to make an unbiased decision. They will be able to make a hiring decision based entirely on performance or resume content, not on any subconscious bias or personal preference. If you start implementing this strategy, you’ll find that diversity in your workplace will come naturally.
Use Tech For Success
Technology can really help you to build & support diversity in the workforce. Positive intentions aren’t enough to beat issues in the early stages of the recruitment process, and unconscious biases can get in the way with hiring both the best candidates and those from diverse backgrounds.
People who work in recruitment and talent departments need support from their organizations to implement a system and processes that have proven to be effective at increasing workplace diversity.
Technology can play a significant role by helping recruiters sift through resumes as they come in. It’s tedious and time-consuming, but technology can do it for you by scanning the document and picking out the keywords and qualifications which you’re looking for, without seeing anything else that may cause bias.
All you have to do is set up the software and look out for qualified candidates. If you wanted to look at it yourself, you could offer a blind resume application, where no personal details are on the resume to elicit any bias.
Lastly, consider using a blind interview, where you use technology, so you can’t see the person in question. The only thing heard will be their voice, which won’t disguise their gender, but it goes a long way in cutting out the unconscious bias.
Check out re:work’s program to improve diversity in your tech company
Depending on which industry you operate in, you’ll find different methods and what works for you. Implementing systems that effectively support diversity in the workplace can be tough, but is necessary and worth it. Continue to check your unconscious bias, practice looking differently by tapping into other communities, and adopt a growth mindset through continued learning.
If you pass these practices onto your workforce, you’ll be well on your way to being a more inclusive and a more successful team. With the technology out there to help you, there’s no excuse.
Modern companies are rightfully making this a priority, so if you want to stay competitive and acquire some of the best workers out there, you need to pursue diversity through recruitment in a consistent way.
Going to college can still have a myriad of benefits, but let’s face the facts: the market and professional landscape are changing rapidly. Today, some of the most sought-after employers and companies require experience in the field, versatility, and originality over a degree. A candidate that created his or her own educational or professional path can often be just as valuable if not more so than a college graduate.
The job market has also changed, opening up opportunities in the technological sectors that not only don’t require a degree but are also some of the highest-paid professions out there. Looking for a change? re:work is here to help!
Related: re:work From Start to Finish
Average salary: $59,514
If you want to explore your creative side, becoming a graphic designer can be an excellent option. While some still create illustrations and fonts by hand, these professionals are responsible for creating designs and layouts to communicate a particular product or service. Obtaining a degree in this field is not essential, especially if you have a portfolio to show. In terms of the daily tasks of a graphic designer, these will be agreed between you and your employer and can change from project to project.
Average salary: $45,261
Mobile App Developer
The popularity of this job is rising rapidly, and securing your place in such a job market can be life-changing. An increasing number of businesses and companies require apps to support their websites and online presence. In some cases, such apps can help the business streamline relationships and communication processes with their audience. Among the responsibilities of a Mobile App Developer are coding, debugging, and testing new apps. There are several reasons we could list about why skills and experience are valued more than a degree in this field, but the most obvious is that app developing is still a relatively new career path. However, sector growth over the next ten years is predicted at around 30%.
Average salary: $69,478
If you are known for your analytical eye, this is the job for you. System analysts leverage the power of IT to diagnose the current status of the business and plan future moves. Such systems are also essential to understand the changes needed within a company and how to implement them. While you won’t need a degree to access an entry-level position, rest assured that the increasing market competition has made System Analysts a hot commodity. In turn, this has opened up new opportunities for career advancement for professionals in the field.
Average salary: $65,917
Junior Data Analyst
While still in expansion, this sector is predicted to continue rising in future years, and at an alarming rate! Data is what successful companies feed on to understand their consumers, craft ad hoc marketing campaigns, and ultimately design products that appeal to a particular audience. The sector offers such attractive opportunities that even entry-level positions boast impressive salaries. Among their responsibilities, Data Analysts will organize, analyze, and interpret data sets. Requirements to access these jobs depend on the employer – some might require a bachelor’s degree, but there are many who don’t.
