Interviewing Like a Salesman (or Woman)

January 16th, 2013 § 0 comments

I’ve recently completed my first and second round of interviews with a SaaS company I’m really interested in working for. The interviews have gone well and they’ve asked me to return and meet with members of their Sales team. I’m interviewing for a technical role and have never sold anything – how should I prepare for this?

Virtually every company relies on a sales organization to drive revenue and as “rainmakers,” the salesmen and women can influence any hiring decision that impacts the product they market.

When preparing for an interview with a sales team, understand that they’re not judging your ability to sell the product – they’re looking for ways which you’ll assist in building their relationships. Their job is to generate business and yours is to deliver on the promise of that business through excellent support and continuing service.

Prepare examples of how you have worked directly with clients and how you impacted the way your current employer maintained relationships with the firms that paid their bills. The most impactful anecdotes can come from the most difficult client scenarios. Bad data feeds, incorrect system specifications and other technical issues won’t be resolved by the sales team – today’s author will have to be our hero. A speedy resolution to a nagging issue (regardless of whether the client is at fault) can save a relationship, retain the revenue and assuage a restless salesperson.

Sales and client service are synonymous and no sale ends when the contract is signed. Technical staff will provide the next crucial step in any sales relationship and the key to success on this type of interview is demonstrating you can think commercially to those that do it for a living.

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