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What is a Sales Aptitude Test & How Can It Help Your Sales Team? [Infographic]

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Are you tired of hiring salespeople that seem promising during the interview, but sizzle out quicker than you can say “follow-up call?”

You are in good company.

In fact, according to Hubspot, 40% of all salespeople do not understand customer pain, which plays a large role in the fact that 75% of salespeople miss their quotas.

As you can see, this underperforming sales rep problem is something that has plagued the entire sales community, not just your company. However, it is time to make a change and no longer be a part of the above statistics.

Continue reading the information below to learn how a sales aptitude test can help you turn your sales numbers around, and take a great deal of stress out of the hiring process.

Discover the Secret to Hiring Better Salespeople

Hiring great salespeople is a challenge for hiring managers across the country.

In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, wrong hires account for nearly 80% of all turnover rates in business.

So how do you avoid making this mistake and costing your company some serious time and money?

Integrate a sales aptitude test into your hiring process.

What Is a Sales Aptitude Test?

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A sales aptitude test is a tool to help you objectively identify and hire salespeople with the greatest potential for long-term sales success.

At SalesDrive, our online sales aptitude test allows you to specifically determine whether your sales candidates have Drive − the core trait shared by high-performing salespeople.

Drive is something that cannot be taught. Rather, it must be inherent in your candidates.

This essential part of your potential salesperson’s personality is made up of 3 traits:

  1. Need for Achievement
  2. Competitiveness
  3. Optimism

Sales candidates who possess these three traits have the greatest potential to find sales success shortly after being hired, and maintaining that success long into their careers.

Why Use a Sales Aptitude Test?

There are a number of reasons why a sales aptitude will be your saving grace when it comes to hiring new salespeople for your team, who will not only meet your sales goals, but knock them out of the park.

1. It helps you hire faster.

You typically do not know whether a candidate is worth hiring until after you have reviewed their resume, conducted a phone interview and interviewed them in-person.

Following that in-person interview is when hiring managers typically determine “yes” or “no” to a new member of the sales team.

And, as you well know, this process can take a lot of time.

Scheduling the phone interviews and in-person interviews alone is a long process, in addition to the actual time you spend in those interviews, reviewing your interview notes and making your final decision. This is especially true if a number of candidates applied to your sales position.

Why not save yourself a great deal of time and hire faster by using a sales aptitude test at the beginning of the hiring process?

The results determined from a sales test, like The DriveTest®, determine whether your candidates have the Drive (Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism) necessary for sales success, and ultimately whether he or she is a candidate worth moving further into the sales hiring process.

If your candidates score low in Drive, then you can avoid wasting time interviewing candidates that are unlikely to find long-term sales success, and instead focus on those candidates with the most potential.

The DriveTest® contains just 42 questions and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Immediately following the completion of the test, the results are instantly emailed to you for your review, so that you can quickly know whether to move this candidate forward in the hiring process.

By implementing this test prior to the interview, the entire process is streamlined and you save a great deal of time.

2. It saves you time and money.

A number of smooth-talking sales candidates can fake their way through phone and in-person interviews. Their words sound promising, but you are in for a rude awakening.

Many of those candidates lack the Drive that is required to actually be able to succeed in the sales world over a long period of time, and will eventually fail.

Without an online sales aptitude assessment, you would not know that your seemingly promising new hire is actually a dud, until you had already invested some serious time and cash into bringing this person onto your team.

In fact, many companies calculate that it costs them an average of $240,000 to onboard a new employee.

Between hiring costs, compensation and the cost of maintaining an employee, you are looking at some serious money.

Thus, when you make an error in your hiring, and choose a candidate that lacks the Drive to actually succeed in sales long-term, you have lost a lot more than your time and your patience. You have lost your company a great deal of money.

This is especially true if you make this mistake a few times over.

In fact, by taking a look at the big picture, you will see that if you onboard a bad hire to your team, you are looking at a bottom line cost of $840,000.

