The Pipeline Guest Post – David Pearce
Trying to distill the answer to the question of how much emphasis to place on the test down to some numerical answer really misses the point and attempts to simplify and quantify a process that can only be quantified to a degree. An applicant may “numerically” be a good fit because he has the right “scores” on the various components (including our test) of your hiring system but he may be someone you still should not hire. Conversely an individual may be weak in one or some areas (including the sales assessment) but you should probably still hire the person.
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When you are using a Sales Assessment Test in your hiring decisions, how much of your decision should be based on the results of the test? Most prospects and new clients wonder about the degree of emphasis they should place on the test when they are hiring. Some are looking for quite definitive answers to the question-30%, 50% etc. Like a lot of the answers to questions related to testing, the answer begins with “it depends”. It depends on how suitable the person is in the other areas that the sales assessment does not measure.
If it is true that “gut-feel” should not be the only thing that you rely on when hiring, it is just as true that scientific tools like tests should not be the sole factor. If hiring sales people is an art and a science then a balanced approach that relies on “gut-feel” as part of the decision makes sense. There are things that are highly important that no sales assessment test can measure. An example would be “likeability”. An applicant may have all the “scores” he needs to be considered a good hire but he just turns you off. If that is how you react to him, won’t a lot of your customers feel the same way? Another example might be an applicant’s affinity or “love” of the product/industry? For example, what if you sell cars and you have two applicants for a position, one of whom whose test scores are weak but who just loves cars and everything about them? I suggest that the “car lover” might be the one to hire because once he is in an environment that fits his passion he will be likely to stick with the job and work to overcome his shortcomings.
A sales assessment test measures the person’s potential. As such it measures what a person “can do” not what they “will do”. As you know there are a lot of people with high potential who do very little with that potential. Conversely there are a lot of people with seemingly little potential who get an awful lot done and are very successful because they use whatever they do have very well.
Fortunately or unfortunately people are complicated. View the sales assessment test for what it is, a tool to perform a specific function. As a tool it is of course not the only tool. Like all tools it works best when used with other tools that are performing their intended purpose. Depending on the particular hiring challenge you face, you should be prepared to adjust the relative importance of the sales assessment test to suit your needs.
About David Pearce
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.