15 Outside Sales Representative 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 representative interview questions and sample answers to some of the most common questions.
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Common Outside Sales Representative Interview Questions
- What motivates you to sell?
- Why do you like sales?
- What are your favorite products to sell?
- What is your favorite sales technique?
- What do you see as the biggest challenge in sales?
- Why should we hire you as our next outside sales representative?
- What do you consider to be your personal strengths and weaknesses when it comes to sales?
- What do you believe the three most important factors are to success in sales?
- What do you feel is the best way to overcome objections from potential customers?
- Can you give us an example of a time when you successfully closed a large deal?
- What do you believe is the key to building strong relationships with customers?
- How do you stay motivated when working on long-term projects with little immediate results?
- What strategies do you use to stay organized and efficient when managing a large territory?
- Can you share a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer situation?
- What do you think is the most important trait for a successful salesperson?
What motivates you to sell?
The interviewer is trying to understand what drives the Outside Sales Representative to sell. This is important because it can help the interviewer understand what motivates the Outside Sales Representative and whether or not they are likely to be successful in selling the company's products or services.
Example: “I am motivated to sell because I enjoy the challenge of finding new customers and helping them find the right products or services to meet their needs. I also like the satisfaction of knowing that I have helped my customers save money or improve their businesses.”
Why do you like sales?
The interviewer is trying to gauge the candidate's motivation for working in sales. It is important to know whether the candidate is driven by money, by the challenge of the job, or by the opportunity to help people.
Example: “Sales is a great way to earn a living. It can be a very challenging and rewarding career. I like sales because it allows me to meet new people, learn about their businesses, and help them find solutions to their problems. I also enjoy the competitive nature of sales and the satisfaction that comes from closing a deal.”
What are your favorite products to sell?
Some outside sales representatives may have a preference for the type of product they are selling. For example, an outside sales representative who enjoys selling products that are helpful to the environment may prefer to sell solar panels. The interviewer is trying to gauge the level of enthusiasm the outside sales representative has for the products they would be selling for the company. It is important for the interviewer to know if the outside sales representative is passionate about the products they would be selling because they are more likely to be successful in selling them.
Example: “My favorite products to sell are those that I am passionate about. I love finding new and innovative products that solve problems for my customers. I also enjoy selling products that I am familiar with and have a lot of knowledge about.”
What is your favorite sales technique?
The interviewer is trying to gauge the Outside Sales Representative's understanding of effective sales techniques. This is important because it shows whether the candidate has the ability to close deals and generate revenue. If the candidate does not have a strong understanding of sales techniques, they may not be able to effectively sell the company's products or services.
Example: “There are a lot of different sales techniques that can be effective, so it really depends on what the customer is looking for and what type of product or service you're selling. For example, if you're selling a high-end product, you might use a consultative selling approach to build trust and rapport with the customer. On the other hand, if you're selling a lower-priced item, you might use a more aggressive technique like price anchoring to get the customer to commit to a purchase. Ultimately, the best sales technique is the one that works best for both the customer and the seller.”
What do you see as the biggest challenge in sales?
The interviewer is trying to gauge the candidate's understanding of the sales process and what challenges they may face. This question allows the interviewer to get a sense of how the candidate plans to overcome obstacles and how they think about the sales process. It is important for the interviewer to understand the candidate's thought process and how they would handle challenges that come up during a sale.
Example: “The biggest challenge in sales is generating leads and converting them into customers. It can be difficult to identify potential leads and then to persuade them to buy your product or service. There can also be a lot of competition in sales, so you need to stand out from the crowd and be able to offer something unique that will appeal to your target audience.”
Why should we hire you as our next outside sales representative?
There are a few reasons why an interviewer might ask this question. First, they want to see if the candidate has thought about why they would be a good fit for the position. Second, they want to see if the candidate can sell themselves and their skills. Finally, this question allows the interviewer to gauge the candidate's confidence level. It is important for the interviewer to ask this question because they want to make sure that they are hiring the best candidate for the job. The outside sales representative position is a key role in many companies and it is important to make sure that the person who is hired for this position is capable of doing the job well.
Example: “I am an experienced sales representative and have a proven track record of success. I am motivated and driven to succeed, and I possess the skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective outside sales representative. I am also personable and have strong communication skills, which will enable me to build relationships with potential customers and effectively promote your products or services.”
What do you consider to be your personal strengths and weaknesses when it comes to sales?
An interviewer might ask "What do you consider to be your personal strengths and weaknesses when it comes to sales?" to an outside sales representative in order to gain insight into how the sales representative views their own skills. This question can be useful in helping the interviewer understand what areas the sales representative is confident in and which areas they may need improvement. Additionally, this question can give the interviewer an idea of the sales representative's self-awareness and motivation.
Example: “Sales is a process of persuasion. In order to be successful in sales, one must be able to identify and articulate their own personal strengths and weaknesses in order to more effectively persuade their target audience.
Some personal strengths that can be leveraged in sales are:
-The ability to build rapport and relationships with others
-Excellent communication skills
-Highly motivated and driven
-Persistent and resilient
-Able to think on your feet
-Creative problem solving
Some personal weaknesses that can impact sales are:
-Easily discouraged or disheartened
-Lack of confidence
-Not assertive enough
-Too much of a perfectionist
-Prone to getting too emotionally attached to the outcome
-Can come across as pushy or aggressive”
What do you believe the three most important factors are to success in sales?
