The Only Math You Need to Know for the Sales Interview

Sales Math: Support Your Interview Answers with Relevant Data

An ERE Survey in 2013 stated that for every job opening, an employer receives 250 resumes on average. Only four to six of these applicants are invited to compete for the role. How can you position yourself to win the job offer? If you’re in sales, a great place to start is supporting your answers with relevant stats. If you’ve ever been in an interview and found yourself pitching your sales skills as excellent, superb, and extraordinary, you will benefit from quantifying your track record of success.

So what data points do sales managers, CEOs, and hiring managers find most relevant?

Sales Performance

Know how you rank amongst your peers. Qualify your answers by including the number of people you are ranked against. Proactively address the period of the ranking. For example, if you state you are the number one sales rep for the company, on the surface, this seems relatively impressive. But this statement becomes less so if there are only ten salespeople on the team. It’s even less impressive if this achievement was two years ago. It’s best to qualify numbers as much as possible otherwise you can quickly lose credibility during the interview.

Win Ratio

When you’re facing competition on a deal and up against two or three competitors in the space, what’s your success rate? Calculate this metric before the interview. You should also be prepared to discuss how you can improve this number. You can also use more creative types of support including client win stories, losses, challenges and insights gained through front-line sales experience.

Quota Numbers

If you are calculating quotas and ARR rates during the middle of an interview, you have instantly fallen behind. Part of interview preparation is knowing your performance history. And in sales, you'll need to know your numbers immediately so you can demonstrate quantifiable success. Dancing around numbers, you’re measured by daily, monthly, and quarterly gives the impression of someone who’s not goal focused.

Before you start scheduling interviews, take the time to review your sales math. Know your quota history, quota obtainment, and % of new vs. % of existing business. These numbers help hiring managers to gauge your sales experience and compare your current achievements to the goals of the new role.

Average Deal Size

Deal size correlates with sales cycles, buyers, and temperament. If you’re closing 10K deals, hiring managers assume you're working a sales cycle that moves quickly. If you're closing 1.5M deals, hiring managers expect you'll spend a year or more bringing one of these elephants to closure. 

Average deal size is a data point that gives employers general knowledge about your sales cadence and patience for long sales cycles. Hiring managers make inferences about the level of buyer and size of organization you're calling on based on deal size. Be prepared to give a range regarding the deal size, and mention a few deals outside of this range that you've closed if possible. Broadening the range demonstrates your sales versatility while giving a direct answer about the deal range you're typically working on.

Support Your Track Record of Sales Success

Next time you're preparing for an interview, take the time to address sales stats for each role you've held. Reviewing your entire sales history will help you prepare for the interview and increase your odds of getting a winning job offer. You'll boost your credibility, demonstrate your ability to focus on targets, and come across as prepared to discuss your track record of sales success.