From Inc.com’s article on how to screen sales candidates:
It cost $400 a candidate, and the recruits took the tests online. Dolan and Kinaxis’s star salesperson took the test, too, and Opus analyzed their test scores and created a personality benchmark. Afterward, Opus discussed the results with each of the candidates to see if any of them disagreed with the assessments. None did. “They’re spooky accurate,” Dolan says.
We use spooky accurate assessments for all of our sales candidates. Assessing sales candidates is one of the best ways to cut through the veneer and see what they are truly made of. This article places a priority on personality assessments which is fine but not ideal. However, a personality assessment is still better than no assessment.
We categorize personality as Selling Style and it is analogous to fashion style. It is the means by which the salesperson prefers to communicate, but it shouldn’t be a knockout factor when hiring. Companies who hire based on personality tend to be the ones who believe that all successful salespeople are extroverts. Not true and we have years of assessments to prove it.
Using the fashion analogy, there are a few faux pas that would lead you to seriously question a candidate (yes, I have sat through those interviews too). The personality style is similar – there are some that are probably a complete mismatch to the position’s needs. Those candidates should still be pursued in the interview process with questions to reveal more of their style.
The better assessment for successful sales hiring is to measure their motivations, natural aptitudes and existing skills. These factors are far more predictive of success in a sales position than personality.