If you recruit and hire new college grads for your sales team you might find that having them take a sales test early in the hiring process could be the best investment you ever make.
Just to clarify, when we talk about sales tests, there are myriad instruments that would be a complete waste of time to use. Since we are referring to candidates who have zero experience it will be a completely wasted effort to have them take any test that identifies sales knowledge, sales skills or sales competencies. These types of instruments, and any that are intended to measure the learned aspects of sales, are of no use in this scenario.
Specifically what I am referring to is a sales test that measures personality traits, hereafter referred to as a sales personality test.
A sales personality test measures the underlying personality trait drives that are natural to the person. It is these 5 trait drives; Assertiveness, Sociability, Patience, Dependence and Emotional Control that together will determine the person’s “sales style” should you hire them.
Why would you have these completely “green” applicants take a sales test and what can you learn that is so important? Study after study has shown that the main determining factor of sales success is personality and that very few sales people fail due to being deficient in skills, training or product knowledge. The reason for this is not because these latter elements are not important but merely because they are readily identifiable and teachable. An individual’s personality traits, on the other hand are not only inherent but they are also much harder to determine.
Given the previously mentioned importance of personality to sales success, a sales personality test will give you an un-embellished understanding of the candidate’s sales potential. Armed with these insights the test results will be extremely useful in the following ways:
Identifying fit and overall suitability
If you have previously evaluated your current sales people with a sales personality test you can determine how close the candidate is to the benchmarks that were established when you tested your top performers. Knowing if the candidate is a close match to your ideal rep will mean they are definitely worth investing time, effort and money to train.
Maximizing the new recruit’s potential
If hired, the results of the sales personality test will provide insight into any weak areas (red flags) that necessitate special attention by the new recruit’s immediate supervisor. As well, the test results can be used to match the new recruit with the most appropriate sales supervisor. In essence, you can customize your training and management in order to speed up the new recruit’s journey to full potential.
Choose the best sales role
If you recruit for multiple sales roles, the test results may be used to ‘stream’ the new recruit into the most appropriate sales role based on personality fit. This alone will ensure a greater likelihood of sales success.
If you have ever had any doubt that using a sales personality test can save you a huge amount of money take a moment to try out our Cost of Failure Calculator. Every manager knows that bad sales hires are costly but you will be shocked at the actual number.
Armed with the true costs of a failed hire you will see that the few dollars you would spend on a sales personality test is a small price to pay when recruiting new graduates.