Pre-Hire Assessments – The Sales Manager’s Crystal Ball..

You need to hire a rep.  You’re under pressure. The territory is active and you’re filling the gap, but you’re not getting the results you need to fulfill numbers obligations. So, you begin a search.  After sifting through so many resumes your eyes are beginning to emit smoke, you invite a candidate to meet.


The Sales Rep Job Interview

The prospective hire sits across the table from you looking polished, pressed and speaking convincingly of their sales competencies.

But according to research, the decision to hire for most of us was already made during our first handshake. Astonishing, yet statistically proven. But let’s assume you’re the exception. After all, you’re a people person, right?  You have good intuition. You can do this!

The Gut Instinct Assessment

On paper the rep looks great! In person they seem like the perfect fit. You whip out your best interview questions, trying to predict the selling behavior and the likelihood of success for the stranger being interviewed. Good experience, good industry work tenure, they appear presentable, and competent. When it comes to office culture they say all the things to convince you they’re a fit. It’s going well.

So you pass the candidate around to others you trust who may have a vested interest.  Of course, they too believe this person is a great fit and give you the thumbs up. After all, they know you’re a people person.  They know you have good intuition. 

But you never forget: you have to live with this person’s strengths and weaknesses.  You have to suffer missed quarter after missed quarter if they don’t produce.  And you are the one who will have to repeat this process in a year or so.

The Validation

You know you have to validate this decision. You may ask for W-2’s to verify income. And let’s not forget the forgettable reference check: 

“What are Pat’s top 2 areas of weakness?” you ask.  “Well, Pat tends to drive very fast. So make sure you drive when visiting customers or risk being scared out of your wits.  Oh, and Pat cannot construct a complex spreadsheet with cross-referencing formulaic equation sequences that span multiple sheets.  So I’d suggest that you find another way to get that done. Other than that, Pat’s the cream and the crop,” says the reference and dear friend. 

On to the next reference – “all I can tell you is when Pat’s employment with the company began and ended, and the positions Pat held during that time.  Do you have a pen?”  Sweet!

It’s coming together! A major “to do” is nearly off your plate. But is this the best way to bring someone so vital to your success into your organization?  I say “no.”

You need more.  More info.  More data and metrics.  You need to understand the level of Selling Intelligence this candidate possesses. You need “Money Ball” for sales.

Why Pre-Hire Assessments are a Sales Manager’s Crystal Ball…

Sales managers regularly rely on data to make business decisions. Hiring is one of the most important business decisions sales management makes- and one that can be powerfully informed by data gained from pre-hire assessments. 

According to the Wall Street Journal 8 of the top 10 U.S. private employers utilize pre-hire testing. The number of companies leveraging pre-hire assessments has grown tremendously. “In 2001, 26% of large U.S. employers used pre-hire assessments. By 2013, the number had climbed to 57%.”

The adoption rate of pre-hire assessments is increasing because they provide a true profile of a candidate through predictive analytics- however the sales industry has lagged behind.

In this year’s AA-ISP report, over 65% of sales managers reported that hiring and recruiting are a top challenge for their sales organization, though according to CSO Insights less than 35% of sales organizations utilize assessments to make this “top challenge” a little less challenging. 

Pre-hire assessments created specifically for the sales industry are like a crystal ball for sales management. These Sales Personality Assessments give sales management line of sight into the selling style of sales candidates.

Imagine knowing if someone is a hunter or a farmer; imagine having insight into their true selling behavior – their level of Assertiveness, Work Ethic, Goal Orientation, Confidence, and more.. You can even get a Selling Intelligence™ score to discover how they rank against peers in the sales industry.