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Sales Personality Test: Should You Hire for Sales Based on Personality Tests?

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According to a survey of hiring practices by Dr. Tracy Kantrowitz, over 60 percent of companies use personality tests to help them vet job candidates. While a majority of companies use sales personality tests, few totally rely upon them. Other ways that sales hiring managers qualify applicants include role play, asking pointed questions, and learning about prior jobs, training, and education.

Beyond only judging aptitude, employers also want to make certain they can hire responsible, long-term employees who will fit well within their company culture. Still, sales aptitude tests can offer useful information about new hires and even current sales team members.

Using Sales Personality Tests for Hiring

Obviously, most hiring managers would only regard scores on sales aptitude tests as one factor to consider. These tips for using sales personality tests can help you maximize the benefits of testing:

Read top advice for new sales reps. Read this blog.

1. Determining Sales Aptitude

Some job candidates believe they have a talent for sales because they have good communication skills and enjoy working with people. However, characteristics like passion, empathy, and accountability also make the best salespeople productive and determined. Sales-specific tests like OMG can help uncover a candidate's confidence in their abilities and motivation to want to work in sales.

2. Identify Growth and Training Opportunities

Even your two best salespeople probably won't share the same characteristics. One of your top people may have greater determination, but the other may be better at displaying empathy. While no two salespeople are good at everything, it's possible for most salespeople to improve with the right training and incentives. A sales aptitude test can quickly uncover both strengths and weaknesses, so you know what areas the employee needs to work on and who might serve as a good mentor.

3. Creating Balanced Sales Teams

Productive sales teams usually include salespeople with diverse personalities and skills. Typically, people who excel at one aspect of sales may not enjoy or do well with another. People with one sales personality type may doggedly pursue cold calls to bring in new customers, but others function better servicing your existing customers. Obviously, you need to develop new business; however, you also need to retain your old customers and find ways to increase their purchases.

If your current team is unbalanced because too many members want to drive up new sales and too few want to handle issues with current customers, you might use a personality test like the DISC Profile on both your existing team members and new candidates. For example, your team might already have plenty of action-oriented and enthusiastic members, so you may need to balance it out with salespeople who are more stable and collaborative.

4. Finding Cultural Fits

All companies evolve with their own cultures. Even individual departments and teams may offer unique environments. Sadly, talented salespeople probably won't stay long if they don't enjoy or fit in with your company and team culture. You can use measures like the Culture Index to measure how well job candidates will help support and blend into your environment. You can also use this kind of sales personality test on your current team members to learn more about how your company works and what changes might help it function better.

Will Sales Aptitude Tests Help Your Sales Team?

Test makers develop their tests by first measuring people who have demonstrated success as salespeople and then using their traits to help find similar individuals. While these tests may work well, they can have some flaws. For instance, some people are savvy test takers and will offer answers that they believe employers want to see. In other cases, a candidate may possess the right talents but not the right personality for the company culture or the determination to overcome obstacles. All salespeople perform better when they believe in their company and the products and services that they offer to customers.

Hiring managers should consider using sales personality tests for new candidates and sometimes, existing salespeople. At the same time, information from these tests should only offer one perspective. Other methods to qualify job seekers and help current salespeople may include interviews, mock sales calls, and common sense.

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