Ask the right questions while Interviewing Sales Professionals!


It is important to implement an effective recruiting process with strict timelines and guidelines that set the foundation for a ‘successful’ recruiting assignment. Inordinate delay in recruiting only demotivates the candidate who is shortlisted for an additional round of interview or who is likely to be appointed for the job.

The hiring or functional manager, internal corporate recruiter and the rest of the interview panel need to be well trained in asking the right questions. The issue usually is that the interviewer talks too much. In addition, they do not ask the questions that can help getting the right candidate on board. Such questions like ‘how would you describe yourself ?’ or ‘what is your greatest weakness ?’ have been asked so often that candidates have answers already prepared.

So, what kind of probing questions should be asked while interviewing sales professionals? Here are some examples I can suggest –
1. In your current role, what was one thing you did that motivated you to go the extra mile?
2. How do you determine what motivates each member of your sales team?
3. How do you handle rejection that are caused due to market conditions or due to factors within your company?
4. How do you develop a strategic vision to meet your business targets through Sales achievement?
5. If you left your present employer tomorrow, what is one thing you wish you had accomplished that you did not?
6. How do you work under pressure caused due to market conditions?
7. How do you handle conflict with your boss or other colleagues in your work environment?
8. What is one characteristic that you admire about the different colleagues that you work with?
9. How would you describe your ideal or right boss?
10.What type of work environment do you excel in?

Recruiting today is more of an art than a science .. so companies need to not only educate their hiring managers about the right questions to ask .. but also train them on being sensitive to the requirements of the candidate. By spending more time on the well-deserving subject which is in context, more effective hires will occur which not only helps the bottom line in sales achievement, but also boosts the employee morale and builds your company’s reputation within the niche market you are in.

Last but not the least – please ‘leave your prejudices at the door’ while interviewing your candidates. Every candidate has few plus as well as few negative points about himself and no candidate is absolutely perfect. No candidate is ‘absolutely ready’ right at the start. Kindly set realistic expectations so that the major objective is not lost (due to delay in recruitment).. which should be primarily bagging the ‘valued’ sales orders from the market before your competing company or business rival does !


Satya Nadella has to focus on innovation!


“The first question for Nadella to ask would be, ‘Who are we competing against ?’ the answer may not be a single organization or idea. He will have to imagine a competitor who is the composite of many. Someone who understands search, social, mobile, tablets, and more than anything understands the new consumer. That may give Nadella the rare advantage” writes Abhijit Bhaduri, Chief Learning Officer, Wipro, on his column for the Economic Times today.

Cloud computing is a phrase used to describe a variety of computing concepts that involve a large number of computers connected through a real-time communication network such as the Internet. In science, cloud computing is a synonym for distributed computing over a network, and means the ability to run a program or application on many connected computers at the same time. The phrase is often used in reference to network-based services, which appear to be provided by real server hardware, and are in fact served up by virtual hardware, simulated by software running on one or more real machines. Such virtual servers do not physically exist and can therefore be moved around and scaled up or down on the fly without affecting the end user, somewhat like a cloud.

What sets Rambuna Consultants Apart?

There are 3 main factors – understanding our market place, our service offering and our contact base.

Industry Expertise – We understand your industry extremely well, having worked directly within the Cloud Computing sector, we can talk at the same level as the individuals you require, which gives people the confidence to put their careers in our hands and this allows us to match candidates to requirements accurately !

Our Service – Rambuna Consultants is founded by a Marketing-cum-HR professional with experience of more than 20 years and our approach as well as the attitude towards recruitment is very much in parallel with the Industry’s best – while offering professional advice and services.

Contact Base – We have access to all relevant job sites and often many successful job applicants apply through us. However, especially within the sales and marketing areas, the majority of our success comes as a result of executive search techniques. We have access to a large number of talented individuals who are not easily available on the open market.

If you have an immediate vacancy to be filled up, please request a call back by Emailing us to : or Call +91 9819309564

‘Global Tilt – The Great Economic Power Shift’ – by Ram Charan – Book Review !


Right back in the year 2007 end, the great recession had just started and by the early 2008, the United States and Europe were already showing the early signs of economic slowdown – ‘the job market opportunities getting frozen and there was cutting down of public spending, as the US Economy was on the verge of collapse.’

In his acceptance speech, President Elect Barack Obama made a fervent appeal to his followers – ‘The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there. There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.’

