What is a sales trainer job? + 6 steps to find one and get hired
Do you love mentoring junior sales reps? Are you known as the one people should come to when they’re struggling with a difficult prospect?
Then maybe you’ve considered becoming a sales trainer. So, what exactly is expected of sales trainers, and how can you find (and land) a sales trainer job?
In this article, we’re going to discuss:
- What is a sales trainer job & what is expected of you?
- 8 common sales trainer interview questions
- How to find a sales trainer job (& get hired!) in 6 easy steps
What is a sales trainer job & what is expected of you?
Basic sales trainer job description
An effective sales trainer is someone who has proven experience selling—they know what it’s like in the trenches and can relate to the reps they’ll be training.
While many companies require trainers to have some previous experience in training, this doesn’t mean your previous job title needs to have ‘trainer’ in the title. If you’re a rep who’s known for taking the initiative to mentor and guide more junior reps on the job, that experience is just as valuable.
Sales trainer jobs also require you to be extremely organized. You’ll be responsible, not only for directly training and guiding the sales team, but also for creating training content, building skills in different sales tools, and measuring the results of your training efforts.
Sales trainer roles & responsibilities
Here are some of the basic things expected of a professional sales trainer:
- Build an effective training program
- Set up structure training for new hires
- Build sales skills across the whole team
- Set up specific training for the skills required in different sales roles
- Report to the sales manager on the results of training
- Build sales training content that can be used on-demand
- Work alongside the sales enablement team to build skills around current sales content and tools
- Work with sales managers to develop 1:1 coaching for individual reps
- Conduct regular sales skills assessments for the team
8 common sales trainer interview questions
The best way to prepare for an interview is to have clear answers to common questions. Here are 8 questions you should be prepared to answer:
1. “Tell me about your previous sales experience”
What the interviewer is looking for: Proven experience in sales that shows you’re an expert.
How to answer this question: Your interviewer already has your resume, so don’t just give a summary of your previous jobs. After explaining a bit about where you’ve worked and what you’ve done, be prepared to share a quick story of your sales success. If you can, bring your experience to life with proven results.
2. “What kind of experience do you have in sales training?”
Information the interviewer is looking for: A guarantee that you can actually train other sales reps.
How to answer this question: If you’ve already worked as a sales trainer, this is easy to answer. If not, find a way to frame your previous sales experience as the right experience. Did you help onboard new reps? Have you taken a junior rep under your wing and helped them boost their skills? Do junior reps view you as a mentor? This is valuable training experience you can use in your interview.
3. “How do you evaluate the effectiveness of a training session?”
What the interviewer is looking for: Proof that you can not only train, but measure and adjust a training program based on results.
How to answer this question: Draw from your own experience—how do you know when you’ve ‘made it’ with a training session? The most obvious answer would be more closed deals and a higher win rate, but look beyond that. Better conversion rates, improved conversations, higher email opens, and other activity-based sales metrics can also prove your training is working.
4. “In your experience, what’s the key to developing a good team?”
What the interviewer is looking for: A basic understanding of leadership principles.
How to answer this question: As a sales trainer, you’re also partially responsible for the success of the sales team. How do you train reps to be team players and work together? How do you lead new hires to rely on their peers for help? The success of the team is more than just the skills of the individuals—it’s how they work collectively. Answer this question right by focusing on how your training builds a healthy culture of empathy and collaboration.
5. “What’s your process for organizing a training program?”
What the interviewer is looking for: Necessary organizational skills.
How to answer this question: Training cannot be haphazard or random. The interviewer wants to know that you can develop a structured plan and program, not just random training sessions without purpose.
Answer this question with a clear, step-by-step explanation of how you would build a training program for a team. For example, you might start with talking to the sales manager to set a main goal for the training program, providing skills assessments for the team, and then setting up a three-month training plan that can later be reported on and adjusted.
6. “Why did you choose a career in sales? When did you know sales was for you?”
What the interviewer is looking for: Passion for sales as a career.
How to answer this question: A good sales trainer has a deep love of sales. Passion for sales will keep you up-to-date on industry trends, pushing the team to keep experimenting and iterating new methods and strategies. So, the best way to answer this question is straight from your heart. Why do you love sales?
7. “How do you stay motivated in sales?”
What the interviewer is looking for: A clear plan for motivating others.
How to answer this question: Especially if you’re trying to enter your first sales trainer job, you need to prove you can keep your own motivation at peak level. Otherwise, how can you expect to motivate a sales team? So, pick a specific method or strategy you use to stay motivated.
8. “What’s the first thing you would encourage the team to do if sales are down?”
What the interviewer is looking for: Proof you know how to deal with common sales problems.
How to answer this question: Every rep (and even most teams) will hit a slump at one point or another. Your answer here will show that you know how to pick things up quickly and that you can train and enable reps to continue through a slump. Try to speak specifically about methods you’ve used in the past to get out of a sales slump or help others out of a slump. If you can, share how you improved a bad sales culture.
How to find a sales trainer job (and get hired!) in 6 easy steps
Ready to land your dream job? Here are 6 steps you should follow:
1. Build a reputation of mentoring others (and enjoy it!)
Especially if you’re looking to move into your first training position, it’s important that you have a reputation as the person junior reps go to for help and advice. To prove you’re capable of training (and to prove to yourself that this is the right position for you), talk to your manager about taking a more active role in helping and training new hires.
And remember to have fun with it! After all, if you don’t enjoy helping and training junior reps now, you may want to reconsider whether a sales trainer job is right for you.
2. Follow the right job boards and sales communities
To make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest offers for sales trainers, make sure you’re signed up to alerts from top sales job boards, such as:
- AngelList: Startup job board
- RevGenius: Sales and revenue growth positions
- SalesJobs: Sales-specific employment site
- SalesHeads: Sales job board
- The Lions: Startup sales recruiting and employment company
Also, join relevant sales communities, such as RevGenius.
3. Send cold outreach to your favorite companies
You’re a sales pro—so, don’t be afraid to sell yourself!
If you have a dream company that you’re dying to work for, then find the sales manager and hit them up with an offer they can’t refuse.
4. Create a top-notch LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is your introduction to the professional world. To land a fantastic job, be sure your LinkedIn profile reads like a sales page, not a resume.
Answer key questions that hiring managers will ask, such as:
- Why are you different from the next candidate?
- What experience or expertise makes you the best for this job?
- What results have you achieved at other companies?
- What value can you bring to our organization?
Prove with specific examples and data that you are the solution a company needs.
5. Build your personal brand to prove you’re a sales expert
Anyone can say they’re a sales expert. Not everyone can prove it.
While your profile and resume should be top-notch, another great way to land a sales trainer job is to share your expertise with the world.
LinkedIn is a hot place for sales pros to flex their skills and share valuable insights. So, set up your smartphone with a clean background and chat to the camera about your top sales advice. Sharing quick-tip-style videos is a great way to build your personal brand. And this is also real-world proof that you know how to develop, explain, and teach great sales advice.
6. Be patient
Job searching can be exciting at first, but it’s easy to lose that early motivation. Remember that the right job can take some time to find, and be patient. The more you put these tips into practice, the more likely you’ll be to find the right fit at a company where you can feel valued and help sales reps grow.
Train yourself to train others
In the end, the only way you’ll be able to train others is if you continually train yourself.
So, keep building your skills. Develop better teaching abilities by helping junior reps on your team. Keep up to date with current sales trends and build a repository of top sales resources to refer back to.
Take the initiative and show you’re ready to help build the skills of others. Then, who knows—maybe the perfect sales trainer job will come to you!
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