This includes the cost of hiring new employees, how much it costs to keep employees on staff, the cost of paying your employees, their severance pay when you let them go, missed business opportunities and the potential for damage to your company’s reputation and/or client relationships.

In addition to the money lost, your team takes a big hit anytime a new hire ends up being a bad one. The rest of your sales team will have to increase their workload until a new candidate is found; which can cause your productive employees to feel overworked, underpaid, frustrated and unmotivated.

Those numbers can be a rude awakening to why you need to significantly improve your hiring game, and not simply rely on a resume review and an interview to hire the salespeople that will end up making you money, not costing you money.

It is critical for hiring managers to determine whether candidates have the core aptitude in place before hiring. Otherwise, the investment you make in recruiting, training and managing a low aptitude salesperson will be wasted, as well as the huge opportunity cost of placing a poor performer on the field.

By investing in a salesperson aptitude test like The DriveTest®, you save yourself a lot of money and time.

And we all know, time is money.

So increase your savings by implementing The DriveTest® into your hiring process.

3. It reduces turnover.

Few things are more frustrating for a sales manager than dealing with high turnover.

And in the world of sales, turnover is something that happens much more often than in other lines of work.

In fact, turnover rates in sales are at a whopping 27% − nearly twice as high as the overall job force.

With U.S. companies spending an average of $15 billion a year training salespeople, you can see why getting a return on that major investment is key.

And the way to do that is by hiring employees that will be with your company for a long time.

The way to ensure that your company’s turnover rates remain low, and well below the national average of 27%, you will want to bring in the help of an online sales aptitude test.

By determining whether your candidates have the traits needed to succeed prior to onboarding, you can ensure that you are only going on to hire the best of the best, and will not be putting your company at risk of high turnover rates.

4. It helps increase sales.

When you are not wasting your time and energy on salespeople that do not have Drive and are destined for failure, then you are able to expend that time and energy on your salespeople that are high-quality.

By giving your solid salespeople the attention they need in order to succeed, you are setting the whole team up for success, which means sales increase.

Without a sales aptitude test, you risk bringing someone onto your team that is low in Drive which will not only cost you money as mentioned above, but will also poison the rest of the sales team.

As a sales executive, you know that success and failure within your team can be contagious.

Thus, applying a sales aptitude test in the beginning of the process generates cost savings before hiring, cost savings after hiring and results in higher revenue generation over the long term.

5. It helps to identify high-quality candidates easily.

The only way to avoid making critical mistakes when hiring new salespeople for your team is to bring a sales aptitude test into the process.

This additional step will ensure that your candidates are assessed for the qualities that truly matter in sales (Drive), and will also ensure that the candidates with the greatest potential for long-term success are the ones that you hire.

Drive can be faked in an interview, but those actors cannot sustain it over time. So, while someone who is low in Drive can coax you into hiring them, long-term success in sales requires some serious grit and fortitude that not all people have.

Constant rejection is part of the sales game, so your new hire needs to be able to push through that to reach success.

Without an aptitude test, those who feigned Drive in the interview can get in and wreak havoc on your sales team.

By simply applying an aptitude test, you are able to assess your candidates for the non-teachable, research-based factors that are essential to the growth of your sales: Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism − collectively known as Drive.

In addition to testing for Drive, The DriveTest® also evaluates whether your candidates possess other important skills, though these ones are teachable. They include:

  • Organization
  • Relationship skills
  • Confidence
  • Persuasiveness

Rather than finding out whether a potential salesperson can sell, The DriveTest® will determine whether they will sell for you.

6. It is easy to use.

The DriveTest® is a 42-question test that takes only 20 minutes to complete.

By using questions that are forced-choice, a sales candidate is forced to choose which statement is most like him and which statement is least like him.

While this sounds easy, it can be challenging − there is no obvious right or wrong answer. Instead, the three options sound equally positive, thus ensuring that the candidate is not able to fake his responses.

Once the sales assessment has been completed by the candidate, you will immediately get the results emailed to you in the form of The DriveTest Report®.

