You determined which marketer you need, posted a job description, and found a few potential candidates. The next step is an interview; navigating this crucial step requires a solid understanding of the role to ask the right questions.
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Table of Contents
What is a Fractional Sales Manager?
A Fractional Sales Manager is a professional who oversees a company's sales operations on a part-time or contract basis, focusing on strategy, training, and performance improvement. When interviewing them, asking insightful questions is crucial to ensure they have the right skills and experience to boost your business's sales success.
General Interview Questions
1. What industries do you specialize in?
What You'll Learn: From their answer, you can understand their experience and expertise in specific market sectors. This tells you if their background aligns with your company's industry and target market.
2. How do you bill for your services?
What You'll Learn: Their response will give you insight into their pricing model and whether it matches your budget and payment preferences. It indicates if their billing practices are transparent and suitable for a part-time role.
3. What questions do you have about our company?
What You'll Learn: Asking them what they want to know about your company reveals their level of interest and engagement. It shows if they've done their homework and are genuinely curious about your business operations and goals.
Technical Skill-Based Interview Questions
4. Can you outline your approach to developing and implementing a sales strategy for a new market?
What You'll Learn: From the candidate's response, you'll discern their strategic thinking skills and ability to successfully enter and grow in new markets. It reveals their planning, research capabilities, and adaptability to changing markets.
5. How do you utilize CRM software to manage and analyze client interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle?
What You'll Learn: The reply will shed light on the candidate's proficiency with technology, particularly CRM tools, and their methods for leveraging these systems to support sales and maintain customer relationships effectively.
6. What metrics do you prioritize when assessing the performance of a sales team, and how do you use these metrics to drive sales improvements?
What You'll Learn: This answer will highlight which key performance indicators the candidate values for sales success. It also demonstrates their analytical skills and how they apply data to foster sales team growth and achieve targets.
7. Could you describe a time when you had to adjust your sales technique to better suit a fractional sales management role?
What You'll Learn: The candidate's anecdote will illustrate their flexibility and problem-solving skills in adapting sales methods to the unique demands of fractional sales management.
8. What is your process for identifying and pursuing upsell and cross-sell opportunities within an existing customer base?
What You'll Learn: The response will indicate the candidate's ability to recognize additional revenue opportunities within existing accounts and their strategy for effectively increasing sales without compromising client satisfaction.
Scenario and Experience-Based Interview Questions
9. Can you describe a scenario where you had to quickly adapt your sales leadership style to a part-time team with varied levels of experience and commitment?
What You'll Learn: From the response to this question, you will understand the candidate's ability to assess and adapt to different team dynamics quickly and effectively. You'll gain insight into their flexibility and how they tailor their leadership approach to accommodate the diverse needs and skill levels of a part-time sales team.
10. Tell me about a time when you had to step into a fractional sales role and increase sales performance within a short period; what was your approach?
What You'll Learn: This answer will reveal the candidate’s strategies for driving results under pressure and their capacity to implement effective sales tactics swiftly. It will showcase their action-oriented mindset and their proficiency in boosting sales outcomes in a limited timeframe.
11. Describe a situation where you were managing multiple clients as a Fractional Sales Manager; how did you prioritize your responsibilities and time?
What You'll Learn: The candidate's answer will provide a view into their organizational skills and their ability to juggle multiple commitments efficiently. It will highlight how they assess the urgency and importance of tasks, as well as their decision-making process in allocating time and resources.
12. Share an experience where you had to build rapport and trust with a new team as a Fractional Sales Manager; what tactics did you use to succeed?
What You'll Learn: You'll discover the techniques the candidate uses to foster relationships and establish credibility quickly in a new environment. Their answer will indicate their interpersonal skills and their methods for gaining the confidence of colleagues in a fractional role.
13. Can you walk us through a specific instance where you had to develop a tailored sales plan for a client with unique demands in a fractional capacity?
What You'll Learn: The candidate's explanation will show their competence in customizing sales strategies to meet specific client needs. It will demonstrate their analytical skills and creativity in developing and implementing a unique plan in a role where they may not have full-time involvement with the client.
14. Recall a time when you inherited a sales team that was underperforming; how did you diagnose the issues and what steps did you take to turn it around?
What You'll Learn: This response will shed light on the candidate’s problem-solving abilities and their approach to identifying and rectifying sales team deficiencies. It will also reveal their leadership qualities in transforming an underperforming team into a successful one.
15. Describe an occasion where you had to convince a skeptical client of the value of having a Fractional Sales Manager; how did you approach this challenge and what was the outcome?
What You'll Learn: The answer will indicate the candidate's persuasive communication skills and their ability to articulate the benefits of a fractional leadership model to skeptical clients. It will also demonstrate their success in overcoming objections and securing client buy-in.
16. Can you give an example of how you handled a conflict within a team you were leading as a Fractional Sales Manager, and what was the result?
What You'll Learn: From this response, you'll gauge the candidate's conflict resolution skills and leadership effectiveness in managing team dynamics. It reveals their approach to problem-solving and ability to maintain a positive environment, which is crucial for a Fractional Sales Manager who works with different teams.
17. Tell me about a time when you had to motivate a sales team that you didn't have full-time authority over; what strategies did you use to ensure their performance?
What You'll Learn: This answer highlights the candidate's ingenuity and adaptability in leadership roles where they lack direct authority. It will showcase their motivational techniques and ability to inspire a team, reflecting on their potential as a fractional leader who must often lead without traditional power structures.
18. Reflect on a situation where you had to use your influence to get buy-in from stakeholders for a sales initiative in a fractional role; how did you approach it and what was the outcome?
What You'll Learn: The candidate's response will show their persuasive communication skills and how they navigate stakeholder management. It provides insight into their strategic thinking and capacity to align varied interests with the sales goals, a key competency for a Fractional Sales Manager who must often win support without formal authority.
In choosing your next fractional sales manager, let these questions guide you to find a candidate who is not just skilled, but also a perfect fit for your team's ethos.