Alright, we’re in the circle of trust and it’s time to admit it: remote sales are not only here to stay…but we kind of like it.
Show me someone who truly misses the high-pressure bullpen atmosphere with managers constantly counting dials and I will show you someone still searching for greener grass.
I’ll take a flexible schedule and the ability to source deals down the hall from my kitchen any day of the week.
With this new reality and companies starting to grow sales departments again, it’s time to dust off the virtual resume and prep for your remote sales position interview!
First things first, you need to identify the perfect remote sales opportunity for you:
How much stability do you want?
- Considering every company has remote positions now you need to determine the oversight level you're comfortable with. Whether it’s the consistent bureaucracy of a corporate company or a new startup where your job might change by the day. Every company and role has its ups and downs. Where will you thrive?
When do you work best?
- Work from anywhere means just that, time zones come into consideration. Prefer to get up with the sun and have an afternoon? Go west to east, my friend (start your day at 5/6 am, end at 2/3 pm). Love sleeping in and burning the midnight oil? East to west is the move (start day at 10 am, end at 7 pm)
What remote culture do you prefer?
- Do you want to check-in daily/weekly? Do you need to live close to the office and come in a couple of times a month? Prefer frequent oversight from a manager or a high trust-level to get things done on your own?
Follow the top sites/groups for ideal job postings
- Linkedin and Indeed are the giants, but I highly recommend you check sites like Remote Dials; which help you identify top tech & startup sales opportunities.
Alright you’ve narrowed your search, applied, and landed your first interview! Congrats! Now what?
Time to prepare like a champ and come out on top.
In any sales interview, you need to demonstrate value. While showing the hard numbers you accomplished in a prior role is huge; it’s not enough to seal the deal in a true work from anywhere role.
Remote employers want someone trustworthy, self-starting, a great communicator, high emotional IQ, and enjoys their work. They’re also not afraid to ask for support when needed or take on new projects with free bandwidth. Highlight those attributes in your resume and interviews.
Are you self motivated? Highlight times you created, pitched, and executed a new idea on your own. Discovered a method to more effectively prospect remotely? Break it down for them!
Organized? Showcase where you developed a new system to track your deals, like bringing a conversation intelligence tool in, and grew it to a company-wide level.
Prior experience working remotely? If so, be prepared to walk the interviewer through a deal you sourced and closed from your home office.
Remote Interview Etiquette
Have a dedicated workspace with a clean background already set up as if it is your first day on the job.
- As tempting as taking a call from the couch is, it makes a huge difference if your first impression is a clean, organized workspace. Your job is interviewing right now, treat it as such.
Make eye contact with the camera, not the screen.
- As weird as it feels, it ensures you’re making direct eye contact with the interviewer. It is proper etiquette and displays vital communication skills.
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have (in this case it’s interviewing from home).
- Make sure you are wearing the same professional attire you would in an office setting.
Authenticity is imperative in any interaction, but when limited to a video call, it is everything. Let a little personality show when possible.
- Go ahead: lead with introducing your dog that will bark at some point in the call. Being at home allows you to address the elephant in the room that your work will blend with your home life and that you’re comfortable with it.
Questions to prep for in a remote sales interview
“Tell me about your experience through the COVID office shutdowns? What have you found to be surprisingly positive or negative?”
Speaks to adaptability and positive mindset:
- Ability to adapt to changing times quickly and meet adversity head-on is key to any great sales career. Questions like these are designed to separate top candidates from the rest. Similar to how everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, everyone was affected in some way by COVID; how you handle difficult situations will speak volumes.
- Response: Highlight the ways you stayed productive and positive while the economy was in freefall (employed or not).
“What tech tools do you use and what have you used more with an increase in remote work?”
Speaks to tech adoption in a remote world:
- Tech tools bridge the gap between reporting to an office daily and truly working from anywhere. You need to have a basic understanding of what tools will help you succeed and crush your quota targets. Check out Remote Dials Remote Sales Toolbox (https://www.remotedials.co/remote-sales-toolbox) for a great overview the best sales tech tools available.
- Response: Build a list of the tools you are familiar with and how they relate to the job at hand.
“How do you plan your day?”
Speaks to your organizational skills:
- Sales already spreads your time in 50 different directions; remote life can be a nightmare if you're not organized. This question is meant to show the interviewer that you are able to compartmentalize your day and complete necessary daily tasks/goals in order to succeed.
- Response: Breakdown a typical day, start to finish, and how you stay on track.
“How do you stay focused while working remotely?”
Speaks to ability to zero-in on high priority tasks:
- Working from home opens up fierce competition for your attention. Between Netflix, your dog scratching at the door, and your 50+ cold calls; it’s easy to justify doing anything but the work required when there is no manager looking over your shoulder.
- Response: Refer back to how you plan a typical day out. How do you stay focused on everyday priorities will translate to the world of remote work. If you need to work on it, admit that. It will create an honest conversation around something we all struggle at.
“What would you do if you had internet problems during a call with a customer?”
Speaks to ability to recover with grace and think on the fly:
- Sales is as much art as it is science. The art of relationship-building via the internet can include knock-down bouts with your internet connection. If I had a nickel for every time I asked an important discovery question to a frozen/grainy prospect on Zoom I would solve the current US coin shortage myself.
- Response: Address the suspect internet connection at the start of the call. If issue persists don't just sit there, use your options: dial-in, turn off camera, move to another room, change meeting medium, etc. Nothing is perfect in sales, but the first to adapt always finds success.
“Do you think you should use video on remote sales calls? (Why or Why not?)"
Speaks to your communication skills:
- It is a fact that you close more deals in-person than over-the-phone. Your ultimate weapon in remote sales is your camera. Use it for good. Sending a personalized video over a canned email will double your response rate. Turning your camera on during a video call increases the odds of closing a deal drastically. People like to do business with someone they trust and phones don’t hold a candle to video in remote relationship building.
- Response: Yes. Why? Because I want to be successful. (That’s it...that’s the tweet)
Sales is all about adapting to the environment provided and thriving.
When life gives you industry-evolving lemons, you make adjustment lemonade. Remote work is the straw that stirs that drink. The best sales reps need to adjust to the new economy and should start by crushing their video interview.