March 6, 2014

Hiring managers often wonder about the best way to use an online sales test in their hiring process. Tests, such as The DriveTest™, give us a great deal of valuable information about candidates, alerting us to personality dynamics we might not otherwise have seen in the interview process.  Here are three key points to remember when using a sales test.

  1. Test earlier, rather than later.  Many hiring managers are tempted to wait until the very end of the recruiting process to use the test as a “final check” before hiring.  However, doing so is very risky, as many hiring managers who have “fallen in love” with a candidate end up surprised when the candidate scores lower than expected.  Use the test earlier in the hiring process to identify and clarify any potential weaknesses before moving forward.
  2. Make sure you are testing for Drive.  Many sales tests emphasize teachable traits such as persuasion and relationship skills.  These traits are great to measure upfront.  However, when we are looking for a “hunter” salesperson, it is essential that we vet them for the three non-teachable elements of Drive: Need for Achievement, Competitiveness, and Optimism.
  3. Make sure all hiring managers are on the same page.  Occasionally, one or two hiring managers at a company will prefer to rely on their gut instincts rather than take a more scientific approach to hiring (think the stubborn Oakland A’s scouts in the movie “Moneyball”).  We need to make certain that the value of testing, particularly the time and money saved by avoiding mishires, is clear to everyone to ensure consistent results across the company.

Online sales tests can be powerful additions to our recruiting process when vetted for validity and applicability to our open positions.  Using the three points above will help make sure you get the most value from the DriveTest™ or any other sales testing tool you use.

Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again and developers of the proprietary and patented sales assessment test, The DriveTest™, for sales candidates. To experience difference of the DriveTest, contact us today!