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5 Questions to Identify Sales Candidates With Good Time Management

In everything, time is money. Nothing is truer in the sales world. Consider a day in the life of medical sales reps: checking emails, making phone calls, intercepting disasters, meeting with clients, cold calling potential customers … and the list goes on. 

All of these tasks are consistently interrupted with more phone calls and travel time. Then, after putting in all that effort, at least 50% of prospects aren’t even a good fit for what sales reps sell, according to 2019 research by Marc Wayshak.  

The potential of prospects not being a good fit — on top of other unexpected sales situations — means reps must have a good relationship with time. Their success relies on knowing how to make the most of it. 

As a result, hiring pros, like yourself, are given the difficult task of quickly identifying if sales reps know how to spend their time. During the interview process, you need to immediately know who is capable of performing the expected duties efficiently and intelligently. 

Here are five questions you should ask sales candidates to identify who spends their time wisely: 

1. Please detail your daily routine. 

A sales rep’s day doesn’t begin when they hit the road or walk into the office. Successful — or unsuccessful — days are set up from the moment they wake up. Gaining insight into their daily routine helps you gauge their relationship with time. 

For example, someone with an established morning routine likely hits the ground running most days. They feel put together, organized, and empowered for the tasks ahead. Listen for key details that may raise a red flag that a candidate is disorganized or wastes time before the day even begins. 

2. Your schedule is jam-packed today. Tell us which tasks you prioritize. 

Prioritization is vital in medical sales. There are so many time traps reps can fall into every day, like sending emails, filling out paperwork, or spending too much time in their comfort zone with a favorite customer. 

As a result, they’re left scrambling to tackle the day’s most important tasks. This question reveals their thought processes on prioritization. The “right” answer varies depending on your company’s policies and the role. So, the goal is to really focus on the candidate’s thought processes to see how they determine which tasks are most important. 

3. How does your time management impact your working relationships? 

This question reveals awareness. Those with poor time management skills likely don’t see how their actions directly impact customers and coworkers. However, those who know the importance of working efficiently understand how their missteps or lateness has a chain reaction on everyone they interact with day-to-day. 

4. How much time do you spend following new leads vs. nurturing current customers? 

The idea of earning a big, long list of customers seems like the dream of top sales candidates. However, it’s a dream that often leads to wasting time. Constantly chasing new leads leaves little time to nurture promising current customers. In turn, opportunities to upsell are lost. 

Use this question to identify reps who believe in nurturing high-potential customers. Listen for phrases, such as “quality over quantity” or “I split my time between tending to current customers and following new leads.”

5. Is it possible to balance work and life in sales? Please explain. 

There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s an important question, though, because it highlights sales candidates who already understand the importance of spending time away from work. Also, this question shows you who already knows how to meld the two together in a way that’s productive and refreshing for them.