Whether you are using a sales test currently or are thinking of implementing one, this article is meant to spell out the 5 most basic things that any test for sales must have in 2018. For a deeper dive see this previous post, A Checklist for Selecting a Sales Test.
My assumption is that you have done some vetting of sales tests and that you are already comfortable with both their accuracy and predictability of sales success. With these two fundamental issues settled it then comes down to more of the ‘practical’ issues as follows.
Fast Test Administration
In 2018 it is just not realistic to expect candidates to complete a test that is longer than about 20 minutes. It is hard to believe but there are still some ‘old school’ sales tests on the market that take the candidate 60-120 minutes to complete. There are a number of issues with these very long and daunting sales psychometric instruments, not the least of which is getting a top candidate to set aside the time but also the issue of candidates who get part way through and abandon the test. In the current tight and very competitive job market you need to make it easy and convenient for candidates to be tested. About 20 minutes is the limit.
Taken on Multiple Devices
In the same vein as the above, you need to ensure that your sales test has maximum accessibility. For this reason, candidates must not only be able to take it on laptops, desktops and tablets but critically in 2018, on their smart phones. For many younger candidates their phone is their only device. If your sales test is not available on a phone then you will have an unnecessary and annoying barrier to evaluating many top candidates.
Geared to Your Sales Roles
As I have written on many occasions, sales roles differ a lot. For this reason your sales test must have the flexibility to be customized to identify the criteria you use to identify a successful sales person. If the sales test cannot, or is not, geared to your requirements then the test results at a minimum must be clear, concise and easily understandable. This way you will have no doubt about the candidate’s sales strengths and weaknesses. After all, the idea behind using a sales test is to make your decisions easier and better. If the test results are ambiguous and murky in their delivery they will just serve to confuse you.
If you use a sales test it is inevitable that you will have questions about results, need some advice or even just a sounding board. Getting the information you need has to be readily accessible by email and phone. Not only that but in 2018 it needs to be especially fast. It is a very competitive job market so top candidates are often being courted by several employers. Not being able to get the answers you need when you need them could literally mean you miss out on top candidates.
Low Cost Per Test
In 2018 it is all the more important to ‘cast your net wide’ for suitable candidates. Expensive sales tests may or may not be better; that is an argument for another article. One problem with them though, is that they tend to be used so late in the hiring process as to be merely a formality, therefore negating any benefits and insights that they are meant to reveal. Testing often and early in the hiring cycle is the way to go in 2018. Of course for most businesses this is only going to happen if the sales testing is economically priced. By testing early you can quickly identify those candidates in whom you are interested and then move them along in your process. Valuable time is saved on many levels since you can do this even prior to an interview. The low cost per test also means that you can affordably test even candidates in whom you only have a marginal interest in order to ‘just make sure’ or to possibly uncover any ‘diamonds in the rough’.
I do hope you have found this article of benefit. If you would like to discuss any points in this article or you would like a demonstration of SalesTestOnline.com I would enjoy hearing from you.