The interviewer is trying to gauge the Outside Sales Representative's understanding of what it takes to be successful in sales. It is important to know what the three most important factors are to success in sales because it can help the Outside Sales Representative focus their efforts on the areas that will have the most impact.
Example: “The three most important factors to success in sales are:
1. Relationship building – it’s important to be able to build and maintain strong relationships with your clients and potential clients. This will help you better understand their needs and how you can best meet them.
2. Persistence – you need to be able to persevere through the tough times and continue working hard even when things are slow.
3. Product knowledge – you need to have a good understanding of the products or services you’re selling so that you can effectively sell them to your clients.”
What do you feel is the best way to overcome objections from potential customers?
The interviewer is trying to gauge the sales representative's ability to overcome objections. It is important because it shows whether the sales representative is able to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions to problems.
Example: “There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to overcome objections from potential customers will vary depending on the specific objection and the customer in question. However, some general tips that may be useful include:
-Attempt to understand the objection and why the customer is raised it. This will help you to tailor your response more effectively.
-Try to reframe the objection in a positive light. For example, if a customer objects to the price of your product, you could point out that it represents value for money.
-Be prepared with data or examples that can back up your claims. This will help to build trust and credibility with the customer.
-Keep your response short and to the point. Customers are likely to be turned off by a long-winded or rambling response.”
Can you give us an example of a time when you successfully closed a large deal?
An interviewer would ask this question to an outside sales representative to gauge their ability to successfully close large deals. This is important because outside sales representatives are typically responsible for generating their own leads and closing their own deals. Therefore, it is important for an interviewer to know that the outside sales representative is capable of successfully closing large deals.
Example: “I was recently able to successfully close a large deal with a new client. This particular client had been considering our services for several months, but had never pulled the trigger. After several months of consistent follow-up and relationship building, I was finally able to get them to sign on the dotted line.”
What do you believe is the key to building strong relationships with customers?
The interviewer is asking this question to gauge the Outside Sales Representative's understanding of how important it is to build strong relationships with customers. It is important to build strong relationships with customers because they are the ones who will be buying your product or service. If you don't have a good relationship with them, they are less likely to buy from you.
Example: “There are many keys to building strong relationships with customers, but one of the most important is communication. It is important to keep the lines of communication open and honest, and to make sure that you are always available to answer any questions or concerns that your customers may have. Additionally, it is important to show your customers that you value their business by providing them with quality service and products. By following these simple guidelines, you can build strong, lasting relationships with your customers.”
How do you stay motivated when working on long-term projects with little immediate results?
An interviewer would ask "How do you stay motivated when working on long-term projects with little immediate results?" to an Outside Sales Representative to learn about the strategies they use to stay motivated in their work. This is important because it allows the interviewer to gauge whether the candidate has the necessary motivation and perseverance to see a long-term project through to completion, even when there are no immediate results.
Example: “There are a few things that I do to stay motivated when working on long-term projects. First, I set small goals for myself along the way so that I can see some progress even if it is slow. Second, I keep a positive attitude and remind myself why I am doing the project in the first place. Finally, I reach out to my network of friends and colleagues for support and encouragement.”
What strategies do you use to stay organized and efficient when managing a large territory?
Outside Sales Representatives need to be organized and efficient when managing a large territory in order to be successful. This question allows the interviewer to gauge the candidate's organizational skills and efficiency. It is important for an Outside Sales Representative to be able to manage their time and resources well in order to meet their sales goals.
Example: “There are a few key strategies that I use to stay organized and efficient when managing a large territory:
1. First, I create a detailed plan of action for each week, including which areas I will focus on and what specific tasks need to be accomplished. This helps to ensure that I am using my time wisely and not letting any important tasks fall through the cracks.
2. I also make use of technology as much as possible, utilizing GPS mapping software to help plan my route and track my progress, as well as using customer relationship management (CRM) software to keep track of client interactions and sales pipeline.
3. Finally, I stay in close communication with my supervisor, keeping them updated on my progress and any challenges I am facing so that they can provide guidance and support as needed.”
Can you share a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer situation?
An interviewer might ask this question to an outside sales representative in order to gauge the individual's customer service skills. It is important for an outside sales representative to have strong customer service skills in order to be successful in the role.
Example: “I had a customer who was extremely unhappy with the product they had purchased. They called me repeatedly to complain and threatened to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I listened to their concerns and tried to resolve the issue to the best of my ability. In the end, the customer was satisfied and did not file a complaint.”
What do you think is the most important trait for a successful salesperson?
The interviewer is trying to gauge the interviewee's understanding of what it takes to be a successful salesperson. This question allows the interviewer to see if the interviewee has the qualities that are necessary for success in sales. It also allows the interviewer to get a sense of how the interviewee would sell themselves if they were in a sales role.
Example: “The most important trait for a successful salesperson is the ability to build relationships with potential customers. A successful salesperson understands the needs and wants of their potential customers and works to create a rapport with them. They are also able to effectively communicate the features and benefits of their product or service in a way that resonates with the customer. Additionally, a successful salesperson is always learning and growing, constantly looking for ways to improve their skillset.”