7. It is affordable.

When you take a look at the numbers for what it costs you to hire the wrong person, you will appreciate even more the low cost of an online aptitude test for sales, particularly The DriveTest®.

What you will end up saving in the long run by incorporating The DriveTest® into your hiring process will amaze you.

8. It will increase your power as an interviewer.

Once your candidate has taken The DriveTest®, and you have received the results, then you are on to the next step of the hiring process: The Drive Interview®.

 With The DriveTest® report, you will get interview questions that are tailored specifically to each candidate, based on his unique personality and results from the sales aptitude test.

Because these questions are individually focused and cater specifically to each candidate’s test results, you will be able to dig deeper in weaker areas and really get to know the traits your candidate possesses and understand his motives.

This ultimately gives you a great deal more power as an interviewer.

With tools such as a sales personality aptitude test like The DriveTest® and its supplemental report, you can be confident in your hiring and no longer feel as if you are rolling the dice and crossing your fingers that this candidate will bring your sales team success.

9. It can identify candidates who have raw potential, but no experience.

Though it is almost human nature to hire a salesperson based on his previous sales experience, there are some instances when doing that may cause you to miss out on a stellar salesperson.

When using just an interview process without the aid of a sales aptitude test, you really have no choice but to go off of previous experience.

However, by introducing an online sales aptitude assessment, you are opening up the door to someone who may have no experience in sales, but has the inherent traits to make it to the top of your sales team.

Using The DriveTest® is the perfect opportunity for you to tap into this candidate’s skills that may not have ever come to the surface.

How Do Sales Aptitude Tests Work?

SalesDrive has taken the testing of salespeople further by developing an online assessment that uses algorithms to distinguish between people who can sell and people who will sell.

By using a forced-choice format, The DriveTest® pushes candidates to choose statements based on how similar or dissimilar the statements are to them.

The positively-framed questions ensure the prevention of bias during the assessment, as the candidate is asked to choose whether he is most or least likely to relate to different traits or preferences presented to him.

In addition to the responses themselves, the online sales test will also provide sales managers with information about the consistency of the candidate’s answers.

This makes it easy for you to see if his responses are inconsistent, and whether he is trying to fake his way through the aptitude test.

The best way to find and identify candidates who have the core aptitude to succeed in sales is by utilizing a scientifically-backed personality test that focuses on Drive.

Who Should Use a Sales Aptitude Test?

With an understanding of why using a sales aptitude test is beneficial under your belt, now it is time to take a look at who can benefit from using this type of online assessment.

There are two separate groups of people who benefit from a sales aptitude test, and for different reasons.

1. The ones actually taking the test: Salespeople

This online sales aptitude test is ideal for salespeople who are potential candidates for joining your sales team.

The DriveTest® weeds out those who are not truly fit to sell, because we all know that selling is not for everyone.

It is also important to note that the test is specifically created to assess the traits of salespeople, not sales managers or other executives. While it may be tempting to take the sales test yourself, executives often test very differently from salespeople, so the results will greatly vary from full-time salespeople.

2. The ones using the test results: You

If you are a Sales Manager, Sales VP or Hiring Manager and any of the following describes your situation, then you truly get the most benefit out of the test:

  • Frustrated with bad hires that cost your company money and slow down productivity
  • Does not have time to waste on bad hires
  • Needs a more efficient way of hiring
  • Wants to improve sales revenue and your sales team
  • Wants to reduce sales team turnover
  • Needs to fill open positions on sales team quickly
  • Ready to grow sales team and scale your company

The DriveTest® puts an end to wasting your time, energy and company money on candidates who lack the one thing a promising salesperson needs: Drive

In addition to measuring the non-teachable traits of Drive, a sales assessment will also measure important teachable skills in your candidates, including:

  • Confidence
  • Persuasiveness
  • Relationship skills
  • Organization

The results of your candidate’s test may show that he is not the strongest when it comes to persuasion, but with focused training and the support of a strong sales team and manager, he has a promising chance of gaining those skills.

