Are you looking for a new sales or business development career? Through a sea of applicants it’s important to perfect your interview skills and prepare to go in with a sales-minded approach. Practicing your questions, answers, and sales approach can be what propels your application to the top of an employer’s list.
Have an understanding of the industry, niche, and company you’re seeking to get into.
If you have already built experience in a specific niche, it’s important you highlight your expertise in the field if you’re applying to something similar. You should have a concrete sales approach, past client list, and understanding of the current market and client needs.
Even if you’re looking to get into a new niche, you need to have an understanding of what products you will sell, the market you will sell in, and the value proposition of the product. Do your best to relate previous business development experience whether it be similar clientele, services, or sales approach.
You should also learn more about the company’s culture and current team structure. Know who will be interviewing you and what the team values. It’s best to have a pre-conceived idea of their culture before either of you are blindsided by something that doesn’t work. Things like work-life balance, perks, company outings, remote or hybrid work, and other factors can often be researched ahead of time.
Approach your interview with a sales-like mindset.
After all the interview is about selling yourself and your skillset! What better time to showcase your sales approach than throughout the interview process. Be prepared, do your research, come with questions, and CLOSE the “sale” or the gap between any “what-ifs” you both may have.
Be ready to talk numbers.
You need to have quotas, percentages of goals you’ve achieved, and any metrics that stand out to show the sales growth you have contributed to. Just talking the talk doesn’t cut it for interviews in this market! As a candidate stacked up against hundreds or sometimes thousands of other applicants, to stand out you need to make sure you have hard data to support your success.
Be sure to keep what needs to be confidential, but some examples to share with a potential employer could be: Sales Team Ranking Numbers, Goal Achievements and Awards, References, Goal Charts (redacting important information), etc.
Book of Business = Backing-up your Sales Skills and Relationship Building.
Showing up to a sales interview with a book of business speaks for itself! It not only shows the type of clients and contacts you are comfortable to connecting with, but it also speaks volumes to your ability to build long-lasting client relationships. If a current client is willing to vouch for your relationship as you are interviewing elsewhere, it’s a testament to the loyalty you’ve built with your accounts.
Be prepared with questions and answers. Practice makes perfect!
There are plenty articles and blogs you can find with common sales or business development interview questions. Make sure you research common questions, craft an answer, and practice your answers!
Always prepare a list of questions as well. This interview is for both the company AND you to get to know each other better. What are you looking for in your next role? Ask about company values, team dynamic, growth opportunity, or any other details that you need answered to make the best career decision for you.