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Sales Hiring Assessments- The battle of the indigenous charmers!


A sales person can be extremely incompetent when not selected prudently. “For lack of a better word, they suck,” says Dennis Connelly, vice president of business development at Kurlan& Associates, a firm which trains salespeople. David’s research is based on Objective Management Group evaluations of 700,000 salespeople over the past 24 years. Most of these inabilities within three-quarters of sales job holders stems from inadequate formal training. Companies require charmers and smart speakers who attract the customer towards the company’s product. Here are a few sales hiring assessments tests to help companies strengthen their sales teams:

  • Assessments that measure KSAs:
    Most commonly used tests for hiring salespeople are personality tests. However, it has been proved that personality tests have no relation to Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA). Popular personality tests include Myers-Briggs indicator, Caliper Profile Assessment, DISC, and Grit. But, the check for personality is crucial to maintaining an amicable work environment. The inclusion of knowledge-based tests, roles plays, simulations, and quick thinking are necessary to judge skills and abilities.
  • Job specific assessments to improve PV:
    ‘Off the shelf’ assessment tests which are not specific to the job tamper with the company’s selection process. Assessments are considered as productive assessments if they are designed to measure what is intended. Predictive Validity (PV) is the accuracy of future success in the current assessment. Increasing PV will help attain salespeople who have related skills and abilities, not the ones who have been rejects of other companies.
  • Strong emphasis on behavioural assessments:
    Behavioural assessment an important tool to predict the skills of the salesperson in an interview. Salespeople are great sellers and it is possible that the interviewer may be fooled by the ingenious façade they may put up to bag the job. Hence by simulations, role plays, guides and various other techniques, the cream can be separated from the milk and desirable candidates can be selected.
  • OMG-The selection experts:
    OMG stands for Objective Management Group, which is a company solely dedicated to sales assessment of managers and reps. Their research states that 6% is the elite, which are the best sales reps. Another 20% are above average, whereas the next 74% are below average sales reps. Companies have to focus on sales reps which constitute the 6% bracket for effective management.
  • Myths busted:
    There are certain myths that may prevent companies from hiring the best salespeople, which need to be eradicated. They include:
    1. Salespeople must be extroverts: Introverts with strategic social skills can be great salespeople. Being an extrovert is not always necessary.
    Salespeople need to be driven: They should be driven to be good at sales. If a CEO is bad at sales but driven to be a CEO, then it is a win-win situation. The same goes for salespeople.
    3. Former sportspersons can be great salespeople: Athletes and sportspeople are considered to be very competitive which makes them a good salesperson is a huge myth. The sportsman may be keenly interested in hockey or tennis, but how well will he score at sales? That has zero connection to hockey or tennis. Many companies focus on specific groups which may actually be disadvantageous to them.

Hence, for hiring good sales executives, companies need to be vigilant during the selection process and make sure to get the right candidates.