Commercial Sales Executive Interview Questions

A commercial sales executive is a business professional who helps companies expand their market reach by selling products or services. In an interview for this position, you can expect to be asked about your experiences in sales and leadership. This article explores questions that may be asked during a commercial sales executive interview.
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Example Interview Questions

How do you maintain your knowledge of the industry?

Employers will want answers from you that show your passion for the industry and knowledge of current trends. What you have done in the past should speak to your commitment to the industry. You should also consider how you can better inform yourself moving forward.

Example answer: "I read industry publications and attend conferences to learn new things in my field. I also tap into networks of industry professionals to learn from others' experiences. I'm a member of the industry association, because I want to stay up to date with the latest happenings."

What was the biggest stumbling block in your most recent sales campaign?

Answering this question requires you to think critically about a recent sales campaign and work through any stumbling blocks you encountered. You should identify a challenge you overcame and explain how you managed to overcome it.

Example answer: "In my most recent sales campaign, we were trying to reach a new sector that we hadn't previously sold to. The prospect was hesitant to change suppliers, so we had to prove our credibility and propose a customized package to cater to their needs. We had to adjust our approach to win them over. By identifying the properties they were looking for and offering them a tailored solution, we were ultimately able to reach our goal."

What is the most important quality in an effective salesperson?

A good salesperson is able to build trust and rapport with their clients. The interviewer wants to assess how good you are at this because it is a very important aspect of selling. Your answer should demonstrate how you build trust by demonstrating that you value the relationship with your customers and will do everything you can to maintain that relationship for the long-term.

Example answer: "Good communication is the most important quality in an effective salesperson. If the customer has questions or concerns, it is my job to answer them in a way that builds trust and reassures them. This means I must listen to their needs by asking detailed questions and truly understanding their concerns. It also means I must communicate with them in a way that builds trust. This way, they will feel that I am on their side and that I will do everything I can to resolve any problem if they are not satisfied with our service, even if it takes time to find a solution."

How do you typically begin a sales call?

In order to impress the interviewer, you have to be very well prepared. The interview will probably be recorded, so any unpreparedness will be obvious to the interviewer. The key to the answer is to show that you know how to prepare before beginning a sales call.

Example answer: "Before a sales call, I will have a complete understanding of the company's products, their target audience and their competitors' strengths and weaknesses. I will usually start the call by asking questions about the company. I want to know about the person I will be speaking with, so I will ask them about their role in the company and what they enjoy about their work. I will also ask about the company's target audience and how they are reaching out to it. From there, I will determine the best way to sell my products."

How would your colleagues describe you?

This question seeks a description of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as an understanding of whether you have the temperament to work in a team. Your answer should help portray yourself as a team player who is genuine and interested in the company's success.

Example answer: "I'm a hard worker and will do whatever it takes for the customer. I'm very organized and manage my time well. The areas where I could improve are my listening skills and my ability to prioritize. My colleagues have told me I can be a bit too efficient and need to slow down."

What motivates you to make the move from a small business to a larger company?

The interviewer wants to know your motivations for making a career move in order to see how your goals align with the company's goals. If your career goals are aligned, this shows you understand the benefits of working at a larger firm. When explaining why you're motivated, use specific examples of your successes and the role they play in your choice to look for a new position.

Example answer: "I would like to take on a bigger role in sales, and I know that working for a larger company will allow me to grow. I've been successful in managing a team of 3 sales representatives, but I know that working with a larger firm will allow me to interact with different clients and do more with my career. I have specific goals I want to reach, and I know that I'll be able to reach them working for this company."

How do you create a winning sales proposal for customers?

Commercial sales executives are responsible for reviewing customer needs, understanding where they are coming from and creating a solution that is tailored to their needs. This question will require you to highlight your ability to collect information from sources and your ability to present solutions that are tailored to a customer's needs.

Example answer: "I begin by meeting with the customer and obtaining a full understanding of their business needs. This involves reviewing their financial and analytical data, as well as their long-term goals for the business. I also conduct a review of my own data, including information about how similar businesses have been successful. I then combine all this information to create a holistic solution that will improve the business."

How do you handle rejection by customers?

This question is meant to see how you handle failure. Employers want to know that you are capable of dealing with failure in a positive manner. If you can take a moment to understand why the customer rejected your product or service and address those concerns, then you have a good chance of winning back their favor.

Example answer: "I view rejection as a chance to make some tweaks and address the customer's needs. When a customer turns down my offer, I first try to understand what caused their decision. Perhaps I can address a concern they have or find a better solution to meet their needs. If the rejection is not due to any specific reason, I can still make improvements to my pitch. A more well-rounded pitch will help me make the sale next time."

How do you build a rapport with a customer?

In this question, you should highlight your excellent communication skills and your ability to work with people. You should also give an example of a time when you created a rapport with a customer or potential customer.

Example answer: "I get to know the customer's business and how they operate, so I can offer advice to help improve their efficiency. I can identify factors that might be hindering their growth, such as supply chain inefficiencies or outdated equipment. I also look for ways I can help a customer's bottom line by reducing costs or lowering taxes. For example, I recently offered advice that allowed a customer to reduce their payroll tax burden by almost 10%, which resulted in significant savings."

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