June 17 by Josiane Feigon

The search for the perfect salesperson is what every growing sales organization is undergoing today. It takes center stage this week at the Apttus Accelerate conference in San Francisco during my panel discussion today on “Making Sales Perfect” with Anneke Seley (founder of Reality Works Group) and David Taber (CEO of SalesLogistix).

Finding sales superhero talent is getting harder—not only because the qualities and standards for success are becoming more complex but also the way they are recruited. Salespeople are masters at answering the basic interview questions.

If you’re looking for your next sales superhero, then you need to be asking the right questions that get you deeper into the candidate’s character and reveal their secret identity.

The following includes the Top 25 Sales Superhero Qualities…and the interview questions that will help you identify them!

  1. Intellectual curiosity: How do you get customers to talk about their business priorities?
  2. Hunger: Can you describe an instance where you managed to progress a stalled deal? Please explain the personal energy on your part over an extended period of time.
  3. Strong writer: Give me an example of your messaging on an outbound campaign. What would your email look like—subject line, LinkedIn group follow- up, and twitter?
  4. Clear and succinct explanations: Describe how you explain complex issues so that others find them easy to understand. Can I hear an example?
  5. Persuasive: How do you know your line of thought convinces a customer?
  6. Collaboration: What do you deliberately do to promote a sense of team spirit and encourage collaboration in your current/previous job?
  7. Financial acumen: Can you talk about a time you successfully pushed through a price increase?
  8. Intrepid, fast-moving: Describe a time when you had to quickly move through something. What did you do?
  9. Momentum: What’s your ideal work environment: one in which you can work on several dynamic projects at one time or one in which you can work on one task at a time through completion?
  10. Laser focus: How do you personally stay focused while working in an environment that has many distractions? How can you keep others focused?
  11. Tenacity: Can you tell me about a situation where you pushed yourself and others to achieve an important goal? What was the outcome?
  12. Objection rebound: What is your stress reliever? How do you rebound from stress?
  13. Solid partnerships: How do you build consensus for everyone involved in the sale?
  14. Precise and analytical: What do you feel is the difference between an analytical approach to problem solving and a creative approach? Do you use one approach more than another?
  15. Coachability: What type of coaching have you received in the past? What was the outcome?
  16. Competitive: Can you give me an example of a time when you were competing for a job or a deal? How did you gain a competitive advantage?
  17. Navigators: How do you handle gatekeepers to gain access to busy decision- makers? Do they help you or keep you out?
  18. Team players: What do think makes a good team player? Would you describe yourself this way? How do you deal with those who are not?
  19. Digital influence: What is your method for approaching influencers who have a high social clout score? What is your digital engagement strategy?
  20. Customer 2.0-centric: How do you stay connected to customers who may want you to stay away and who regard the phone as a rude interruption?
  21. Fearless of hierarchies: How do you adjust your sales pitch to different audiences?
  22. High Tool IQ: What tool has added the most efficiency/effectiveness to your work?
  23. Savvy Marketers: What’s the extent of your marketing knowledge? At what point do you put your marketing hat on?
  24. Trustworthy: What is it about you that your customers trust? How do you establish rapport and trust?
  25. Winning: If losing an opportunity isn’t an option, how do you stay focused and create a win-win strategy?

For more on Josiane, be sure to check out her blog, particularly her post Striving for Sales Perfection. To keep up with her panel discussion at Accelerate, follow @Apttus.

Josiane Feigon is author of Smart Sales Manager and the best-selling Smart Selling on the Phone and Online. She is a pioneer, maverick, and visionary in the inside sales community. A 20-year veteran of the industry, she is the founder of TeleSmart Communications. Since 1994, this San Francisco-based solutions provider has been a leader in developing inside sales teams and managers. Josiane is recognized among the Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals and as a leading expert on inside sales team and management talent. Her thought leadership blog is ranked in the Top 50 Sales blogs by SalesCrunch. Connect with her on Twitter and YouTube!


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