The mock sales presentation is a VERY important part of a sales interview process.
It’s a key way sales leaders test what you’ll really be like when you join their team. And it can single-handedly kill your chances at getting the offer if executed poorly.
So how do you ace it?
What do hiring managers really want to see?
Scott’s sales team averaged 120% quota attainment and nearly 3x’d their target last year… needless to say, he’s a pretty good judge of talent.
Here’s what he looks for during sales interview presentations:
To recap, this is what Scott cares about most regarding mock sales presentations:
How did you prepare?
How will you be in front of our buyer and with our team?
What kind of questions did you ask?
Did you check your ego at the door?
Those that shine during this important step in the interview process have answered those questions well.
Here are some proven ways to make sure your interviewers leave the presentation wanting more.
1) How to prepare for a sales interview presentation.
“I don’t expect you to come in and know everything, because every product is different. But I care a lot about how you prepare.”
Hiring managers care a lot about how you prepare for a mock sales presentation during interviews because it’s a direct representation of how you’re likely to prepare for a sales call with their buyers.
So it’s important that you treat this like a real sales call and prepare just like you would for that.
This means doing a lot more than just looking at the website. Dig a layer deeper to research things like:
How is the company doing within their marketplace?
Who are their customers?
What are people on the team sharing socially?
What’s happening in their industry?
What key prospect would you go after if you had to pick one?
What data has been shared during interviews so far?
Once you’ve got that information, it’s all about using your sales chops to show them you know what you’re doing.
How can you connect the dots with specific examples of what you can bring to the table to be successful?
Think about how to demonstrate your unique skills with the information you’ve gathered.
(Related – Looking for tactical ways to gather the information you need? It’s one of the sales hacks that built my career)
2) Collaborate with the hiring manager before you present.
“I love when candidates send me questions before the presentation and collaborate with me… it shows me they’re paying attention.”
Sadly, many people don’t think to do this because they think it will be held against them.
With quality hiring managers (i.e. the ones you actually want to work for), it won’t be.
See, sales leaders want people on their team who are:
- Expert Listeners
Working with the hiring manager to get the presentation right before you give it is a great way to show them those qualities in action.
So do your research and then send great questions about what you find to your hiring manager.
Prepare your outline in advance and then send it to them to get their take.
Then repeat the process with your first draft.
They will appreciate the fact you’re eager to learn and to get it right. And your acknowledgment that you don’t have all the answers.
3) Ask great discovery questions during the presentation.
Discovery is an irreplaceable part of the sales process. So it’s important that you demonstrate you get this during your sales interview presentation.
Hiring managers want to see that you get this!
The best way to do that is to ask great open-ended discovery questions right in the presentation. Here are some examples:
“What is at the top of your priority list for this (quarter, year, etc)?”
“Why does it stand out as a priority?”
“How are you solving for XXX?”
“What’s the source of XXX problem?”
“How does your role fit into solving this problem/achieving this goal?”
“What’s working well?”
Treat this like your sales process… show them you’re seeking to understand and clarify that you’re on the same page.
BUT… a word of warning – you must make sure you’re not just asking questions to ask them.
Show them you’re listening by weaving the answers back into the presentation later. This is really important!
4) Take time to connect with your interviewer(s).
That’s why it’s really important that you create a dialog and keep your sales interview presentation engaging at all times.
You do that by asking great questions and being a great active listener (see #3 above).
But you also do that by forgetting about your agenda for a second and simply connecting.
You’re going to be working with these people after-all… don’t you think a connection is important?
Take some time to be personable and relate to them as people:
- Ask them questions about how they are doing and what’s happening in their life
- Share a quick funny story that relates where appropriate
- When there is common ground expand on it
The key is to make them feel valued and not just a commodity or necessary steps to get through in the process.
This goes a really long way!
Above all else, never forget that you’re being evaluated on the following things at every moment during the interview process:
How is this person going to be in front of our customers?
How is this person going to be with my team?
Remember that during the presentation phase and act accordingly at all times. Even when the hiring manager isn’t watching!
"Now my buyers see me as a valuable person to know."
– Zach Hatterick, Account Executive