Average salary: $48,927
If you are interested in marketing and it’s unique challenges, this is one of the best careers to undertake. Digital Marketing is the primary channel for companies to reach out to customers and other businesses. Aside from being familiar with SEO and SEM techniques, you will need to be creative, innovative and ready to adapt! Tested skills in content and email marketing is a huge plus, and experience in the field will often override degrees. Utilizing your unique point of view and making the most of your personal experiences is crucial. Often Digital Marketers will choose to specialize in a specific area of this field.
Average salary: $49,970
Cybersecurity is an essential yet extremely complex sector that offers brilliant opportunities for most candidates. Most of the ones who decided to undertake a 4-year degree in this subject would have applied directly for higher-level positions, creating a gap at the beginning of the ladder. However, even entry-level jobs in the field are high-paying and extremely sought-after! These won’t require you to hold a degree and offer you attractive career advancement opportunities.
Average salary: $62,000 (average, entry-level positions)
If you want to find a more profitable career that does not require you to leave your art behind, becoming a Multimedia Artist could be a viable option. These experts often develop animations and effects through the use of several programs. Electronic media today is taking over the traditional way of creating art, and can usually be found in adverts and video games. While some candidates have a bachelor’s degree, it is not required.
Average salary: $52,115
Software engineers are in charge of designing, developing, installing, and testing software. Some specialize in an area of this sector since the field is vast and expanding. However, just like in the case of web development, software engineering is still a self-taught skillset. There are only a few related courses that can benefit candidates. While it might change in the future, professional experience is valued as much as a degree today.
Average salary: $75,000 (entry-level)
Computer Support Specialist
More businesses and entrepreneurs rely on technology, software, and apps to run their business smoothly. Like everyone else, they also have to deal with technological issues, some minor, some that can bring their work to a grinding halt. A computer support specialist or technician allows employers and consumers to breathe easy by keeping their systems and operations running smoothly.
Average salary: $47,033
Some jobs in the tech sector do require a bachelor’s degree. However, most of them don’t, and this industry is growing and diversifying rapidly. Securing one of the above positions for yourself will allow you to build your experience and eventually move onto bigger and better things. Are you ready for a new career? Start with re:work training!
Related: re:work careers
- All information regarding average salaries from Payscale.com
When you’re looking to welcome the right sales rep to your team, you need to use every tool at your disposal. A precise and specific job listing is critical, but so is knowing the questions to ask to make sure that they are the right fit for the team.
It’s crucial that you take the time to evaluate whether or not they will thrive in the workplace environment you’ve established. Do they have the basic technical and situational sales skills that are needed to succeed? Will they be able to grow under company policy? Most importantly, would hiring them be consistent with your diversity & inclusion goals, and do they share the same vision that your team is moving toward?
Here, we’re going to look at a few examples of the sales interview questions that you should be asking and why you should be asking them.
Be Sure to Ask Enough Technical Questions
We are going to look more closely at some of the more complex questions, the motivations behind them, and what you should expect from the candidate answering them. For many recruiters, up to 67% of those surveyed, a percieved lack of talent is the most consistent problem when going through hires. As such, you want to start with the questions that will make it crystal clear as to whether or not they have the skills that you need for the company.
Such questions to ask include:
- How do you stay updated on target markets?
- How did you cultivate customer relationships?
- How do you handle customer objections?
- How do you use social media and content marketing in your sales process?
- How do you qualify prospects before getting in touch?
The answers to these questions don’t have to be perfect or be identical to your company’s practices. Instead, this question is specifically to show that the applicant does bring some relevant experience with them. If they can’t answer these questions and you’re only looking for experienced hires, it gives you a flag, which signifies that you need to move on to another potential candidate.
Looking for an individual with strong sales skills? Check out what re:work training has to offer!
Walk Me Through a Past Successful Sale
There is a range of technical sales questions you will need to ask. However, one of the most important ones is about when they have closed a sale.
It gives you a good understanding of their experience, and if the employee answers in a satisfactory way, it shows their proficiency at handling tricky situations. You’re looking for thoughtful & passionate answers about their sales, and a demonstration of the candidates ability to overcome challenges. They should be able to demonstrate some problem-solving skills, but also have a greater understanding of how their colleagues and training supported them in the sales process. You don’t want them to only talk about themselves; they should show that they’re a team player, too.
Have You Consistently Met Past Sales Goals?
