As more and more organizations realize the importance of a sales enablement function, there will be even more of a need for top candidates to fill these new positions.
Crafting the perfect sales enablement job description is the first step to finding your ideal candidate. But making the right hire isn’t as easy; organizations should look for someone who is a strong communicator, data-driven, and able to juggle many tasks at once.
You only have a few hours to interview each candidate and everyone puts their best foot forward during an interview. So make the most of your time together and ask the right questions to find the hire that will help move the needle. Here are 5 questions to ask during a sales enablement interview.
1. What is your interpretation of sales enablement?
While this may seem like an obvious question, it’s actually one of the most important questions to ask candidates. Since sales enablement is still a fairly new function and constantly evolving, it can mean different things to different companies. For some, it simply means providing reps with the right content at the right time, or aligning sales with product marketing.
CSO Insights defines sales enablement as “a strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training and coaching services for salespeople and front-line sales managers along the entire customer’s buying journey, powered by technology.” Consider candidates that believe in a more comprehensive sales readiness approach like this one, as this multi-dimensional view of sales enablement will have a greater impact on your sales productivity.
2. What would you need from the team you’re joining to be successful in this role?
Your candidate’s answer to this question will indicate whether or not they will be a good culture fit for your organization. For example, if you need them to get into the weeds to figure out a project, make sure that willingness and lack of ego is demonstrated in their response.
Effective sales enablement leaders need to understand the day-to-day responsibilities of a sales rep. Consider someone who wants to thoroughly understand your sales process before proposing drastic changes. Look for candidates that value their relationships with sales reps, or even have past sales experience themselves. If you sense a lack of respect for the sales profession, that should be an immediate red flag. If the candidate can’t respect your salespeople, it will be harder for them to establish themselves as an effective and credible leader.
3. What would X look like if you created it from scratch?
This question will help you identify those who have actually walked the walk versus those that just talk the talk. Before candidates come in, ask them to do some pre-work and prepare to present a strategic plan during their interview.
For example, ask them to design an onboarding program or facilitate a session for senior leaders. Then when they come in for their interview, have them present sales readiness exercises that go along with their plan. Look for answers that indicate they’ve done this before. Candidates that give idealist, textbook answers allow you to identify the newbies from the seasoned vets.
4. Can you tell me what you know about [your company] and [your industry]?
This is a classic interview question, and the right sales enablement hire should be able to accurately answer it. Pay attention to how prepared they are for the interview and how much they have learned about your company. If they can’t train themselves on your offerings and your value proposition, how will they train your reps?
See how much they know about your industry – have they worked in your industry before? How much do they know about your competition? The ideal candidate will be a strong communicator within your company of these important differentiators.
5. We’re experiencing X problem at our organization. How would you fix it?
Sales enablement leaders need to be able to sift through data in order to find the most important areas to focus their efforts. Experienced sales enablement leaders will understand that you must look at many different metrics to understand how to prescribe the best remedy to a problem.
Let’s say you ask a specific question involving a decrease in rep win rates. Ideal candidates should be able to look through the data and identify contributing factors. For example, is the sales cycle taking longer? Has there been a change in the market that is causing buyers to look elsewhere? Are there individual performance factors at play such as rep competencies or skill sets? Effective sales enablement leaders will take a comprehensive look at all of the data available before prescribing a solution. Ineffective sales enablement leaders might say something like “well, we just need more leads in the funnel!” before taking a deep dive into the sales process.
Looking to make your new sales enablement hire even more productive with sales readiness technology? Identify your best options with this exclusive Sales Readiness Technology Buyer’s Guide!