Why Small Companies Can't Afford NOT to Use a Sales Assessment Test
By David Pearce, President, SalesTestOnline.com
We sell sales assessment tests. One of the more common objections I've heard over the years from smaller companies is a variation on the following theme: "Your sales assessment test is great, it is very accurate and the information can really help us to make better hiring and management decisions but a sales assessment test is something we will put off doing until we are bigger".
Now, objections are objections. They don't have to be logical, make sense or even be a real objection. But they do need to be answered. Unfortunately the answer to this one does not fit neatly into a nice quick reply. There are so many things I could say in reply to this one objection that I thought I would just write a short article to properly answer it. Here are my reasons why small companies can't afford NOT to use a sales assessment test.
- The impact of a bad salesperson can be huge. Depending on the size of your company, one sales person might be a very high percentage of your entire sales force. If that one sales person is a dud, the negative effect is much greater than in a large sales force where the dud sales person might hardly be noticed. In other words in percentage terms the negative effect of a failure is much higher for small sales forces than larger ones.
- Following along on the theme in number one, smaller companies have less flexibility to deal with hiring mistakes. They are very costly (see our "Cost of Failure Calculator") in money and time. It can be several months or even a year before you finally terminate a bad hire. All of this after expending large amounts of time, management energy and training dollars to try to make a person succeed who should never have been hired in the first place. Big companies make the same mistakes, but again, they have more resources to deal with their mistakes.
- Small companies can use all the outside help they can get. Big companies have entire HR departments devoted to the hiring function for a very good reason, it is very important. Using a sales assessment test plus any other tests and tools to hire the right person enables you to make better decisions on your own. You will be a better interviewer and the sales assessment test will arm you with information that is otherwise not at your disposal.
- Vendors of sales assessment tests and other hiring tools have a wealth of information that they can offer, in many cases as value added. Having a sounding board or objective perspective on the situation can be very helpful. You may not like what the sales assessment test or testing organization has to say but their insights/views/opinions might save you a tremendous amount of grief and money. Remember you only have to hire a sales person occasionally. In the case of our company for example we have been involved in literally millions of sales hires. We are happy to share our knowledge.
- Using a sales assessment test ensures new people get up to speed much faster. This saves time and money and increases sales. A good sales assessment test not only helps you to hire better but the report on the person tested, tells you how to train, manage and motivate this person. With this information in your hands from day one, you will eliminate the inevitable trial and error to figure out how to work with the person.
- You may know the sales process but you may not know the necessary characteristics to perform it. An important part of testing is job analysis, or put another way knowing the job in terms of the set of characteristics necessary to be successful. A common problem we have seen over the years is that smaller companies lack an articulate, realistic, clear picture of the characteristics necessary for the role. This may not sound very important but without this picture of the role you are in effect like a casting director conducting auditions without an idea of what role is to be played. You may see a lot of talent but not see or recognize the right talent because you lack focus.
- Sales assessment tests are very inexpensive insurance. Even very small companies can get quality sales assessment tests for well under $100 per use. If you use sales assessment tests often enough you will discover that in some instances they confirm what you thought. In other cases they will completely contradict your impressions and in still others they will uncover things about the applicant that would be impossible to identify in a job interview. Given the costs of a failed sales person to your business, spending about $50-$100 to make sure you're making the right decision is a small price to pay for insurance.
David Pearce is the President of SalesTestOnline.com. Established in 1986, SalesTestOnline.com is North America's #1 provider of pre employment assessment testing of sales candidates as well as sales profiling tools used to evaluate sales employees for sales competency. SalesTestOnline.com has over 1400 satisfied customers (97% re-order rate) who use our personality sales test to measure sales aptitude when hiring. Our online sales assessment test is customized to your unique criteria, fully automated, instantaneous, extremely accurate and very economical.
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