How to Hire Salespeople, Sales Reps, Sales Hunters or Sales Farmers, Using a Sales Assessment Test

Published: 05th July 2010
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A good sales assessment test must go above and beyond a sales personality test or sales aptitude test; it should also be customizable for hiring Sales Hunters (new account acquisition role) or Sales Farmers (account growth and maintenance role).

It takes a different set of sales abilities for acquiring new customers (i.e., a "sales hunter" role) versus maintaining and growing the existing accounts (i.e., a "sales farmer" role). Some salespeople are better at proactive or aggressive selling (account acquisition), while others may be better at soft selling (account growth). Rarely can a person be very good at both. The key is to try to match the sales person to the role correctly. This article explains how to accomplish that, by helping you choose the best sales assessment test for the particular needs of your business.

Different Abilities Needed for Account Acquisition Vs. Account Growth:

A good sales assessment test must be easily customizable for hiring sales professionals based on whether they will be working in a "soft selling" (account growth and maintenance) role or an "aggressive selling" (new account acquisition) role. That sales landscape in turn is determined by the nature of the products or services being sold, price levels, degree of complexity, characteristics of the target market, etc. For example, someone working in a retail, spa or bank environment with substantial walk-in traffic may require a different set of sales abilities than someone reaching out proactively to other businesses to sell commercial printing services or office equipment. Real sales assessment tests such as the ones recommended below may help you hire better salespeople for both scenarios.

Different Career Levels Require Different Sales Abilities:

Good sales assessment tests should be able to test job applicants at different career levels, e.g., a frontline Salesperson or a Sales Manager, because both type of positions require different sets of sales abilities. Those sales tests must also be able to test Manufacturer's Reps, Sales Engineers, Distributors and Franchisees. Fortunately, there are certain sales tests that can help you with all of the above.

Personality or Aptitude Alone is Not Enough:

Some old-style pre-hire sales aptitude tests or pre-employment sales personality tests try to disguise themselves as sales assessment tests, which they are really not. Those conventional sales personality tests or sales aptitude tests are often "blind" to the impact of a job applicant's sales experience, sales training and knowledge of sales techniques. They may provide some value towards hiring inexperienced entry level salespeople or fresh college graduates with no prior sales experience, but may not be as well-suited for hiring experienced salespeople or sales managers. There is much more to success in selling than just personality or aptitude alone. A "real" sales assessment test would be better for hiring experienced sales reps or area sales managers who can hit the ground running.

Core Sales Abilities are Transferable:

The core sales abilities are generally transferable across industries. A good sales assessment test would empower manufacturers, distributors, retailers, spas, banks and service companies to test salespeople and sales managers for selling a wide range of products and services, regardless of the industry. A top sales professional may have spent 20 years learning how to sell, but may be able to learn enough about your industry to start being productive in just 2 weeks or less. It is often easier to teach them about your industry than to teach them how to sell. When testing experienced sales people, it is recommended that you use a real sales assessment test like the ones mentioned below (not a sales personality test or sales aptitude test which is blind to the impact of sales experience, knowledge and sales training).

Our Recommendation:

The patent-pending JOY Tests (TM) of Total Sales Ability (TM) from Dan Joy, Inc., meet all of the criteria above for good, real sales assessment tests. They may be used for testing experienced sales representatives and sales managers for filling sales positions in diverse fields such as machinery sales, automobile sales, auto leasing, etc., as well as for selling office equipment, business services, machine parts, advertising, insurance, printing, pharmaceuticals, hospital equipment, medical devices, engineering design and more. You may also use them to test your current sales team for promotion, retention or training purposes. Employers may receive 10 Free Sales Assessment Tests (Screening Tests) by following the link in the "About the Author" or "Bio/Resource" box below or by visiting the website of Dan Joy Inc., directly via any major search engine.

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