20784919_s.jpgOne of the most important decisions you can make for the future success of your company is to invest in your sales team. Begin by only hiring top sales performers. Hiring mediocre salespeople who won’t perform to your standards is a waste of time. Here are 5 questions to ask potential hires to determine if they are top sales performers.


1. How hungry are you for success?

Top sales performers want to be number one. They’ll have plenty of stories about how they competed to be number one. They are fierce competitors. Top sales performers have a list of goals they’ve accomplished and several others they are determined to achieve. As they answer this question, you’ll see the desire in their eyes and you’ll hear it in the tone of their voice.


2. Tell me about a deal you worked on that didn’t close. Why didn’t you close it?

This question will help you to understand how this salesperson deals with rejection. A top sales performer leverages rejection to become a better salesperson. When dealing with sales, rejection is a daily occurrence.  If a salesperson does not react to rejection well, they are not suitable for your sales team.


3. What’s your most effective prospecting tool?

Hire salespeople who have the skills to find qualified prospects and turn them into repeat customers. A top sales performer will have a game plan for prospecting. If a sales candidate demonstrates a lack of knowledge or interest in prospecting they will not be able to bring in the sales you need.


4. What was your sales goal for last year and did you reach it?

Top sales performers will answer this question without hesitation. They will know their sales goal and most likely will have attained it. If they didn’t, they won’t have excuses, instead they’ll take responsibility and have a plan for recovery. Top sales performers are driven by meeting and exceeding goals. An average or below average sales performer will make excuses for why they didn’t make their sales quota last year.


5. When is the last time you had to replace lost business?

The candidate’s answer to this question will allow you to determine if they have perseverance. Top sales performers don’t give up easily and will do what is necessary to recover lost business. To them, regaining lost business is a welcomed challenge. Lost business means a learning experience. Below average sales performers are devastated by the loss of a customer. Instead of working to replace the lost business, they make up lame excuses and blame others for why they lost a customer.


There are several benefits of having a team of top sales performers. Top sales performers will bring new ideas, improve your culture, and build your brand. Use the questions above in future interviews to help you build a team of top sales performers.


Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby

Founder of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.