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The Ultimate Guide to Head of Sales Interviews (with an actual template)

By 
Ulysse Wolff
 on 
January 8, 2024
Remote Works

What to expect from a Head of Sales candidate? 

What is a Head of Sales?

If you’re reading this article, you may have to interview people for a Head of Sales position in the future. Then I’d suggest we start by the beginning: what is a Head of Sales?

The Head of Sales has 5 main responsibilities:

  • Developing sales strategies: a Head of Sales needs to develop effective sales strategies to meet revenue targets.
  • Managing sales teams: A Head of Sales has to ensure the sales teams work efficiently, by optimizing sales processes for instance.
  • Identifying business opportunities: The Head of Sales is in charge of analyzing market trends and dynamics to identify potential business opportunities.
  • Collaborating with other departments: As the person responsible for the entire sales department, the Head of Sales has to coordinate with other departments (Marketing, Finance…) to align sales efforts with overall business objectives.
  • Managing key client relationships: A Head of Sales has to be actively involved with the key clients to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction

Given the impact this role can have on your organization’s success, the recruitment of a Head of Sales is a pivotal and delicate process. That’s why it’s imperative to exercise caution and diligence in the selection process.

What to expect from a strong Head of Sales candidate in an interview?

To find the best candidate for your company, you need to know what to look for! So here are the areas you will have to evaluate:

  • Leadership and management skills: A strong candidate should demonstrate an ability to inspire and motivate a sales team, and have a track record of leading teams to achieve outstanding results.
  • Sales strategy and vision: An excellent candidate should be able to describe how he/she would implement a successful sales strategy to achieve revenue objectives, and have a proven track record of exceeding sales targets.
  • Customer relationship management: A good candidate should be able to prove he/she can build and maintain strong client relationships.
  • Communication and negotiation skills: A strong candidate should be able to show exceptional communication and negotiation skills with the team and with clients.

Now that you know what to look for, let’s get to the main point: building your interview template!

Build your own Head of Sales interview template

Why use a Head of Sales interview template? 

If you’re here, you certainly don’t need to be convinced. But if you do, let me remind you the benefits of using a template for your interviews: 

  • Stay organized: With a template, you have the entire structure of your interview on paper. At any moment of the interview, you know exactly what questions you’ve asked and still need to ask. Pretty convenient, right?
  • Ask all the important questions: Your template contains all the questions you want to ask to the candidate. You won’t need to worry about forgetting one!
  • Have standardized interviews: An interview template can allow you to standardize your recruitment process: you just need to have the same template (with the same or equivalent questions) for all the candidates interviewed!
  • Stay fair and objective: You can guarantee fair conditions to candidates by using the same template and keeping track of their answers. No biased opinion! You can compare several candidates’ performances afterwards or even give the final decision to a third party.
  • Keep track of the interview: Taking notes on an interview template is the best way to keep track of an interview. Or almost the best. Because the best is using Claap with your interview template, to automatically record and transcribe the entire interview!

How to build your Head of Sales interview template? 

Now that you’re fully convinced, let’s build this Head of Sales interview template. First you’ll need to take a general interview template. You can find one here. If you want to score the candidates based on their performances, you can even use an interview scorecard template.

Then, you’ll have to personalize the template with the questions you want to ask. And don’t worry, I’ll also help you with that.

37 Head of Sales interview questions

General questions:

  • Could you go through your resume and detail your sales background?
  • Give me a piece of feedback you’ve received from your previous employer.
  • How did you decide to get into sales?
  • What do you like about sales?
  • What resources/tools do you use in your job?
  • Tell me about your decision-making process.

Leadership and management skills:

  • Tell me about the teams you managed in your previous experiences.
  • What makes you a good leader?
  • Can you share an example of a challenging situation with your team and how you navigated through it as a leader?
  • How do you motivate your teams?
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • How would you assess the success of your teams?
  • How would you delegate tasks among your sales team?
  • What strategies do you employ to develop and nurture a high-performing sales team?

Sales strategy and vision

  • What strategy would you implement to meet the quotas?
  • Can you outline a successful sales strategy you developed and implemented in a previous role?
  • Explain your sales job in your previous company.
  • How do you set sales targets?
  • What strategies do you use to generate leads?
  • What sales techniques do you find most effective?
  • How do you stay updated on industry trends?
  • Do you have experience writing sales reports?
  • In the ever-changing market, how do you adapt your sales strategy to stay competitive?

