7 Big Software Sales Interview Questions You Must Be Able to Answer

Software sales positions are coveted. Therefore, whether you’re a BDR, Customer Success Rep, or AE, you need to bring your A-game to the interview. That means preparing beforehand — doing your research and brainstorming to come up with answers to the most commonly asked software sales interview questions. We’ll help you do just that by listing 7 questions to prepare for and how to answer them.

7 Software Sales Interview Questions

Tell Me What You Know About {Software Name}

One of the most important software sales interview questions, a hiring director asks candidates this question to check to see if they did their homework before stepping into the interview. They want to ensure that you read about their software and company. They take you doing your research as an indication of interest, hustle, and preparedness — all key attributes of a quality salesperson.

So do your research. Go through their product page on their website and learn how it works. You don’t have to know every feature. Just know enough to show that you understand how it works.

Also, don’t just memorize some robotic answer that you saw on their homepage. Be able to describe how it works to your grandmother. When I was interviewing for a software sales job I was asked to do exactly that. I gave them the answer straight off their website and the CEO wanted to test if I truly understood the product or was just regurgitating words. So I said, “It takes the confusing data that’s hard to get and makes it easy to understand.”

Walk Me Through a Deal You’ve Won From Contact to Close

Here they want to learn about your sales style to see if it fits in with their sales process and culture. They’re also seeing if you had to do the job requirements laid out in their job offering document.

So, beforehand, take a look at the listed job description and try to think of a deal that shows you nailing everything they’re asking for. If they want someone who can generate leads for themselves, share a story about a deal that began with you generating the lead through a referral or cold prospecting, not with marketing handing one to you.

Tell Me About a Deal You Lost and Why it Happened

Certainly one of the commonly asked software sales interview questions, the hiring manager is testing to see how you deal with failure. This is your chance to show that you take responsibility for your failures and never blame it on external forces. Plus, you can show them that you treat failures as an opportunity to learn rather than to pout or give up.

So, tell a story about a deal that you lost because of a mistake you made. Then discuss how you’ve changed your approach because of that experience.

How Do You Manage Your Time?

Sales reps have a lot of autonomy, especially if they’re remote salespeople. Therefore, managers want to assess how well you manage your time, how you divide up your day between various tasks like prospecting, research, demos, follow-ups, CRM updating, etc. Are you doing a task whenever it comes to mind or do you systematically attack each day?

It’s better to come across as someone with a plan who’s deliberate with their time. So, walk the employer through a typical day of yours. Perhaps that’s prospecting first thing, followed by preparation for upcoming meetings, demos in the afternoon, and follow-ups at 4 pm.

How Do You Stay Informed About the Industry?

Companies know very well that those with an interest in the industry will have an easier time forming relationships with customers. There will just be more to talk about. Plus, industry shifts and events often bring new challenges to ideal customers, so spotting them is a great way to find new sales opportunities.

If you know a lot about the industry, simply share the news outlets, podcasts, blogs, or books you’ve been following or reading. If you're going into an interview in the property management industry and you don’t know the difference between a tenant and a resident, perhaps just read through some industry blogs and news stories to get a basic understanding of the industry.

If you want to make a really good impression, bring up a news story you read about. After stating the publications you read, say, “Hey, did you hear about the new {industry change}? How do you think that’s going to affect your clients?” They’ll be impressed that you’re already thinking about how to help the client.

What Makes You Right For the Job

This is asked as one of the software sales interview questions because, besides learning about your strengths, the interviewer is also testing your sales skills. This is your chance to sell yourself, so do it correctly. The best way to answer this is to make your answer reflect what’s on the job description. Make sure you talk about why you fit the requirements.

If they’re looking for a sales hunter who can land meetings with enterprise customers, tell them about a time you did exactly that. If they want someone with closing experience, tell them about how long you’ve been closing for and why you excel at it. 

This shows you’re a good fit for their specific needs. Plus, it shows you know how to tailor a sales pitch to a prospect’s specific needs. They’ll feel confident that your demos, cold calls, cold emails, and proposals will be personalized to each unique prospect.

What Questions Do You Have For Me?

When you ask good questions you show two things to the interviewer:

  1. You are seriously interested in this job.
  2. You ask good questions.

Interest in the job means you’re likely to accept it if they offer it to you, meaning the employer won’t have to spend more time finding new candidates. They also don’t want to waste time in second and third round interviews with you if you’re not serious about the job.

Showing that you know how to formulate and deliver a solid question is especially crucial in software sales. When you hold discovery phone calls with prospects, you’re going to need to ask questions that uncover a lot of information about their needs, pain points, internal processes, objectives, and more, in order to qualify them or provide them the right solution. Inquisitiveness helps you win deals, and that’s what the employer wants.

That said, come prepared with at least 5-8 well-thought-out questions for the manager. They could be about the company culture, the position, the industry, or the person interviewing you. It’s best to have a mix.

Solid questions include:

  • What’s been the biggest challenge for your team this year?
  • Can you tell me about the sales process and which parts my role handles?
  • Which technology do your reps use?
  • From research, I saw {Company A} was your main competitor. How do you win against them?

While all these software sales interview questions assess how fit you are for the position, remember, you’re also assessing if this is a good fit for you.

Learn The Best Questions to Ask at an Interview

Sometimes, your time to ask questions is the most important part of the interview. It’s when you can really stand out as inquisitive, intelligent, and informed. We wrote an article about the 17 best questions to ask at a software sales interview. It’s geared towards aspiring SDRs, but AEs and other sales positions can use most of the questions as well. Check it out to learn how to use this portion of the interview to win over the employer.