We’re an assessment company so you can imagine how adamant I am about assessing candidates (not just for sales positions either). However, in sales it is crucial to use assessments to cut through the sales candidates’ well-developed social skills. Unfortunately, many assessment tools focus on personality only which is not a reliable or repeatable predictor of sales success.
My experience has been that most people focus on big personalities when it comes to selling. If the person is a good talker, tells funny stories, lights up the room, etc., then they must be a good salesperson. The bigger the personality, the more they will sell. Ok, I grant you that is oversimplifying it, but you get my point. I have encountered it for years when working with hiring managers.
The issue becomes more pronounced when these same hiring managers employ a personality assessment only. Now they look for big personalities with highly extroverted assessment results to confirm their gut-level decision to pursue a boisterous candidate. Sales is a listening profession – asking the right questions, gathering information and directing decisions are the core competencies of sales success.
I always tell prospects who are using personality assessments that it is good they are using assessments. They do tell you something of the candidate’s style that hiring managers can use in interviewing. But if you want to know how they will perform in the role, you have to measure their skills, aptitudes and motivations. These items are predictive of success and provide a detailed view of a salesperson’s abilities.