Are Your Sales Candidates Taking Pre-​Employment Assessment Tests?

BY Kathy Crosett
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As we approach the midyear point, have you been checking in with your reps on how they’re doing with respect to quota? The State of Sales Readiness 2022 Benchmark Report from Mindtickle points out that only 43% of sellers typically meet quota. Mindtickle based their analysis on their clients’ activity but it’s worth checking into what separates the average and below-​average sales performers from the rainmakers in all organizations. In some cases, great success comes from the right kind of coaching. Success also stems from using pre-​employment assessment tests to identify which candidates will be most open to coaching and what new employees need to succeed in your organization.

Pre-​Employment Assessment Tests Show Need for Training

When you bring a new sales professional into your organization, you’re prepared to invest in coaching and training to improve their skills and educate them about your products and customers. Sales managers told us that it takes over seven months to get a new rep up to speed. Is there any way to improve those numbers? Yes.

Ask your candidates to take pre-​employment assessment tests, specifically, a psychometric assessment that asks about sales aptitude. Reps with the best sales aptitude may become more productive quickly. But that’s not the only important detail. Some people will be more open to coaching. These are the team members who will engage more readily with your training content, and they’ll be more likely to retain the details.

Pre-​Employment Assessment Tests

You should also match the coaching content to exactly what your reps need. Some sales managers spend a great deal of time coaching their sales reps on negotiating. They may take that approach because their compensation is structured around profitability. Or they may personally enjoy negotiating. However, one sales rep may be struggling with discovery while another may not grasp how to handle objections. Without coaching in their area of need, they’ll never get to the negotiating stage!

The results of the Mindtickle research shows that 85% of reps get coaching on how to close their open deals. But only 24% are coached on how to improve their sales skills.

Sales professionals are in high demand. And some might argue that these team members have the toughest job in the organization. If you want to retain the sales professionals you’ve worked hard to recruit and train, you need to give them more than deal coaching. In our 2022 Voice of the Sales Rep survey, 51% of the 850+ sales professionals we surveyed said the most important aspect of their current position was the ability to learn new things. And 41% said that outside of financial rewards, they would like more professional development.

The Importance of Fit

Many sales managers use pre-​employment testing to weed out candidates they feel won’t succeed in the position they’re trying to fill. While job fit is important, you should consider other factors to help your new employees succeed. If you use a robust psychometric assessment that also measures factors like manager fit, you’ll know what changes you need to make as you guide your new team members to sales success. Keep in mind that over 30% of sales professionals have left an organization because they couldn’t make their relationship with their manager work. Within reason, it’s your job to modify your style to help your team members succeed.

Pre-​employment assessments can provide you with the information you need to make the right hire. And you can use the information to personalize the coaching and training your new hires will need to be successful as a sales professional and to be loyal to your organization.

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