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3 Skills Managers are Looking for in Sales Candidates

3 Skills Managers are Looking for in Sales CandidatesSure, you have loads of experience in sales.  Of course you’ve closed many deals and maintained top rankings amongst your fellow sales reps.  However, did you realize that sales managers are looking for skills beyond ratios, rankings, and achievements? 

Before going in for that sales interview, be sure to think about the following skills that sales managers will be looking for in addition to the basic performance skills.

1. Team Player Attitude

In many sales positions, you will find yourself on the road alone, or inside making cold calls in your cubical.  With this in mind, you may question the manager’s reasoning for interviewing for a team player to join their sales team.

Typically, sales reps are working in conjunction with marketing when it comes to advertising to potential customers and following up with leads.  Likewise, when running into a difficult sale, the sales manager finds it positive for a sales rep to converse with other reps regarding the best approach.  In addition, at the close of the sale, the rep almost always has to handle a pass down to an account manager or provide specific information to finance.

All of these situations require that the sales rep is a team player and works well with others in order to maintain a successful sales operation.

Think about your ability to be a team player and how you can display this during the interview.  Most sales managers are looking for a team player who works well with others, listens to and follows company policies.  Rule benders and negligence can cause utter chaos, even when the sales rep is a top performer.

2. Positive Outlook

Do you find yourself seeing the glass as half full or half empty?  Be sure to give your positive attitude a boost before going in for an interview.  Sales managers understand the difficulties and struggles in closing sales.  They will be searching for someone who is upbeat and positive, able to quickly overcome rejection and move on to the next sale.

3. Customer Service

Perhaps you are interviewing for a position that will only have you focused on new business development, passing on closed accounts to an account manager to handle afterwards.  You may wonder why the hiring manager would be searching for someone with solid customer service skills in this role.

Think about the type of sales rep you would buy from.  Would you buy from someone with no concern over your happiness with the product, only looking out for that final deal closure?  On the other hand, would you prefer to buy from the sales rep who thoroughly answers all of your questions and ensures that you are happy with the product?

My guess is that you would prefer the second of the two.  I know that I would, and so would many others.

The hiring manager is searching for someone who will not only close deals, but is also concerned about the customer’s happiness.  Sales reps are the face of a company and one fast-talking, rude sales rep can ruin a company’s brand quickly.

When providing examples of previous sales closed or lost, be sure to mention any consultative approach to the sale that you took.  If you received any emails or reviews from happy customers, be sure to provide copies of this during the interview.

What are some of the key skills you are sure to point out during interviews?  Please share your tips in the comments below. 

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Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.

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