While sales reps can certainly develop and become more competent at their role, increasing their chances of meeting future sales goals, you should always look at their past work for an indication of how they might perform in the future. You should encourage them to get into detail about specific accounts of how they have performed in the past. You don’t necessarily need a perfect answer for this either (few people can honestly provide one), but you do want a sense of how they will perform.
Tell Me About Times That You Have Lost Sales.
The interview is the candidate’s opportunity to put themselves in the best light. As such, it might seem like a question that focuses on the negative aspect of their job, and it may seem like an attempt to trick and throw them off-track. However, that’s not the intention at all, or at least it shouldn’t be.
All salespeople have lost sales. By asking them about how it happened, you’re allowing them to show some self-awareness and how they have grown from past failures. If they blame lost sales purely on circumstances outside of themselves, there’s a good chance they’re not the kind of person to take responsibility and criticism well.
How Do You Regroup From a Bad Day?
The previous question addresses how an individual has learned from failure. However, this one will give you a good understanding of whether or not they can manage to maintain the right attitude towards rejection and failure at the moment. If they answer that they need some time or to perform a therapeutic ritual (like a self-affirmation technique) to get themselves back at the optimal level, that’s not a bad answer! You want to see that they have strategies to cope with the emotional stress that often comes with the job.
Can You Think of Any Ways We Can Improve Our Sales Process?
You want your candidates to show that they are, in fact, familiar with the company. 47% of interviewers won’t offer a job to those who don’t know anything about the company and for a good reason.
Aside from simply asking, “what do you know about what we do?” let them acknowledge specific parts of the business and their opinions of it. Only ask them public information regarding the business.
If they have no reasonable ability to understand how the company sales process works without being a customer themselves, then this question doesn’t work. But there are other questions you can use to test their research skills.
Sell Me This Pen
This is a classic tactic. In fact, “sell me this pen” is such a common sales interview strategy that you may want to change it up. Another variation could be “sell me what you had for lunch today” or “sell me on one item that you use regularly.”
It gives the candidate the opportunity to show their selling skills, but it also shows if the individual can sell to the individual, not focus too much onthe product. A really savvy salesperson will ask about your needs, your pain points, and other specific details before they go into why the product they have is the right one for you.
Tell Me About Sales Targets You Have Hit
Once again, you’re giving the candidate the opportunity to sell themselves to you by providing more details on the success of their work. But how they answer the question is just as important as what the answer is.
Sales is, above all else, a numbers game. They should be talking about specific quotas, goals, and numbers, as well as where they fit within the context of the team’s achievements. If they are answering too vaguely, you can ask them to be more specific. If they’re unable to show any numbers, then it shows a lack of detail for the measurable achievements that are so crucial to the success of the sales team.
Why Work in Sales Over Another Customer-facing Role?
If you ask an individual why they want to work in sales, they will most likely answer that they like working directly with people, that they are a people person, and they want a role that takes advantage of that. It might be true, but it’s an easy and common answer.
Find out why they want to work in sales and get the easy stuff out of the way. Sales relies on more than people skills; it requires attention to detail, independence, problem-solving, and a growth mindset. You want to make sure that the individual is actually motivated to be in sales, and this question gives them the chance to show that off.
Have You Had a Manager That You Didn’t Like? Why Didn’t You Like Them?
In most cases, you want the candidate to be focused on showing self-awareness, rather than measuring the skills of others. However, they also need to be aware of the roles their colleagues play, including their manager.
As such, this shows what they focus on in professional relationships.
If they focus on personal and subjective opinions, such as laziness, annoying habits, or any other purely emotional response, that’s not a good answer.
Instead, you want to hear about how the manager’s decisions and behaviors affected the overall working environment. For instance, if they were disorganized, leading to miscommunication, or if they are negative, severely affecting the workplace culture. Asking people to highlight the negative traits of someone they have worked with will help rule out a lot of potential toxicity.
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Nail The Interview, and Get The Right Sales Reps
With the sales interview, you are allowing the applicants to sell themselves to you. The right candidate might not always say the right thing; however, they should be able to engage you, display a willingness to grow, and show that they are able to think from the perspective of the company.
Hopefully, the above tips help you construct your sales interviews in a way that will ensure you hire the best candidate possible! Don’t be afraid to change it up, but always keep in mind what the ultimate goal of the interview process is: to find & employ people who will improve your team.