Hiring Guide

Sales Specialist

Specific duties of a Sales Specialist can vary from business to business — along with factors like company culture, work environment, and team dynamics — it’s vital to tailor any job description and interview content to your company’s needs and expectations.

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Why you should hire a Sales Specialist

Sales Specialists (also known as Account Executives, Sales Consultants, etc.) help companies achieve success by acquiring new customers and selling them products/services. They manage the full sales cycle and ensure a company reaches their sales goals to grow the business and achieve long-term success.

In this hiring guide, we'll provide everything you need to hire a great Sales Specialist.

Top skills for Sales Specialists

Identifying Potential Customers

Market Knowledge

Fostering Customer Relationships

Active Listening
Customer Relationship Management

Driving Sales Impact

Business Acumen
Strategic Thinking
Sales Closing

Professional Sales Capabilities

Verbal/Written Communication
Organizational Skills

Sample Sales Specialist job description

Sales Specialists are primarily responsible for closing deals with qualified leads that are generated by a company’s lead generation strategies. Once qualified leads are in the pipeline, Sales Specialists follow up with them, schedule and run demos, and close deals to achieve predetermined sales goals and generate profit for the business. Doing so requires them to have an in-depth understanding of company products/services, provide remarkable experiences to qualified leads, and effectively manage objections from potential customers to close deals.

Sample interview questions for Sales Specialists

Question 1

When considering reaching out to a prospective client, what kind of research do you conduct to learn more about them, and what kind of information do you look for?

Geoff Broad portrait image
Geoff Broad
Account Executive — 14 years professional experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to conduct research to inform strategies for reaching out to potential clients

Answer tips

  • Explains how they take a thorough/structured approach to conduct research
  • Discusses leveraging social networks to research prospects
  • Discusses familiarizing themselves with the prospect's background
  • Focuses on evaluating whether the product/service is a good fit for the client’s needs
  • Shows an understanding of the best person to contact within the company

Question 2

Imagine you have been working with a prospective client for some time now and have convinced them that your service/product is right for them. How would you manage the middle and end of the sales cycle?

User Avatar Green
Anonymous, Subject Matter Expert

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to build trust and close sales effectively

Answer tips

  • Is responsive and timely in all communications during the sales cycle
  • Works with the customer to navigate their internal buying process (BANT: budget, authority, need, timing)
  • Involves technical team at relevant points (e.g., sales engineer for demos)
  • Involves the ‘right’ people: procurement, IT, security, legal, etc. to close deal smoothly and efficiently

Question 3

From your past experience, describe how you have handled working with customers with difficult or challenging personalities?

Alycia Damp's portrait image
Hireguide I/O Psych Validated
Alycia Damp, PhD IRHR

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to adapt their approach effectively to people with different personalities

Answer tips

  • Communicates the importance of adapting their approach to customers' personalities
  • Treats all with customers with respect and empathy regardless of personality 
  • Highlights customer difficulties they've encountered and overcome in the past 
  • Seeks ways to ensure they fully understood customers needs to determine fit despite personality
  • Seeks diverse customers and advocates for a diverse customer base