Why You Should Stay Away From Free Sales Aptitude Tests

BY Kathy Crosett
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Tough competition in the marketplace can tempt businesses to give away their products and services. If you’re operating in the hiring services sector, you’ll want to stay away from offering free sales aptitude tests or free sales competency tests. As you decide whether the freemium business model is the way to go for your organization, it’s worth considering what you want to accomplish.

Freemium Business Model Overview

The freemium business model can be especially appealing when you need to convince buyers to experiment with a product, service or process that’s very different from traditional practices. In the 1980s, the format became prevalent in the online world. E‑commerce and software businesses, the primary users of this strategy, needed an easy way to disrupt the marketplace. They wanted to show their concepts had merit and they were under time pressure. Why? Many of these businesses were funded by venture capital firms that expected a fast ROI.

And, of course, competition is always growing in the online ecosystem. It's fairly easy to copy a successful idea because online commerce has lower barriers to entry. These businesses don’t require investment in a big physical plant.

Many successful businesses now operate with a freemium model. Whether a company offers a few free features, usage quotas and limited support, they hope to inexpensively capture users. Then, they’ll upsell the users to a paid service level. Zoom is an example of this type of business. And their popularity because of the COVID-​19 pandemic soared.

Free Sales Aptitude Tests

Multiple businesses in the hiring services sector have developed sales aptitude and competency tests for employers to use. Does it make sense to offer a free test to attract attention and qualified leads? One academic analysis of the freemium model suggests basing your analysis on the following factors:

  • Can you show your product value with a free version?
  • What features can you hold back to convince buyers to upgrade to a more robust model?

Your answers to these two questions may help you understand how to promote your assessment product. One detail to consider is that the results of many sales competency tests require some explanation. The hiring manager or the sales manager, in reviewing the ‘free’ output, may overlook key features. These feature may help them avoid making a bad hire. Without that explanation, the prospective buyer won’t understand the value of what you’re offering.

It may be difficult to hold back specific assessment features in a bid to sway free users to upgrade to a paid subscription model. Doing so may leave them with an incomplete profile. And if you set up your sales model to give them a discounted price on a bulk purchase after they take a free assessment, you may never have a chance to explain why your product is better than what the competition is offering.

Emphasize the Value of Your Product

A good sales aptitude test result is typically based on data collected during the assessment. And the assessment may be designed by industry experts with significant experience in and understanding of workplace behavior, personal motivation and individual propensity to exhibit toxic tendencies in certain situations. As such, your sales aptitude tests and assessments reflect a significant investment in intellectual property. 

Don’t discount the value of your product. Instead, study the marketplace and set a fair price for what you’re offering. Work with your marketing team to design your ideal customer profile and develop content that will attract those individuals.