17 Outside Sales Manager Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published August 11, 2022

It's important to prepare for an interview in order to improve your chances of getting the job. Researching questions beforehand can help you give better answers during the interview. Most interviews will include questions about your personality, qualifications, experience and how well you would fit the job. In this article, we review examples of various outside sales manager interview questions and sample answers to some of the most common questions.

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Common Outside Sales Manager Interview Questions

What does your ideal outside sales territory look like?

The interviewer is trying to gauge the manager's understanding of what it takes to be successful in an outside sales role. It is important because it shows whether the manager has a clear vision for what they want to achieve and how they plan to go about achieving it.

An ideal outside sales territory for a manager would likely include a mix of high-potential and lower-risk accounts, with a good geographic distribution. The manager should also have a clear plan for how to develop and maintain relationships with key accounts.

Example: My ideal outside sales territory would be a mix of small, medium, and large businesses that are within close proximity to each other. I prefer a territory that has a good mix of industries so that I can sell to a variety of customers. Additionally, I like to have a territory that is not too saturated with other sales reps so that I can stand out and be the top sales rep in the area.

How do you prioritize and manage your time in order to maximize your sales results?

The interviewer is trying to gauge the Outside Sales Manager's time management skills and ability to prioritize tasks in order to maximize sales results. Time management is important in any sales position, but it is especially important for an Outside Sales Manager, who is often responsible for managing a large territory and a large sales team. An Outside Sales Manager who is able to prioritize and manage their time efficiently will be more likely to be successful in meeting their sales goals.

Example: There are a few key things that I do in order to prioritize and manage my time effectively in order to maximize my sales results.

First, I make sure to set aside time each day for prospecting and lead generation. This is one of the most important activities that I can do in order to generate new business, so it is important that I dedicate time each day to this task.

Second, I prioritize my existing clients and make sure that I am giving them the attention they need. This includes regular check-ins, keeping them updated on new products and services, and addressing any concerns they may have.

Third, I keep a close eye on my pipeline and make sure that I am working on deals that are ready to close. This helps me to stay focused and avoid wasting time on deals that are not ready to move forward.

By following these simple steps, I am able to effectively manage my time and maximize my sales results.

Describe a time when you successfully overcame an obstacle in your sales territory.

The interviewer is asking this question to gain insight into how the candidate manages obstacles in their sales territory. It is important to know how the candidate overcomes obstacles because it can give insight into their problem-solving skills and how they manage difficult situations.

Example: I was once tasked with increasing sales in a particularly challenging territory. After some initial research, I identified a few key areas that I felt I could improve upon. First, I increased my own activity levels in the territory, making sure to be visible and available to potential customers. Second, I developed targeted marketing campaigns specifically for the territory, which helped to generate interest and awareness. Finally, I worked closely with the existing customer base in the territory to ensure they were satisfied and remained loyal. Through hard work and dedication, I was eventually able to turn the territory around and achieve success.

Describe a time when you successfully closed a large deal.

Some outside sales managers may be responsible for generating their own leads and closing their own deals. In this case, it is important for the interviewer to understand the candidate's sales process and whether they are able to successfully close large deals. It is also important to understand how the candidate handles objections and overcomes objections.

Example: I successfully closed a large deal by creating a custom proposal that addressed all of the client's specific needs. I then presented the proposal in person and answered any questions the client had. I was able to effectively address all of their concerns and ultimately convinced them to sign on with our company.

What do you believe is the most important trait for a successful outside sales manager?

The interviewer is asking this question in order to gauge the interviewee's understanding of what it takes to be a successful outside sales manager. This is important because it shows whether or not the interviewee has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job successfully. In order to answer this question effectively, the interviewee should discuss some of the key traits that are necessary for success in this role. These might include strong leadership skills, excellent communication abilities, and the ability to motivate and inspire a sales team.

Example: The most important trait for a successful outside sales manager is the ability to motivate and lead a team of salespeople. A successful outside sales manager must be able to inspire their team to sell more, and must be able to provide the necessary support and resources to help them succeed.

What motivates you to succeed in outside sales?

The interviewer is trying to gauge whether the Outside Sales Manager is driven by internal or external motivators. This is important because it can affect how the Outside Sales Manager reacts to obstacles and how they motivate their team. If the Outside Sales Manager is driven by internal motivators, they may be more likely to push through difficult challenges and be more effective at motivating their team. If the Outside Sales Manager is driven by external motivators, they may be more likely to give up when faced with difficult challenges and be less effective at motivating their team.

