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6 Sales Director Interview Questions and Answers

The process of hiring quality sales directors 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 six interview questions and answers for sales director roles.

Q1: What ideas do you have to help develop and implement a strong sales strategy for our company?

A1: This question forces the applicant to speak to their knowledge of the industry and, in turn, helps you determine if they are the right fit for your organization. Whomever you choose as a sales director must develop and implement a strong sales strategy for your company. They should have an excellent grasp of the market and an eye on its future direction. A strong applicant will understand these trends and be able to develop a team strategy accordingly. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Strong knowledge of your industry
  • Ability to forecast a vision for your company’s future
  • Confidence in their ability to build a growth strategy

An example of a quality answer to that third bullet point might be: “I see your industry trending toward digital growth. I would seek to maximize sales and revenue by implementing online marketing strategies across all channels.”

Q2: How would you respond if you saw a competitor making a strong push to take some of our market share?

A2: A question like this tests the candidate’s drive to be a leader in your industry. Competition is inevitable in any industry and can drive growth and ingenuity, so you want a sales director with a competitive mindset who wants to take a significant share of the market and is willing to invest in research to stay in touch with what others are doing. Look for qualities indicating strength and creativity. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Demonstrates a desire to be a leader in the market
  • Understanding the role of competition
  • Has a positive view of competition

An example of a quality answer to that third bullet point might be: “Competition is an opportunity for growth. I’d research what others were doing to take the share and find a way to do it better.”

Q3: What methods will you employ to forecast sales, and how will you keep the team on track?

A3: A sales director is involved in forecasting sales weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. These sales projections are important to plan your company’s future growth and expenses. For this reason, the sales director must track progress, report on it, and encourage the team to stay on track. This question identifies your candidate’s ability to analyze data and motivate their team to meet its goals. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of the importance of forecasting
  • Ability to encourage team members to meet goals
  • A plan to implement the sales strategy and track progress

An example answer might be: “Forecasting is a top priority. Keeping the team on track to meet their goals is even more important, and this is something I will track daily.”

Q4: How will you help your team members understand your vision for the company?

A4: Superior communication skills are a priority for your sales director since they’re the point person for creating your sales strategy. However, if the director can’t communicate the strategy to the team in a way they understand, they will not be effective in their role. This question gives you insight into your candidate’s interpersonal communication and relationship skills. An ideal applicant can simplify complex ideas. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Articulates answers that demonstrate a superior ability to communicate
  • Understands the importance of communication
  • Demonstrates ability to make complex ideas easily understood

An example of a response might be: “My job is to ensure everyone understands the company’s vision for growth. That means I have to communicate using language everyone understands.”

Q5: The company is in jeopardy of losing a longtime client. What steps would you take to save the account?

A5: This question tests the applicant’s problem-solving skills and ability to handle high-pressure situations. Challenges are inevitable in any industry. The ideal sales director will handle difficult situations with a level head and troubleshoot ideas to solve the problem. The right candidate for the job would seek the company’s good – handling the situation with integrity and honesty. Look for a desire to hold onto the account without compromising ethics or values. 

What to look for in an answer:

  • Confidence in finding a viable solution
  • Creative ideas to keep the client
  • Indications that the applicant would retain the integrity

An example answer might look like this: “First, I would do my research to see what went wrong. Then, I’d present the client with several solutions to see what might work and ask them for additional ideas about how to best meet their needs.”

Q6: In your experience, what sales techniques are most productive?

A6: This question helps you understand the candidate’s background knowledge and determine if their style is a good fit for your company and needs. They should describe their most effective techniques and communicate why those are worthwhile strategies. A candidate’s answer can also reveal how they have used their prior experience to inform their craft and improve their job.

The candidate’s response should emphasize:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Knowledge of the industry
  • Confidence in experience

A response to this question may look like this: “One of the most effective strategies I have found and consistently go back to is the use of visual demonstrations because it allows us to quickly and easily show how a product functions. This is particularly beneficial when using technology because even on a conference call, I can share a screen and display for clients a website or product map.”

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

When hiring sales directors, 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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