You will find that this is oftentimes better than a candidate who claims to be persuasive in the interview, but indeed is not.

Rather than letting the candidate fool you with his words, let the assessment show you via objective, scientific data.

Speaking of science, there are a number of industries that stand to gain the most out of a sales aptitude test:

  • Technology
  • Financial Services (Banking, Insurance, Mortgage)
  • Manufacturing
  • Automotive
  • Business/Staffing/Recruitment
  • Media
  • Real Estate
  • Health
  • Delivery (Transportation/Packaging)
  • Construction

When you learn that less than 20% of the population has the core aptitude to sell well, you will understand why an online sales assessment such as The DriveTest® is absolutely necessary.

These people are the only ones that you should even be interviewing, much less hiring.

You can know who these people are with a sales aptitude test.

When Do I Use a Sales Aptitude Test?

The timing of an online sales assessment is just as important as the test itself.

For best results, we recommend having sales applicants take a sales aptitude test before the in-person interviews.

You want to use this test as one piece of a thorough sales hiring process.


Here is a breakdown of the SalesDrive hiring process that includes the aptitude test:

  1. Post job ad and collect resumes
  2. Review resumes
  3. Conduct phone screenings
  4. Administer The DriveTest® Sales Assessment
  5. Conduct The Drive Interview®
  6. Final interviews
  7. Make an offer
  8. Onboard

Step number two will make or break the success of your sales team.

By administering The DriveTest® before the interview, you are ensuring that you spend your time interviewing only candidates that have real potential for success in sales.

And, we are not the only ones who think that the test is best prior to an interview: The Harvard Business Review also believes that an assessment proves to be most successful (and most beneficial for you) when it is given before the interview.

With the results of The DriveTest® as well as a resume and notes from your interviews, you are able to see a bigger picture of your sales candidates that covers almost all bases.

This, in turn, gives you the information you need to make a hiring decision based on fact, not merely on the candidate’s likability.

How Do I Choose a Sales Aptitude Test?

In order to get the results you are looking for (a high-performing salesperson), you want to be sure to look for a few things in your online assessment.

1. It tests specifically for Drive and its three key elements: Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism.

Let us break those down so you can fully understand what you should be seeking this in your sales aptitude test.

Need for Achievement

  • A salesperson who pushes himself because that is how he is wired.
  • He wants to do well for the sake of doing well.


  • Someone who loves to compete, not just with his colleagues, but with the prospect.
  • He wants to win the prospect over to his point of view.


  • A salesperson who is supremely optimistic as knows that each “no” received puts him that much closer to a “yes”.
  • He does not take rejection personally, rather understands it is a part of the selling game he loves to play.

A sales aptitude test that covers all these three, non-teachable characteristics that form the master combination of Drive, will give you the results you are looking for.

2. It offers consultations.

Just offering a test is not enough.

You want to go with an online sales assessment that offers a walk-through of the results so that you understand what you are working with.

With tests such as The DriveTest®, you will receive feedback on the candidates’ strengths, weaknesses and development opportunities.

On top of that, you get consulting on your hiring that includes questions to use in your behavioral interviews, which allow you to identify the candidate’s true potential and intentions.

You also want to look for an aptitude testing company that conducts coaching sessions for HR Managers and Sales Managers to help develop strong selection strategies for building an all-star sales team.

What Can I Expect From a Sales Aptitude Test?

When administering an aptitude test for sales, you can expect to determine whether a candidate is worth spending your time, energy and money early in the hiring process.

With just 42 forced-choice questions, and 20 minutes of your candidate’s time, you will know whether this candidate is worth your time.

Immediately after completing the assessment, we will send you an email with the test results.

In addition, you will also have the opportunity to talk with SalesDrive Principal, Dr. Chris Croner, himself to go over the results.

According to Dr. Croner’s book Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again, using this type of test to find the weak links, allows companies to save “thousands of dollars in additional assessment costs and interview time as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues from underproduction.”

How does it do that?