Example: There are a few things that motivate me to succeed in outside sales. First, I really enjoy the challenge of working in a fast-paced, competitive environment. I also enjoy the satisfaction that comes from helping my clients achieve their goals. Finally, I am motivated by the potential to earn a good income and to provide for my family.

What do you consider to be your personal strengths and weaknesses when it comes to outside sales?

The interviewer is trying to gauge whether the Outside Sales Manager is aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and whether they have a plan to improve upon their weaknesses. This is important because it shows that the Outside Sales Manager is self-aware and is always looking for ways to improve their skillset.

Example: My personal strengths when it comes to outside sales are my ability to build rapport with potential customers, my ability to identify customer needs and my ability to close sales. My weaknesses include my lack of experience in some product areas and my inability to always meet customer expectations.

What strategies do you use to prospect for new business opportunities?

The interviewer is asking this question to gain insight into the Outside Sales Manager's approach to finding and developing new business opportunities. It is important for the interviewer to understand the manager's process for identifying and pursuing new leads in order to gauge how successful they may be in meeting the company's sales goals. By understanding the manager's strategies, the interviewer can also identify any potential areas of improvement.

Example: There are a number of strategies that can be used to prospect for new business opportunities. Some common ones include networking, online research, and attending industry events.

Networking is a great way to meet potential clients and get your foot in the door with new companies. Attend industry events and trade shows to meet people in your field and learn about new products or services that might be a good fit for your business. Use online research to find leads and contact information for potential customers.

How do you develop and maintain relationships with key decision makers within your accounts?

An interviewer would ask this question to an outside sales manager to gauge their ability to develop and maintain relationships with key decision makers within their accounts. This is important because outside sales managers need to be able to build strong relationships with the people who make decisions within their accounts in order to sell their products or services.

Example: There are a few key ways to develop and maintain relationships with key decision makers within your accounts:

1. First, it's important to identify who the key decision makers are within each account. This can be done by doing your research and understanding the organizational structure of the company. Once you know who the key decision makers are, you can then focus your efforts on building relationships with them.

2. It's also important to understand the needs and wants of the key decision makers within each account. What are their goals? What challenges are they facing? By understanding their needs and wants, you'll be able to provide them with solutions that they're looking for.

3. Another key way to develop and maintain relationships with key decision makers is by staying in touch with them on a regular basis. This can be done through phone calls, emails, or even face-to-face meetings. By staying in touch, you'll be able to build deeper relationships and keep them updated on what's going on with your company.

The interviewer is trying to gauge the Outside Sales Manager's commitment to staying current on industry trends and developments. It is important for the Outside Sales Manager to be up-to-date on industry trends and developments because it allows them to better understand the needs of their customers and adapt their sales strategies accordingly. Additionally, staying current on industry trends and developments allows the Outside Sales Manager to identify new sales opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.

Example: I make it a point to read industry-related news and articles on a daily basis, and I also follow relevant hashtags and influencers on social media. Additionally, I attend trade shows and conferences whenever possible, and I make it a point to network with as many people as possible in order to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends.

What do you feel is the most important aspect of effective outside sales management?

The interviewer is trying to assess the candidate's understanding of effective outside sales management and their ability to articulate its importance. It is important for an outside sales manager to be able to effectively manage a sales team in order to achieve success. In order to do this, they need to have a clear understanding of what is important in effective outside sales management.

Example: The most important aspect of effective outside sales management is setting and achieving sales goals. Without specific, measurable goals, it is difficult to gauge progress and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, effective outside sales managers must be able to motivate and lead their team members to success. This includes providing adequate training and support, as well as maintaining high standards for performance.

How do you manage and motivate your sales team?

The interviewer is asking how the Outside Sales Manager motivates and manages their sales team in order to gauge their leadership skills. It is important for the interviewer to know how the Outside Sales Manager handles their team in order to determine if they would be a good fit for the company.

Example: I believe that the most important thing for a manager is to build trust with their team. Once that trust is established, it becomes much easier to motivate and manage them effectively. I like to give my team members the freedom to experiment and try new things, while still providing guidance and support when needed. I also make sure to keep lines of communication open so that everyone is always aware of what is going on and no one feels left out or in the dark. Lastly, I like to show my appreciation for a job well done with both verbal and written praise, as well as tangible rewards like bonuses or commission.

