5 Questions every sales rep should be able to answer

As a sales rep, when it comes to managing an account, you are expected (by your manager and by your colleagues) to be in the driver’s seat at all times and to behave as the business peer of the client.

This means being able to elaborate on the client’s internal and external challenges in order to position the company as a partner rather than a transactional supplier.


This “thinking together” will prevent you from “being treated as a sales rep”. Rather, you’ll be seen as a “business partner”.

With this in mind, here are 5 questions you should never struggle to find an answer to:

#1. What is happening within your client’s industry?   

(Trends, disruptions…)

#2. What is happening within your client’s company?

(Nominations, M&A…)

#3. What is the impact on your business proposition?

(Risks, opportunities…)

#4. Who do you engage with at your client’s company? How can you increase the breadth and depth of your contacts?

(Needless to say, the list should be longer today than when you started managing the account and it should go well beyond the procurement department.)

#5. What is your ambition when working with the client? What is your plan?

(Positioning, intimacy…)

Where to find this information:  beyond asking directly;

annual reports, websites, and online information constitute a good basis for knowledge.

As a CTO once told the sales community I belonged to: “My time is precious, don’t ask questions that could have been answered by reading our website”.

Providing substantial answers to those questions will make it easier to partner with the relevant colleagues (presales, operations, marketing, finance, etc.) to ensure the closest business intimacy and long-term partnership with your client.

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