This test provides supportive information to help you place the candidate in the right position where you can continue to support them in their new role for maximum success and efficiency.

A sales personality aptitude test will give you the peace of mind that you are hiring the right salespeople − those that will secure a promising future for your company.

Can I Give My Current Sales Team a Sales Aptitude Test?


In fact, you should give your current sales team an aptitude test to ensure that your team is as strong as possible.

The DriveTest® is great for new hires, but The Production Builder™ is really what makes this test particularly beneficial for existing employees.

With this developmental report, you will be able to better assess your current salespeople’s strengths and weaknesses, and ensure they get the support they need to be successful within your company.

This report will place your salesperson into one of four sales types:

  • Driver
  • Realist
  • Collaborator
  • Believer

The information you gather from The Production Builder™ report provides you with valuable information for training, coaching and managing your salespeople in the most effective way possible for each one.

Giving your current salespeople an online aptitude assessment is also a great opportunity to test each person’s ability to improve.

According to Dr. Croner in Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again, to properly assess your sales team, it is critical that you meet with management to “discuss each salesperson’s results and the team’s prognosis for improvement.”

He breaks it down into two simple steps:

Step 1: Discuss results of assessment in conjunction with each salesperson’s previous performance.

Step 2: Discuss strategies for motivating and mentoring each person based on test results.

Once you have completed these steps, you must decide whether to reassign or release those underperformers who lack potential and replace them with A players.

How Do I Read the Results of a Sales Aptitude Test?

The DriveTest Report® measures the three non-teachable characteristics successful salespeople share and combines them into a total Drive score that ranges from 1-5.

Whatever your candidate’s Drive score is will determine whether he has the potential to be a high-performing salesperson.

  • If the Drive Score is a 1 or 2:
    • This candidate is not fit to be a successful salesperson.
    • Do not waste the time or money interviewing this person.
  • If the Drive Score is a 3:
    • Take a deeper look into this candidate.
    • Ask behavioral questions in the interview to gauge whether he is built for long-term success.
  • If the Drive Score is a 4 or 5:
    • This candidate has the right characteristics to be a “hunter” salesperson.
    • Follow with a behavioral interview to see if you think he is a good fit for the company and open position.

In addition to measuring the potential salesperson’s Drive, the report will also provide scores, on a scale from 1-5, for the following:

Non-teachable personality traits

  • Need for Achievement
  • Competitiveness
  • Optimism

Teachable skills

  • Confidence
  • Persuasiveness
  • Relationship Skills
  • Organization

You will also receive sales role scores that identify each person’s unique personality profile. This will guide to you decide which sales role the person is best fit for:

  • Hunter: Excels at developing leads and new business opportunities, as well as closing accounts.
  • Farmer: Develops and resells to existing clients, and supports hunters. Will also follow up diligently and help to steadily grow business.

And for those candidates who did not come back with 4s or 5s on their test, do not give up hope − consider placing them in supportive roles that provide them the opportunity to work with the qualified salespeople to reach new heights.

What Do I Do After Giving A Sales Candidate An Aptitude Test?

Once the results from The DriveTest® are in, the candidates that pass move on to the next step of the hiring process: The Drive Interview®.

Here are some ways that you can elevate the interview process to make it the successful closing part of the hiring process.

Ask specific questions.

Rather than sticking to the typical, general interview questions, ask specific questions about their skills, their technical knowledge and other traits that are needed for the job.

The DriveTest® report helps you with this by providing interview questions that are tailored specifically to each candidate, based on his responses and personality.

Dig deeper.

At some point, we have all been in interviews where the question “tell me about a time when . . .” was asked.

It is a very common question and candidates have come to expect it in interviews now. As a result, candidates often craft generic responses to such questions in their interview preparation.

Doing this is what keeps the hiring manager from being able to gain insight into how a candidate will handle various situations.

Instead, ask the “Fly on the Wall” question − what you would have seen or heard from the candidate during a particular situation. That will allow you to get a clear idea of how the candidate deals with pressure, and will be a question they likely have not prepared an answer for.

