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What are some red flags during the interview process?

And what questions would you ask to get this information?

14
salesnerd
WR Officer
+16
Head of Growth
Comp questions:
1) Okay, you told me the OTE but what's your average rep making? Top performer? Bottom performer?Β 
2) What's the comp plan? Can you explain it in less than 3 sentences?
3) What's the promotion track? How exactly do I get to the next role?

If they can't answer these questions, be on guard.
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
Nice, haven't heard the "Can you explain it in less than 3 sentences?" one before. I really like it, especially since I've been on a plan where you could not explain it in less than 3 sentences in the past.
Sales_Savage
Sales Director
I agree 100% with this. I also throw in what the avg quota attainment is across the team and what the hiring manager is doing to get the entire team to at, or above quota. If they can't give me a solid explanation then it's a red flag.
ounceoz
WR Officer
+5
Federal Account Executive
I was in a final interview with a large company for a highly sought after role and turned down the position because the hiring manager and VP of sales could not explain the comp plan. We literally covered it for an hour and I still had questions.Β 
salesnerd
WR Officer
+16
Head of Growth
It's shocking how often I ask sales leaders what their comp plan is and they're like "okay SO... wait, lemme grab my abacus"
DwightsEgo
Politicker
+3
BDR Manager
woah this is great.Β 
PHXtoATL
Sales Executive
Any defensive response to these questions should also be huge 🚩. It means they know they don’t have it figured out and have done nothing to fix it/perfectly happy to not make it better.Β 
Kanyebut4sales
WR Lieutenant
+6
Account Executive
If they immediately ask you about volume of outreach you are comfortable with I see it as an old school way of saying "even the top performers are barely hitting their metrics"....smile and dial houses our outdatedΒ 
ounceoz
WR Officer
+5
Federal Account Executive
@Kanyebut4salesthis is a great point. In consulting with Sales Orgs one of the many errors we have to fix is this mentality that they need to hire "top Performers" and "Hunters". I always turn the question back on them "why would a top performer want to work here?" "Nobody is hitting quota, no leads from marketing, and no top performer incentives" You want a Top Performer to leave a good-paying gig to come dial for dollars?Β  Never going to happen.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
Especially at the minuscule salaries they offer. Insulting AF.
Tres_Comas
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
This is a list of 13 questions I always try to ask during the interview process (especially if it's a startup). Would love to hear feedback on some I might be missing.
1. What are the company's revenue targets for the next 2 years?
2. How has the company performed against its targets the past 2 years?
3. What percentage of salespeople hit their targets each month/quarter?
4. What has the churn rate been over the past 12 months?
5. How much cash runway is in the bank today?
6. What are the top 2 use cases for the product?
7. What CRM/sales tools do you use?
8. How do you generate quality leads?
9. Who is responsible for marketing campaigns?
10. Who is responsible for business development?
11. What is the patch I'll cover's yearly target and what is the average contractual value?
12. What is the average sales cycle?
13. What does the current market penetration look like?
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
But some startups haven't been around for 2 years. Also how do you perceive if they told you we are not allowed to share this information or simply don't have it?Β 
CadenceCombat
Tycoon
+13
Account Executive
As a Sales Savage looking for employment?

One big red flag for me revolves around the company’s sales enablement tech stack.

Expect me to drive some prospecting efforts as an AE but haven’t invested in the systems required to meet those expectations?Β 

I’m out.
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
If they do not have a proper tech stack, would you ask why not at least? If they are cheap then I agree - Pass. But if they are just slightly behind the curve, wouldn't that be an opportunity for you to show your worth/knowledge?
CadenceCombat
Tycoon
+13
Account Executive
Honestly, no it isn’t.

the reason behind the lack of investment is irrelevant and no company is going to tell you β€œwe’re too cheap to invest in those systems.”

if you are just beginning your career in sales, first thing to understand is the company is also trying to present the best version of themselves to prospective employees so talk is cheap on both sides.

The only opportunity you are setting yourself up for in a company with a weak sales tech stack is the opportunity to operate inefficiently.

Gaining experience on these systems is a huge asset in developing your resume in your sales career and if you don’t understand how much of a difference these systems can make, its because you have not been exposed to them and that’s putting you on the back foot in terms of developing your sales skills.
Show 3 more replies
SPT
Fire Starter
+1
AE
100% agree. A company wants me to be 'A hunter' but then ties my hands behind my back. No thank you - I'm out!
daddy
Fire Starter
+2
Major Account Manager
If they freeze when you ask them why they enjoy working for the company. I use an interview more for me to interview them. They usually cant handle it.
Da
DaveFromCollege
Notorious Answer
+7
Account Executive
Thanks daddy
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
πŸ‘€
MajorB
WR Lieutenant
+4
AE
1) turnover
2) can they tell you how they've gotten someone off a coaching plan / pip
3) how many folks are the team are hitting quota / average quota attainmentΒ 
4) how many people have they successfully seen promoted out of their org
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
Are they prepared for you before the interview begins? Or are you sitting there as they are fumbling through other resumes? I need a clean slate bruh.Β 
Jo
JordyA
Good Citizen
+1
Director of Enterprise Sales
if you feel like YOU are being sold on the job, more then you are selling yourself.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
Agreed.Β 
coldcallandcry
WR Officer
+3
Growth Account Manager
What % of the sales floor consistently hits their OTE?
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
1)The targets and how many people hit them
2)Churn
3)systems we used to use hubspot now we have the cheapest version of it so that's a bummer.
4) promotions (which i could have asked about them) im stuck in the same role for 3 years now and I don't see room for promotion there is my manager who reports to the VP so we don't have a deep structure. If i knew that before i would have second guessed the opportunity.
LTYale
Public Sector Business Development
Anyone that has a perfect record. It is a subtle red flag - but wise sales people know - nobody is ALWAYS hitting quota/selling - & if they are - you don't know how they will react under more pressure/selling a more complex product.
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