The global tilt is nothing less than an irreversible shift of economic power — in terms of jobs, wealth, and market opportunities — from a small part of the world to the entire world. It is improving the lives of millions of people around the world, and while it is creating immense opportunities or whether it is disrupting the world equation, it is happening with a dizzying speed. If you’re an American or European, any assumptions you may draw about the national and managerial superiority are obsolete. Businesses in China, Singapore, India, Brazil, Malaysia, and other emerging countries on the move have ready access to the capital and expertise they need to grow. Their leaders have just as much knowledge, talent, and drive as the Americans or Europeans do. And they are unleashing their entrepreneurial verve to scale up fast and grab once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

These businesses from the ’emerging markets’ will soon be competing with that of global leaders in the corporate sector from the US and Europe everywhere on the planet, even if they are not aware of them yet.

A timely and insightful call to all establishment leaders in the developed world and in the emerging markets to rethink the world business equation. Ram Charan encourages leaders of the North America (USA) to develop strategies and operate with a more realistic mind set if they are to counter the thrust of exuberant and more affluent and ‘confident’ leaders of the emerging markets.

A must read for those seeing a more growth orientated future.

Read More:
How can you make your small business to grow Big ?

How do we lower Employee Performance ?

I feel several companies can do a lot more than what they are doing now to avoid lower employee performance and to avoid ‘burn-outs’ among its top performers. The simple task they should do first is – identify and analyse costs of such burn-outs. The costs of burn-outs are much higher than the benefits gained through employee over-workload, job cutbacks, and rampant shuffling of work assignments. Let us try to understand what are the many ways organizations demoralize or demotivate good consistent performers ?

1. Work Overload – Too much work to do, with too little time and support. In times of economic recession like it is now, Job cutbacks lead to handling more workload – sales manager is asked to supervise more sales personnel, teachers to handle more students, bank tellers to transact/ count more transactions, sales personnel asked to make more number of cold calls, more suspecting and more prospecting. I understand the times are tough now and there are no easy approvals to add manpower. But, what does this overload lead to ? People feel overwhelmed with added tempo, complexity, and work demands. Escalating work requirements lead to exhaustion and work suffers due to inconsistent performance.

2. Less Autonomy – Fear of losses lead to micro-management. This is true in organizations which are closely managed by the top management. Micro-management leads to frustration among performers. There are moments where they can do better than what they are doing ; but, they are afraid to take decisions. They become irresponsible, less innovative and are helpless in such work situations.

3. Rewards are too little – Sure. The times are not so good to expand, add product lines, or hold weekend celebration get together. But, when we give too little rewards, the performers feel slighted, demotivated and are quite resigned to their fate. In such work conditions, it is essential to reward well and create an environment wherein job security is assured and employee initiatives are appreciated in public.

4. Loss of connection among employees – Employee isolation is always damaging employee’s morale. Personal relationships are the human glue that holds team together. Too many job rotations or shuffling assignments among different employees lead to less commitment, lack of understanding and relationships fragment or break. These management decisions are generally done to save on costs not realizing the overall effect of such decisions.

5. Unfairness in decision-making – While making decisions it is essential to consider human emotions. Shuffling assignments may be profitable or even the right step to take, but there are employees who have put in long hours to build the assignments to bring it to where it is now and they feel it is unfair take away certain assignments from them so abruptly. It has to be well explained to them in most honest way possible otherwise resentment develops causing a rift in employee relations.

6. Conflict of Employee Values – Each individual is different from the other; so are their values. If there is a mismatch between the person’s principles and the demands of the job – it leads to poor performance. Jobs that are in conflict with the values of the employee lead to demoralization of the employees and the employee starts doubting the worth of the work he is doing. A person who cannot ever tell a lie will find it difficult to make a sale. Same is the case with lofty Mission Statements of any organization, if the day-to-day organizational practices do not reflect the essence of mission stated by the management.

At Rambuna Consultants, we involve ourselves through corporate interventions to build employee morale, train and enable effective decision-making. We conduct corporate training seminars to augment employee as well as organizational growth during difficult economic times. I strongly believe that employee performance can be managed well and employee talent can be built well, leading to lesser employee attrition. We are just a telephone call away. Call us today !

‘Starbucks Coffee’ arrives into India !

Starbucks Coffee in India

‘The Seattle-based company spent at least a decade trying to figure out when and how it would enter the world’s seventh-largest coffee producing country before opening a two-level store decorated with locally sourced teak furniture in tony Horniman Circle in south Mumbai, the financial capital in India.’
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