What are some of the challenges you face when managing an outside sales team?

The interviewer is trying to gauge the interviewee's level of experience and expertise in managing an outside sales team. It is important for the interviewer to know if the interviewee is familiar with the challenges of managing an outside sales team so that they can gauge whether or not the interviewee is a good fit for the position.

Example: The challenges of managing an outside sales team can vary depending on the size and structure of the team, as well as the specific industry and market conditions. However, some common challenges include:

1. Ensuring adequate coverage of territory - This can be a challenge if you have a large or geographically dispersed territory. It is important to ensure that your sales team has adequate coverage in order to maximise opportunities and minimise risk.

2. Managing customer expectations - In an outside sales role, it is important to manage customer expectations around delivery timescales and product availability. This can be challenging if there are delays in the supply chain or unexpected demand spikes.

3. Managing costs - As an outside sales manager, you need to be aware of the costs associated with running your team, such as travel expenses, entertaining customers and commission payments. It is important to manage these costs effectively in order to stay within budget.

4. Motivating the team - In an outside sales role, it can be difficult to keep your team motivated, especially if they are working remotely or in a competitive market. It is important to find ways to keep your team engaged and motivated so that they continue to perform at a high level.

How do you troubleshoot problems that arise within your sales territory?

There are a few reasons why an interviewer would ask this question to an outside sales manager. First, the interviewer wants to know if the manager is able to troubleshoot problems that arise within their sales territory. Second, the interviewer wants to know if the manager is able to effectively communicate with their sales team and customers. Third, the interviewer wants to know if the manager is able to find creative solutions to problems that arise within their sales territory. This question is important because it allows the interviewer to gauge the manager's ability to effectively manage their sales team and territory.

Example: There are a few steps I take when troubleshooting problems that arise within my sales territory. First, I identify the problem and then I try to understand the root cause of the problem. Once I understand the root cause, I develop a plan to address the problem. Finally, I implement the plan and monitor the results to ensure that the problem is resolved.

What do you consider to be the key success factors for a successful outside sales manager?

The interviewer is asking this question to gain insight into the Outside Sales Manager's management style and what they believe are the most important factors for success in their role. This question is important because it allows the interviewer to gauge whether the Outside Sales Manager's management style and beliefs align with the company's culture and values. It also allows the interviewer to get a better understanding of the Outside Sales Manager's thought process and how they would approach managing a sales team.

Example: The key success factors for a successful outside sales manager include:

-Having a strong understanding of the products and services offered by the company
-Being able to effectively communicate the features and benefits of the products and services to potential customers
-Developing and maintaining strong relationships with customers
-Being able to identify and capitalize on sales opportunities
-Achieving or exceeding sales targets
-Effectively managing a team of sales representatives

What are some of the challenges you face when prospecting for new business?

There are a few reasons why an interviewer would ask this question to an outside sales manager. First, it allows the interviewer to gauge the manager's understanding of the sales process and what challenges are typically involved. Additionally, it allows the interviewer to see how the manager deals with challenges and whether they are able to overcome them. Finally, it helps the interviewer to understand what resources the manager has available to them to help with prospecting.

Example: The main challenge that I face when prospecting for new business is finding qualified leads. It can be difficult to identify potential customers who are likely to be interested in my products or services. I also need to make sure that I am reaching out to leads in an effective and efficient manner so that I am not wasting time or resources.

How do you develop and implement strategies to increase sales in your territory?

The interviewer is trying to gauge the Outside Sales Manager's ability to increase sales in their territory. They want to know how the manager develops and implements strategies to increase sales, and why these strategies are effective. This question is important because it allows the interviewer to get a sense of the manager's ability to improve sales in their territory, and whether they would be a good fit for the company.

Example: There are a number of strategies that can be employed to increase sales in a territory. Some common strategies include:

1. Increasing marketing and advertising efforts in the territory. This can be done through a variety of channels, such as online advertising, print advertising, direct mail, etc.

2. Developing new relationships with potential customers in the territory. This can be done through networking, attending trade shows and events, etc.

3. Enhancing existing relationships with current customers in the territory. This can be done through providing excellent customer service, offering discounts or promotions, etc.

4. Increasing the visibility of your brand in the territory. This can be done through PR and marketing initiatives, social media campaigns, etc.

5. Offering new or unique products or services that are not currently available in the territory. This can help to attract new customers and increase sales.