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5 Director Of Sales Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

How do you endeavor to motivate sales professionals who are working under you to reach their goals?

A:

A director of sales will be responsible for the sales function across your entire company. Whether or not they have sales accounts of their own, they act as the leader of all the sales associates who are under them. You will want to know how they get the most out of the people who are working for them because they are every bit as much of a coach as a salesperson. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of successful sales campaigns led
  • High marks and scores on leadership metrics
  • Ability to teach and explain to others

Example:

"I pride myself in being every bit as much of a mentor as I am a salesperson. I enjoy teaching and training people."

Q:

What is your philosophy on relationship building? How do you put it into practice in your organization?

A:

The importance of this question is not necessarily so much in the first question but the interplay of the two questions together. Everyone can generally speak of lofty relationship-building principles, but the real question is how the individual puts it into practice. In other words, you are trying to see how the director of sales takes action to imbue their overall philosophy into the sales professionals that they manage. What to look for in an answer:

  • Specific training examples to show corporate marketing principles
  • Campaigns to institute marketing culture
  • Record of putting actions into practice

Example:

"I have overseen training campaigns where we have focused on specific aspects of relationship building and taught specific skills to put them into place."

Q:

What is your process when you are given a new product or service to sell?

A:

We all know that the mark of an extraordinary sales professional is that they can sell practically anything. That seems obvious, but many directors of sales get themselves locked into what they do well and are not able to branch out from that. You will want to find a director of sales who is able to not only rapidly learn how to sell new products but can also teach others. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience selling a variety of products
  • Ability to learn new things rapidly
  • Proficiency in explaining new concepts to others

Example:

"While I have experience in selling certain products, I am not necessarily firmly wedded to those products. I am open to learning new things."

Q:

What do you do when you are given a sales target that you believe to be overly ambitious and unattainable?

A:

Part of the skill of a director of sales is that they can motivate employees to reach sales goals that are set by others. You will want to learn whether your director of sales is realistic and can provide meaningful input. While you do not want a "yes man" who will agree with everything, you do want someone who can manage expectations but can also push the team to meet higher goals. What to look for in an answer:

  • Answers that demonstrate a candid nature
  • Experience translating sales goals into action
  • A realistic assessment of the sales team's capabilities

Example:

"I generally try to execute whatever sales goals are given to me by management, but I also attempt to help set and manage expectations."

Q:

How do you deal with underperforming sales personnel in order to improve performance?

A:

Sales is as bottom line of an occupation as they come. It is very easy to measure how sales personnel are doing based on their actual numbers. This question is aimed at finding out how the director of sales will react when one member of the team is not pulling their weight. Some sort of intervention is necessary, but you want to find out what the candidate has in mind. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience in helping personnel improve their numbers
  • Management ability to deal with high and low performers
  • The ability to motivate

Example:

"I take an active approach to managing sales personnel. I understand that there are highs and lows, but I do not let the lows persist."

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