How The Right Sales Assessment Processes Can Help You Hire Your Dream Team

by Blackwood Impact Group

Hiring the right team members is critical to any company’s success. Resumes, however, only provide the highlights of a candidate’s career story. Although interviewing processes can be intensive, you ultimately never really know what you are getting until the person has been performing in the role for a few days or weeks. 

No hire has more of a direct impact on a company’s bottom line than a new salesperson. Even when hiring a seasoned professional, it always takes time to educate your new sales team member on your company’s policies, procedures, and product line.  It can be a month or two before they are ready to be productive. By the time you figure out whether or not this person is the best fit for your organization, a quarter or more could have passed.

So how can you save time and cut through the clutter to find real gems? Some salespeople are great at pitching themselves. They can be very convincing in the pre-hire stage. But will they be just as great at pitching your products and services and at closing deals? Ideally, it would be awesome to know with certainty which candidate is likely to perform the best. Past performance in a similar or related area can be one way to tell. However, making that determination can be subjective. There is, however, a way to quantify a salesperson’s skills and predict their likelihood of success. Administer a sales assessment. 

What Are Sales Assessments And Why Should They Be Used? 

Sales Assessments are also called sales aptitude tests. Similar to personality tests, they serve to provide insight into a person’s natural aptitude for the profession. They quantify and analyze a person’s values, attitudes, interpersonal, and sales skills.

Research has shown that there are specific traits the most successful salespeople share. High achieving salespeople tend to: 

  • have drive and ambition.
  • be good problem solvers.
  • be action takers; they don’t procrastinate.
  • accept responsibility for their actions.

A sales assessment will help identify how strongly these qualities are present in your candidates. It will be indicative of which ones are the most likely to meet and exceed quotas. Using a sales assessment can take much of the risk and subjectivity out of your hiring process.

What Is An Ideal Sales Hiring Process?

Blackwood Impact Group is experienced with creating and training sales dream teams. From our experiences, we recommend having a three-step hiring process for your new sales team members. 

First, identify strong candidates based on their resumes and screen them in a phone interview. The purpose of this call should be to ask high-level questions, verify the information presented on their resume, and get a sense of their personality. This process should help you determine who you would like to get to know better. 

Step two would be to administer your sales assessment to your candidates who pass the phone screening. Use the results to determine if you will extend an invitation to step three: the in-person interview round. The reason you want to administer the assessment early in the hiring process is so that you don’t waste time on less skillful candidates. Those who don’t have the core competencies you are looking for in your sales team members don’t get invited for face-to-face meetings.

It takes time and resources to conduct in-person interviews. Your staff members are taking time away from their primary jobs to meet with and assess candidates. So you want to make sure early on you will be investing your time with those most likely to be a good fit for your company.

When and How Should You Use Different Assessment Types?

The sales assessment isn’t the only tool Blackwood recommends using in your hiring process. We also recommend using a personality test. Consider it to be step four. We believe the best time to administer the personality test is after you have extended your employment offer and it’s been accepted. The results of this assessment are not an employment offer deal breaker. That’s why we don’t think it is necessary to offer it earlier in the process.

A personality test is excellent for internal purposes. Understanding the new hire’s communication style will help their manager and teammates work efficiently together. If your candidate has never received this kind of testing before, they might find it helpful for their own knowledge, as well as when they are preparing for client interactions.

Do keep in mind that no assessment can be 100% accurate in predicting a candidate’s potential performance. Sometimes a candidate may test well, but the actual context of your company’s team, culture, prospects, clients, and/or partners may not be conducive for them to thrive. 

But ultimately, assessments are great assets to the hiring process. If you need help revamping the hiring process for your sales team or are curious about how to get started with Sales Assessments, Blackwood Impact Group is here for you. Contact us today at 770-502-6295 or for a no-obligation consultation.