Hiring an effective sales director is of utmost importance for any organization. With the right leader in place, your sales team can get the support they need to hone their skills, overcome common objections, and close more deals.
If you’re searching for a sales director, regional vice president of sales (RVP), or assistant vice president of sales (AVP), it’s vital to equip yourself with the right interview questions.
In this article, you’ll find 36 interview questions to help you hire a sales director. Along with general questions for a sales director, you’ll also find questions for related competencies, including goal and mission-driven, strategic thinking, and people management.
Read on to uncover all of the interview questions to ask a sales director, RVP, or AVP.
General Interview Questions for a Sales Director, RVP, or AVP
- Tell me about a time when you coached a team member and helped them adjust their approach, which ultimately saved or retained a big deal.
- Tell me about a time when you were able to coach a team member to help them effectively work with a difficult prospect or customer. What steps did you take?
- Describe a time when you were able to address a prospect’s complaint and prevent escalation proactively. What steps did you take?
- Tell me about a time when you had to implement a new sales process (or substantial revision) with a tenured sales team. Why did you decide to implement the new process, and what steps did you take?
- When building a team, what core criteria do you use to evaluate sales skills?
- How have you successfully collaborated with a marketing team in your current or previous role?
- What’s your approach to training and upskilling new team members?
- What’s your strategy for forecasting, and how has it evolved over time?
- Tell me about one of your biggest failures in a sales environment and what you learned from that experience.
- Give me an example of a time when you effectively managed change across the sales organization.
- Tell me about your most recent experience building out a team.
- What ACV do you have the most experience building a team around/managing?
Goal & Mission-Driven Interview Questions
It’s up to the sales director to guide their team toward the company’s mission and goals. By keeping a steadfast focus on achieving these goals, a sales director can lead their team to success.
The below questions can help you find candidates who are goal and mission-driven.
- Tell me about a time when you set an ambitious goal for your team. How did you determine the goal, and what steps did you take to help your team meet it?
- Tell me about a time when you incorporated your company’s mission into a project.
- Tell me about the last project you worked on that you were passionate about. What made you so invested in the project?
- What parts of the values and missions of our organization most resonate with you?
- Tell me about a time when you help your team complete a difficult task against all odds.
- Imagine you were starting in this role today, and I asked you to set three goals: one to achieve within the week, one within the first few months, and one within a year from today. What would those goals be?
Strategic Thinking Interview Questions
A great sales director must use strategic thinking to help their team overcome objections and close more deals.
The below questions can help you find candidates who are pros at strategic thinking.
- Tell me about a time when you had to understand the big picture while also managing a lot of smaller details. How did you avoid losing sight of the overall strategy?
- Imagine you have to explain a major project you’re working on to the CEO, but you only have 3-4 sentences to explain it. What would you say?
- Do you tend to be a big-picture thinker or detail-oriented? Share an example that illustrates the approach you take.
- Tell me about a time when you built a strategic plan. What steps did you take, and what was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you took a step back to better understand the big picture in a situation. How did you know you needed to take a step back, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Tell me about a time when you measured a strategy’s effectiveness. What was your process for measuring success?
- Tell me about a project you’ve worked on that connects to the larger context of your business and the market it operates in.
People Management Interview Questions
The best sales directors encourage, empower, and guide their team. Under the leadership of a sales director with people management skills, the sales team can hone their skills and achieve their goals.
The below questions can help you find candidates who are excellent at people management.
- You have an important decision to make for your department, and all other options will likely be unpopular with your team. What intel do you gather before making the decision? What factors do you consider?
- Give me an example of a time when you needed to tell a direct report you were unhappy with their work. How did you approach the conversation, and what was the outcome?
- Describe your process for evaluating your direct reports.
- Describe a time when you had to make a very important and difficult decision that affected everyone in your department. How did you make the decision, and what was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you built a feedback loop into the work you delegated to a direct report.
- Tell me about a major project you managed. How did you assign tasks to your direct reports? How did you monitor progress? How did you measure success along the way and post-project?
- Managers need good information to be able to make the right decisions. Do you tend to gather information up to a deadline to make a better-informed decision or gather just enough information to make a good decision quickly?
- Tell me about a time when you had to implement a new performance standard for your team.
- Give me an example of a time when you felt you led by example. What did you do, and how did others react?
- How have you successfully fostered motivation within your team(s)?
- Tell me about your most successful hire. What led you to hire the candidate? What impact did they have on your team?