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SSA#29: Winning Sales Interviews

How to stand out & land your next gig.

Happy Wednesday to 11,692 SaaS sales professionals!

Last week we had an amazing guest speaker in the SaaS Sales Academy:

Jessica Looney.

Jess and I go way back to our early Salesforce days as BDRs. She's one of the most talented sales professionals I know.

Her secret sauce 🌶️: interview skills.

In today's newsletter I will share her best nuggets with her👇

 

Member Spotlight:

 


Tip 1: Job Interviews Are Sales Cycles

If you can adopt this mindset alone, you will already stand out from other job applicants.

Hiring managers are looking for sales skills. They are looking for talent that will onboard, ramp and hit their quota fast.

Use every opportunity during the interview process to showcase your selling skills. The hiring manager is the customer, you are the product. Immerse yourself in this role play.

 


Tip 2: Research Your Audience

Speak to as many people in the company as possible: leaders, hiring managers, and other reps. Interview them. Ask them about the culture and the tech stack. Research the company's vision & core values. Learn to speak their language.

For example, when Jess applied for her last role she noticed that they obsessed over Notion as a tool. She then built out her entire interview presentation in Notion. She skipped having a slide deck. A brilliant move that definitely stood out (she got the role :-))

 

Tip 3: Keep A Sales Portfolio File

This is one of the best sales career hacks I've ever heard of:

Document every single achievement.

  • Screenshots of you being at the top of the dashboard
  • Screenshots of positive customer feedback
  • Photos of you at client-facing roadshows
  • Photos of you at President's Club
  • Leadership shoutouts on Slack
  • Your sales awards
  • etc.

Jess's tip:

"Keep a file of every small win, every small achievement. Over the years, you will collect an overwhelming amount of social proof! This will blow your interviewers away and remove any doubt that you are top talent. Your sales track record is your CV."

 

Tip 4: Use Upfront Contracts

Remember: treat every interview process as a sales cycle.

One of the most foundational skills interviewers want to see is your ability to set next steps. The Upfront Contract is a classic Sandler tool for that.

At the beginning of the call, ask: "what do you expect in a perfect interview?" Take note of the responses.

Then, confirm: "so if I fulfill the criteria you mentioned, can we agree that we will set next steps?" (as in: you will make me an offer)

Throughout the presentation, loop back to the criteria mentioned.

At the end of the call come back to the upfront agreement. "Did I meet your requirements and can we move forward to the offer stage?"

 

Tip 5: Negotiate & Know Your Worth

Negotiation is another crucial skill in sales. Not only will it determine how much revenue you can close for the company. It will also determine your compensation package!

Jess's tip: "Treat salary negotiation like a price negotiation with a customer."

Share a range for base salary & OTE (base salary + 100% commissions) expectations with HR before the interview process. Disqualify the employer if they cannot meet your expectations!

Once you passed the interview process, never accept their 1st offer. There is always room to negotiate.

Be willing to walk away.

You are top talent, and you are in high demand!

 

Are you done with average performance in your sales career?

Consider joining our private coaching mastermind to get your sales performance to the next level.


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Christian Krause

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