Are you looking to hire your first VP of Sales? Have you never done it before? In this article, we’ll provide you with 11 effective interview questions to ask VP of sales candidates.
One of the original SaaStr posts was the Top 10 Questions to Ask a Vice President of Sales Candidate. Surprisingly, all these questions to ask VP of sales in an interview still hold today. Below is an update to that post.
11 interview questions to ask VP of sales candidates
Before we get there, I strongly recommend that you hire at least two to three sales reps before you hire a Vice President of Sales. Make sure they are successful. You can then practice what you preach and be a good hire.
If you are ready but not sure if it is the right time for you, here are 11 great screening questions to ask VP sales candidates to determine if they are suitable for the job.
1. Based on the information you have, what size sales team do you think we should have? (If the person is unable to answer, pass).
2. What has been your average deal size? Pass if the deal is not suitable for you. Pass if he/she cannot answer the question fluently.
3. How did you manage teams? (If they don’t know how they built a team of people, pass.
4. What sales tools did you use and which ones worked best? (If they don’t understand sales tools, pass.
5. Do you know anyone who would like to join our sales team? (They should be able give a few names and their backgrounds.
6. How should clients and sales managers work together? This will demonstrate how well the candidate understands customer lifecycles.
7. What have you lost to your competitors? This is the key to beating our competitors.
8. How can you deal with FUD on the market? (This will let you know if the candidate is able to compete.
9. Can you work with sales engineers or sales support? What is their role at different stages of a startup’s development? This will tell you if the candidate is able to work at the early seed stage as well as if they are able to scale.
10. How will my revenue look in four months after I hire your company? (They should be able explain how this will occur.
11. How should sales and marketing work together in our current phase? This will allow you to determine if the candidate is skilled in lead generation and how to use a sales funnel.
These interview questions to ask VP of sales candidates are not a magic formula. They aren’t particularly insightful or profound — in fact, many are quite obvious. What they will do is create a dialogue. From these 11 sales interview questions, you’ll be able to determine the following:
- Whether this candidate is legit
- If they can be a true leader
- If they can take your business to a higher level
- If they are a good fit
If any of the answers are terrible or simply don’t make sense, pass. If you have more knowledge than the candidate about any of these questions, pass. Your VP of Sales must be more knowledgeable than you about sales, sales processes, building and scaling sales teams, and other areas.