5 Consultative Sales Interview Questions and Answers

The process of hiring quality enterprise sales reps is challenging because, by nature, salespeople are incredibly persuasive and can make you believe they are the right person for the job. Additionally, many leaders responsible for hiring – recruiters, sales managers, executives, etc. – lack the preparation, process, and skill necessary to interview candidates effectively. 

For this reason, our team at Sciolytix put our heads together and came up with five interview questions and answers for consultative sales reps roles.

Q1: What made you decide to start a career in enterprise sales?

A1: The answer to this question requires a decisive answer. The best answer is someone who wants to make a lot of money in commissions. Furthermore, it should be someone who takes a lot of pleasure in becoming the top sales consultant at your company. As a result, they will have to sell many products and services to earn a high salary. At the same time, you want to look for someone who sells ethically but can still be very successful. This applicant should enjoy the challenge and rewards of making a sale. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • A love of sales
  • An explanation that conveys a self-motivated individual
  • A belief in ethical sales tactics

An example answer might be: “I got into sales because I love the thrill of landing a new client and earning as much as I want continuously.”

Q2: What is your approach regarding customer objections, or how do you turn a “no” into a “yes?”

A2: In sales consulting, everyone comes across a “no” from a potential customer. What makes the top sales consultants stand out is how they overcome those objections. You want to hire someone who doesn’t take “no” for an answer but knows how to sway the customer in a relevant and tactful way. Find out how well-versed they are at handling objections and getting customers to make purchases. If a customer says they don’t have the budget but are buying from your competitors, you want the applicant to understand why it’s essential to figure out why the client isn’t purchasing from your company. In addition, you need someone who earns trust so that customers are more willing to make purchases. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Willingness to find out why someone may initially object
  • Knowledge of handling objections
  • Examples of managing customer objections

An example answer might be: “When a customer says ‘no,’ I make it a point to listen for the real objection and ask relevant questions around it. If relevant, I’ll do more research and get back to the client with a better offer or solution.”

Q3: What is your understanding of our various products and services?

A3: This question gives you a general idea of how much the applicant has researched the benefits of your products and services. If they are going to be a sales consultant for your company, they should have enough understanding to start selling immediately. Do you get the sense they are prepared and have done the necessary research? You can then train them on the more detailed points about your products and services. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of research done ahead of time
  • Interesting explanations about your products and services
  • The ability to start selling right away

An example of a quality answer might be: “I have studied your products and services on your website, read your case studies, and talked to several employees about the important points. I feel confident I can hit the ground running at your company.”

Q4: Explain in detail how you start and end the sales process.

A4: The answer to this question should give you better insight into how well the candidate understands the sales funnel from prospecting to closing. Listen for detailed answers around the starting point of marketing to guide the prospect through the buyer’s journey until they reach a successful conclusion of making a purchase. What steps does the candidate take? How do they intend to walk the prospect through the sales funnel? 

What to look for in an answer:

  • A consistent, strategic process
  • A thorough response that includes a follow-up plan for future sales
  • A clear understanding of the buyer’s journey

An example answer might be: “I normally start by contacting warm leads, then guiding them along the buyer’s journey based on your company’s expectations. I offer enticements for future sales with purchase.”

Q5: What did you learn in your previous sales position to prepare you for this role?

A5: In terms of experience, it’s critical to thoroughly understand how much training a candidate might need if you hire them. This helps you see how well the applicant understands the sales process and allow them to elaborate on their skills, such as whether they have used social media or other contemporary technologies to attract loyal customers. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • An understanding of how to learn from both failures and successes
  • Experience relevant to your job’s requirements.
  • A focus on repeat sales tactics

An example answer might look like this: “In my previous role, the most valuable lesson was learning to turn one-time customers into loyal repeat sales. I tried to be engaging and remain in contact through the company’s social media platforms.”

We hope you find these questions and answers helpful. What interview questions work for you when hiring consultative sales reps? Please drop us a comment to share.  

When hiring consultative sales reps, knowledge is power. And a consistent, repeatable process gives you the best chance of success. For this reason, we developed the Sciolytix Sales Performance Predictor (aka: S2P2). 

To learn more, please visit: https://s2p2.sciolytix.com/. 


Author: Dario Priolo

Dario brings over 20 years of experience in the sales enablement and talent development industry. He has led marketing and strategy as CMO for leading companies like the Hay Group, Miller Heiman and Profiles International and has been part of 4 successful exits, including his own start-up.

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