Customer relationship management:

  • How do you handle customer objections and rejections?
  • How would you proceed to solve a conflict between a member of your sales team and a client?
  • Tell me about a time you worked with a challenging client. 
  • How do you build and maintain strong client relationships in the long term?
  • How do you approach customer feedback?
  • Can you share an experience where your relationship-building efforts directly contributed to business growth?
  • How do you approach customer retention and ensure high levels of customer satisfaction?

Communication and negotiation skills:

  • How do you communicate sales targets and expectations to your team?
  • How do you handle conflicts or disagreements within your team?
  • How would you handle a sales staff member not meeting his/her quotas?
  • Can you provide an example of a successful negotiation with a client that resulted in a mutually beneficial outcome?
  • Can you describe a time when you negotiated a complex sales deal/contract?
  • How would you implement a successful collaboration between the sales teams and the other departments?
  • In what ways do you tailor your communication style when interacting with different stakeholders, both internal and external?

Sample answers

  • What strategies do you employ to develop and nurture a high-performing sales team?

Sample Answer: “I always try to implement a culture of continuous improvement in my team. For that, I conduct training sessions and workshops to enhance the skills of the team members. I also strongly encourage them to share knowledge and insights during team meetings. I recognize and reward outstanding performance, to create a positive and motivating environment."

  • What sales techniques do you find most effective?

Sample Answer: "I believe in a consultative and relationship-based approach to sales. The first step is to understand the client’s business. Showing a special attention to the client is really effective to build a strong relationship. Then, I employ storytelling to illustrate how our products can address the client’s pain points. By focusing on long-term relationships rather than short-term transactions, I've found that this approach not only closes deals but also establishes a foundation for lasting partnerships."

  • How do you approach customer retention and ensure high levels of customer satisfaction?

Sample Answer: "Customer retention is at the core of my sales strategy. And for that, the customer satisfaction must always be maximum. I prioritize proactive communication and implement customer feedback mechanisms to understand clients' needs and potential concerns. I encourage my team to provide personalized service, going beyond expectation, to have top feedback and maintain a strong relationship with the clients. "

  • In what ways do you tailor your communication style when interacting with different stakeholders, both internal and external?

Sample Answer: "Internally, I ensure clear and transparent communication with my team, because a healthy environment is necessary to have motivated team members and good results. I also encourage ideas and innovation to develop skills within the team. Externally, when engaging with clients, I adapt my communication style based on their preferences and organizational culture. I adapt my communication in the same way when presenting results to non-technical stakeholders. I try to explain concepts and use visuals to make myself clear to everyone."

How using Claap will help you find the perfect fit for your company

Claap is an audio and video transcription tool that is ESSENTIAL for your interview processes. Let me explain why

Claap takes notes for you

Claap is an automatic notetaker. It will automatically transcribe the whole interview. You don’t have to take any notes, you can fully focus on the candidate.

And I have even better news. Claap is equipped with AI features that will summarize the transcription and makes it fit your template. The only thing you need to do is building your template! And we just did it together!

Claap records the candidates’ performances

Claap is not only a transcription tool. It’s a meeting recording tool as well. Which means it will entirely record your interview. If you’re not sure about something related to your interview, you can just watch it again!

It also allows you to be completely objective in judging the candidates: you just have to share the recording with somebody else to have a second opinion! And with Claap, you don’t have to worry about how to share the video.

Share your recordings easily with Claap

With the workspaces available on Claap’s platform, sharing your recordings has never been easier!

And there’s more: Claap gives you access to advanced collaborative features. For instance, your teammates will be able to give feedback on a specific part of the recording. Who needs a meeting to get feedback on a video?

Claap stores your recordings

If you don’t use Claap, you will either have to keep a lot of paper sheets or manage a lot of Word documents. Not great if you need to quickly find the notes of a past interview. 

But you don’t have this problem if you use Claap. Claap stores your recordings, with the transcripts in a video library. And its powerful search features allow you to find a past interview with a keyword used in the interview!

You know what to do next. Don't hesitate anymore: try Claap now and witness the difference for yourself (free plan available with no credit card needed)!

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