So you’ve made it through the various phone screens and/or in-person interviews & you’re ready to take on the mock sales pitch – congratulations! Whether you’re an experienced enterprise seller or an SDR looking to break into the space, this step in the interview process can be a scary one.
Here are a few tips to help ensure that you’ll breeze through it successfully.
1. Discovery > Product Knowledge
Obviously you’re going to want to research the product you’re pitching and have a high-level understanding of what they do, who the buyer is, read through case studies, and what the competitive landscape looks like. What you don’t want to do is waste your time trying to answer questions about the product’s in’s and out’s instead of doing a thorough discovery.
When you’re asked a question or hit with an objection, try to understand the root of their question/objection first. If you don’t know the answer, you can at least you can go back to the “team” with a root problem. Hiring managers aren’t expecting you to know the same things about the product as a ramped up rep does – that can be learned later.
2. Don’t write a script
If you prepare a script for a mock call, chances are you’re going to feel very flustered when the call runs off-course. The best salespeople have the ability to think quickly on their feet. You can and should expect the interviewer to throw a curveball at any point during the pitch in some shape or form. Rummaging through your script in a panic when that happens is not going to lead to a positive outcome
3. Be coachable
It’s very common for an interviewer to run through the mock pitch in full, provide actionable feedback & have you run through the mock pitch again. Here’s a pro tip: USE THE FEEDBACK PROVIDED! Coachability is one of the the more important qualities in successful salespeople. If you can’t implement the feedback you’re given the second time around in your mock pitch, chances are you won’t be moving to the next round of the interview process.
4. Know Your Audience
Never go into a mock pitch without knowing who you’re going to be meeting with and what roles they are playing. Doing discovery & handling objections with a CFO looks very different than with a CMO. You should prepare discovery questions targeted at each stakeholder specific to the roles that they are playing at the company.
5. Know the Setting
Is your mock presentation going to be over the phone or in person? This may seem like an obvious point to be aware of, but sometimes it’s the simplest things that have the largest impact. If you’re going on-site, what are the expected deliverables? How are you going to keep the audience engaged? Handouts? Powerpoint? Whiteboard? Do not expect anything to be provided for you the day of. Make sure you have the every appropriate tool you need to complete the presentation before heading on-site.
Samantha Nobel is a Strategic Talent Advisor @CloserIQ, connecting Enterprise sales professionals to unique SaaS startup opportunities in the NYC market. Previously, she was a Marketing Consultant @Main Street Hub.