To truly motivate and lead a department, new sales managers should come into their positions possessing specific talents, motivations and mindsets. Can you use sales leadership assessment tests to discover the strengths of the sales manager candidates who have applied for a position with you? Absolutely. Here are a few of the factors that good assessments should measure as you move through the hiring process.
Having the right mindset is key for successful sales managers. A good assessment test can reveal specific mindset aspects in candidates you are planning to hire. One aspect of mindset relates to how humans react to changing situations. Some humans react to any change as an immediate threat. They won’t stop to think about various scenarios and how the outcomes could be different. Other humans look for opportunity when change occurs. To have the best scenario for your sales department, look for manager candidates who score high as opportunity seekers.
Another aspect of mindset is curiosity. When a rep describes a problem they’re having, the sales manager should pay attention and ask questions to help the rep examine the topic from different angles.
Managers who score high for having a critical mindset may discourage reps from seeking help. Reps will realize that the manager is more interested in pointing out what’s wrong with every situation, instead of finding what’s possible. When questions about sales issues go unanswered, reps may not close deals, and that impacts the entire organization.
Assessments that measure motivation can reveal what really drives an individual. One common motivator in humans centers on knowledge. For example, some people will go with their gut in a situation. They rank high in intuition. Other people require understanding and information before they make a decision.
The power motivator is particularly important to consider when assessing sales manager candidates. Some individuals need to work in a collaborative environment. They won’t be happy, or make a decision, until they sense that everyone is in agreement. Your best sales manager candidates should score high on the power motivator. You want your manager to have a basic need for control. When they take responsibility for managing the department, their high power need will ensure that they keep things on the right track.
Every sales organization has a philosophy. If you hire an individual whose style doesn’t fit well with the existing organization, sales may stall. Your existing reps might resist the changes the new manager is trying to make. Unless you’re deliberately trying to refocus how your organization works, review the data from your leadership assessment test and hire the individual who uses a sales philosophy that’s consistent with the current team’s approach.
Specifically, more organizations are shifting to the challenger model of sales. As Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson have described, the world of business has moved away from the relationship building style of sales. This shift has occurred as more businesses operate in a highly complex environment. Sales reps and engineers are tasked with teaching prospects about how their business model should be changing and they also help the customer see a new way of operating. If your sales department is operating with a challenger style, your sales and leadership assessment test must take that element into account. If you hire a manager who is set on the problem-solver style of selling, they won’t be able to motivate your reps to do their best.
In the world of sales, Jim Rohn tells us, “Philosophy drives attitude. Attitude drives actions. Actions drive results. Results drive sales.” C. Lee Smith at SalesFuel explains that most sales managers are busy monitoring reps’ actions and focus on results. Their one-on-one meetings are often little more than discussions about numbers and activity. Our research shows that in a typical coaching session, about 30% of the time, from the sale reps’ perspective, is spent on account review.
To really make a difference in outcomes, sales managers should learn about and use their reps’ philosophies to encourage them to change their actions. However, if a manager comes into an organization with a rigid perspective, they may not be able to change. Information generated from a sales leadership assessment test will tell you if a candidate is coachable. If they aren’t able to modify their approach, and their philosophies differ from your company’s, you may not have a good match.
Sales Leadership Assessment Tests
Sales departments don’t run themselves. To generate the biggest impact on your bottom line, use data from your sales leadership assessment tests to hire the managers that are the best fit for your department and the organization.