What is a Sales Assessment?  

A sales assessment is a tool that helps gauge a person’s ability and potential to succeed in a specific sales job. With the information obtained from a quality sales assessment, organizations can then use that information for a variety of purposes.  One such common use is in the hiring and selection process.   

Good sales assessments deal with real life situations and assess skills such as, customer service, personality, motivation, and ability to do the job before being hired. Assessing for these skills will have a significant impact on your success rate of the salespeople you hire. In other words, you end up hiring the “right” candidates. Good sales assessments utilize job simulation to gather data.  And a sales simulation should be different than an assessment that would be used for more general entry level jobs. In other words, don’t use a “one shoe fits all” assessment for multiple jobs because the skills needed to be successful for sales is different than those for other jobs. Therefore, a quality sales assessment should be a key part of any hiring process.  

What makes a successful assessment?  

There are hundreds of consultative sales assessment tests on the market today. Many companies are already leveraging one of these assessments for their sales teams. If your organization is not, you should start because it will drive better decision making resulting from the use for an assessment that provides the most accurate information for candidates and incumbents.  

Whether you are an organization that uses a sales assessment or an organization looking to implement one for the first time it is important to understand what makes a good assessment. The best assessment will drive the best results, and in turn will allow you to make the best hiring decisions for your sales positions.  

7 Key Criteria for a Successful Sales Assessment 

1.Measures Sales Skills, behavior tendencies and personality. 

Does your sales assessment measure both “can do” and “will do” components? “Can do” components deal with things such as sales skills whereas, “will do” components measure behavioral tendencies and personality. When taking a measurement for an applicant you want to make sure both are present to ensure that if hired, they will be doing their job most efficiently and effectively.  

2. Includes a probability of success score that can be used for selection. 

Does your sales assessment provide a “green light” and “red light” metric? Having this metric is so important for you as a hiring manager. This will give insights on whether the candidate is a good fit or a bad fit and whether they should move onto the next step. Along with this it is important to have these “green” and “red” lights available to the applicant letting them know if they are a good or bad fit for the job and stopping the process if they end up being unqualified. This also helps with fairness issues in your hiring practices. 

3. Have easily interpretable information and results 

This is important to make sure that you are easily able to interpret the “can do” and “will do” components of the assessment and so the applicant easily understands what is being asked. It is important to make sure that the results of this and how the questions are asked to relate back to your specific job function to allow the most accurate measurement. You also want this information to be backed up by research and data to make sure it is accurate and verified measurement.  

4. Utilize real life job simulation scenarios

It is important show real life scenarios in your sales assessment. Given real life sales scenarios on the job will make it easier to see if an applicant can successfully sell a product and gauge their personality and attitude throughout the simulation. This will also give you an idea of how the applicant uses their situational judgement and skills to successfully handle typical sales challenges.   

5. Provides accurate selection information and rich developmental information to kick-start a newly hired salesperson’s development.  

Along with gauging an applicant’s current skills sales assessment should also be able to assess the development and learning capabilities of a newly hired salesperson. Having this measurement will help you find an applicant who is motivated and eager to learn their new roll.  

6. Generates a custom interview based on the candidates’ assessment results  

This will give you a chance to meet your applicant. Many of these interviews can be video based and the questions change depending on their answers throughout the assessment. This improves the entire assessment initiative which both helps you as a manager and the applicant throughout the process.  

7. Meets EEO and ADA requirements  

It is important to make sure that whatever sales assessment you are creating also follows American Disabilities Act and Equal Employment Opportunity requirements.  

These 7 key items will give you a set of criteria that will make for a successful sales assessment test that will help you measure your applicants. Sales assessments such as these will help you hire the best candidates on the first try and will help reduce turnover in an organization. Key sales assessments or any pre-employment assessment can be used an effective tool to implement into your hiring process.  

Related Resource: Pre-Employment Assessments – Everything you need to know 

Related Blog Post: 5 Steps to Hiring Better Sales People