If you find yourself at the end of another sales quarter and sales have not been growing as expected, you might be asking yourself a few questions. After you rule out any external factors that could have been contributing to the slow growth, the next assumption is the cause must be coming from within your company.
Is it your sales team? It may be that even though all your sales reps performed well during the interview process, their numbers out in the field are rotten.
So, how do you make sure that you do not find yourself in the same place next quarter with an underperforming sales team?
It all comes down to using a sales assessment during the hiring process to determine whether your candidates are truly built for sales or not.
The Importance of a Sales Assessment Test
Why is a sales assessment so important in determining the sales strength of a possible candidate?
A sales assessment test allows you deeper insight into a candidate’s personal traits and true abilities than with interview questions alone.
These days, an interview is just not enough. In fact, research shows that much of what happens in the pre-hiring process cannot be fully trusted − 85% of candidates’ resumes have some level of falsification. Pretty scary, right?
But an interview should help you sort out any possible lies or exaggerations made on the resume, right?
Most interviewers ask the same general questions, so it is common for a sales candidate to have prepared and rehearsed answers ahead of time. In other words, your candidate may be misleading you to believe that they will be the salesperson you have always dreamed of, when in fact, they may end up becoming the salesperson of your worst nightmare.
Thus, in order to find your way through the jungle of falsified resumes, and practiced interview questions and responses, you need a sales assessment. Think of a sales assessment test as a fact checker for the interviewee’s answers.
For example, a candidate may seem enthusiastic and optimistic during an interview. The right sales assessment will measure objectively just how much Optimism the candidate truly possesses.
While a sales assessment should never be the sole deciding factor when making hiring decisions, it is extremely useful and effective in screening and comparing candidates when combined with the right interview questions.
The right sales assessment will ask questions that measure the common personality traits found amongst the most successful salespeople, including Drive, the non-teachable trait that only top-performing salespeople have.
Need for Achievement, Competitiveness, and Optimism are three traits that make up Drive. All three are required for a candidate to generate and sustain sales long-term. Together, this magic trio makes a great salesperson.
What to Look for in a Sales Assessment
How can you tell which sales aptitude test is the best one for your company?
Use these three tips to help choose the sales assessment that will give you the results you are looking for: a strong sales team that you will boost your company’s sales.
1. Pick a sales assessment that aligns with your company’s needs.
Before picking an assessment, determine what qualities your company needs in a salesperson. Once you know which qualities you are looking for, you can make sure that the assessments you are considering will provide your candidates with questions to assess for those desired qualities.
2. Pick a sales assessment that has been validated.
Making sure the assessment you choose has been validated is absolutely key to its effectiveness.
Here are a few things you can look at to determine whether the sales aptitude test you are considering has been validated:
- Was it designed to reflect current concerns and expectations of sales managers?
- Does it pose questions that the candidate will be forced to answer honestly, rather than choosing an answer that they think you will want to hear?
- Does it have the criteria for scientific validity?
3. Pick a sales assessment that answers your additional questions.
There are other questions that you, as a sales manager, need to be able to answer about a sales assessment prior to using it on your candidates. Those questions include:
- Does the assessment use forced-choice questions?
- If so, are all the answers equally positive?
- Does the assessment offer interview or follow-up questions to ask candidates based on their specific results?
When to Administer a Sales Assessment Test
You found your preferred sales assessment — now what? Ideally, administrating a sales assessment should be done after a thorough résumé screening and phone interview but before the face-to-face interviews begin. This allows you to weed out the low-potential candidates.
After all, face-to-face interviews consume your most valuable resource: your time.
By administering a sales assessment before deciding on moving forward with a face-to-face interview, you are ensuring that your time is not wasted on a candidate who lacks the Drive to succeed in sales.
And what about your current sales team? Should you test them?
Testing your existing team is like taking your car in for its yearly inspection. By administering a sales assessment to your team, you can identify the weakest points and areas of opportunity and then readjust your team accordingly.
Just as an assessment should not be the sole deciding factor in hiring, it should not be the sole deciding factor in firing either. Rather, a great sales assessment test will be specifically designed to test your current team members, and will make useful suggestions on how to reorganize your team and create effective partnerships so that your team reaches its maximum potential.
How to Use the Results of Your Candidate’s Sales Test
The most important part of the assessment process is the results. From this, you will determine whether the candidate is one that you should bring in for an in-person interview.
For our sales assessment, The DriveTest®, the candidate is scored on the non-teachable traits of Drive: Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism, on a scale of 1-5.
The Drive score that your candidate receives will inform you as to how successful that candidate will be as a salesperson.
If the candidate receives a score of 4 or 5, then you know they have the personality and potential to be a great salesperson. Any score lower than a 4, and you may be risking the candidates’, and thus your sales’, success.
Any candidate that scores a 4 or 5 on The DriveTest® should be brought in for a behavioral interview.
Put the SalesDrive Assessment to the Test
Incorporating sales assessments in your hiring and management process is crucial to the success of your sales team, but making sure you are using the best sales assessment is even more important – you want an assessment that will be worth your time and effort, and will correctly determine the potential of your candidates and team members.
Our assessment was designed to provide two different sales aptitude reports—one for job candidates and one for your existing team members.
- The DriveTest® Report is specifically designed for pre-employment purposes.
- The Production Builder™ Report is uniquely designed for existing members of your sales team.
Did you know that we offer a free trial for our sales assessment?
Give our sales assessment a try by requesting a free trial today!