Add little tests along the way.

Check with other employees in your office to see if the candidate spoke to them and, if so, what his demeanor seemed like when he was not in the interview.

Throw lifestyle questions into the interview.

Doing this will let you see how well the candidate responds to this type of question, and will show how well he can adapt.

Never handle the interview process alone.

Collaborative interviews are a great way to see a candidate’s personality from multiple points of view. In addition, involving people other than yourself can take a great deal of stress off of your shoulders, while also better allowing you to evaluate the engagement of the candidate with multiple employees.

What Makes The DriveTest® Different From Other Sales Tests?

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While there are a number of sales aptitude tests out there, The DriveTest® is different for a number of reasons.

1. It is the only Drive-focused assessment on the market.

The DriveTest® looks for the inherit personality traits that make up Drive − these are non-teachable, and either exist or do not exist in your candidate.

2. It leverages more than 80 years of research in the personality traits of high-performing salespeople.

The DriveTest® was created with a great deal of research behind it – 80+ years of research, in fact. It is scientifically-backed and proven to weed out the fakers from the high-potential candidates.

3. It uses forced-choice questions.

This question format makes it so the candidate has no clear indication of what is a wrong answer versus a right answer, thus forcing them to make the answer that best fits him.

4. It is short.

With just 42 questions taken over a period of approximately 20 minutes, this test is quick, but thorough.

5. It is used by companies in virtually every industry worldwide.

Join the rankings of some of the top companies using The DriveTest® to find high-potential candidates during their sales hiring.

6. Setting up your account takes just one business day (or less).

Once you have signed up for The DriveTest® for your company, your new account will be set up and ready to use within one business day. From your SalesDrive Assessment Dashboard, you will be able to administer assessments either at home or at the office.

7. You get assessment results immediately.

We get it − time is money. That is why we do not make you wait to get the results back from your candidates’ tests − you get an email immediately with their DriveTest® reports and additional interviewing information.

8. You can talk with Dr. Croner about the results.

One of the greatest parts of working with SalesDrive is that you get the opportunity to jump on a call with Dr. Croner himself to discuss the results of your candidates’ tests. He can provide you with some incredibly valuable insight that you would not be able to find elsewhere.

9. You will receive detailed reports.

For new candidates, you will receive The DriveTest Report® which gives a detailed breakdown of the assessment results and behavioral interview questions to use in the interview.

For new and existing salespeople, you will also receive The Production Builder™ report, which provides detailed training and mentoring suggestions based on the individual’s unique personality.

With this information, you will be able to properly train and manage your salespeople to success.

The best part is that the Production Builder™ report is included with every The DriveTest® assessment, at no additional cost.

10. You get interview questions for a better interview.

With SalesDrive, you are also provided behavioral interview questions and a suggested interview structure, via The Drive Interview®, to take your interviewing to the next level. By utilizing the sales interviewing techniques outlined in The Drive Interview® you will be able to “look under the hood” of your candidates and dig deeper into their skills and uncover their true intentions.


Whether with new hires or current salespeople, you always want to ensure your entire team is full of people who are going to push your sales to success, rather than hold you back.

The best way to do this is with the help of The DriveTest®.

With The DriveTest®, you know that you are getting everything you need to take your sales team to new heights.

From a scientifically-backed sales aptitude test, to an immediate and thorough report of results; from specific interview questions to a private consultation with SalesDrive Principal, Dr. Croner, and much more, worries about hiring go out the window when working with SalesDrive.

Let us help you take the guesswork out of hiring salespeople, and show you which sales candidates have the most potential.

Interested in bringing The DriveTest® to your sales company? Request a free trial of our sales aptitude test today, and get your company on-track to crush those sales goals.

Sales Hiring Simplified!

Hire top-performing salespeople with The DriveTest®. Get started now with one free test.

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Sales Hiring Simplified!

Hire top-performing salespeople with The DriveTest®.

Get started now with one free test.

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