“If you do all those things leading into an interview, then you should be very much prepared to crush the interview process for a new sales role.” – JR Butler in today’s Tip 1319
How do you prepare for the sales interview?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from JR Butler. JR fell into technology sales following a long hockey career including as a D1 athlete at Holy Cross. He was an early sales leader at Turbonomic who sold to IBM for $2B, had a stint as a CRO, then started Shift Group, which helps athletes transition to technology sales. Here he is:
JR Butler: So I want to talk a little bit about interview preparation. Preparation is hands down the most important part of the interview process for the candidate. You want to start, obviously with the job description and really understanding the role. You should be looking up who you’re meeting with. See what you have in common with them. Be prepared to ask them a thoughtful question about their background. Look up to see if you know anyone else at the company or you know someone who does and try to reach out to them and learn more before your interview.
Don’t just research the company to research. Everything you consume, you should figure out a way to take a nugget and put it into your answers to questions they ask you. You should also come up with a thoughtful question for each piece of content that you consume. News articles, videos, case studies.
In terms of the other areas you can do research. Highly recommend, obviously, the company website. This is their face of the world. This is how they want to be perceived. Use it to shape why you are excited about the company and decide if you really are. Look at their company LinkedIn. Be able to see some insights via their posts, the makeup of their employees, their products.
Check out Glassdoor and read what others that work there are saying about the company and the opportunity. YouTube there’s always tons of testimonial videos, videos of their executives, reel videos of their overall company strategy.
I highly recommend the CrunchBase. Learning about the executives, looking at their backgrounds, what they’ve done before. You can also see what their investment looks like, how much they’ve raised, who they’ve raised from, and use those to develop questions and answers.
Really one that people miss often is recent news, right? Finding three of the most recent news articles about them. Read them, find quotes from executives and listen to how the company talks about themselves in press releases and use that language in your interview.
The things that you should know before the interview, the value proposition. What problems does the company solve? Why does it matter? What type of companies buy the product? Industry size? Who are the key personas they target? Who are those companies? Does it solve a problem for? Are they the buyer? If not, who in the executive chain of command creates budget to buy this product?
Look at their competitors. Where does this company beat them? Where does this company lose to them? Is there a silver bullet to beat the competition? Is the competition business as usual?
And then lastly, you want to really understand the company culture, what they pride themselves on in terms of how the company operates, how they treat their employees and their customers. Understand their growth rate. Why is it growing at that rate is a great question to ask about? Understanding their core values and being able to weave that into your answers is really critical. This should align with their culture or be one and the same.
You should very much be able to talk about your own goals as somebody that’s interviewing at the company. What you want to accomplish in your own career? Do you want to get into leadership? Do you want to manage a certain type of account segment? Et cetera.
If you do all those things leading into an interview, then you should be very much prepared to crush the interview process for a new sales role.
Scott Ingram: For links to connect with JR, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1319. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come right back for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!