Discover how to assess sales candidates with this guide. Get insight on sales assessment, sales skills assessment, sales assessment testing and more!
January 3, 2023
If you're hiring sales representatives, it's critical to get your sales assessments right because it takes an average of 3.2 months for a sales representative to achieve full productivity. That's wasted months and lost sales if they end up being a bad hire.
But how do you filter out the candidates who are good at interviews but bad at sales?
How do you find sales reps who will help you double and triple your revenue?
We’ll explore that in this article, including sample sales assessment questions.
Assessment questions for a sales role reveal whether or not a candidate possesses the qualities they'll need to make a high-performing sales rep, such as coachability, sales drive, persistence, and confidence.
Here are examples of sales skills assessment test questions:
To evaluate sales skills, you must run the sales candidates through a multi-phase assessment. This assessment should include parts at home, over the phone, and in-person or on a video call. Later in this article, we cover how to assess candidates for their communication, goal-setting, and presentation skills.
Sales assessment testing is crucial for filtering out unqualified candidates who cannot meet the sales performance you expect. At The Sales Connection, we’ve hired and trained thousands of sales reps. We’ve seen how many unqualified candidates apply for sales roles — and how vital a sales assessment is to filter them out.
A lot of time and money goes into onboarding and training sales reps, and sales managers don't want to put that into representatives who are not a fit for the company. A bad hire can impact your profits, client relationships, and sales team morale.
Communication skills are essential for sales reps to build prospect relationships, which they need to close deals. Two communication types are crucial for a sales rep: written and verbal. Let's explore them both.
Most sales reps use email to communicate at least part of their business. So you should test a candidate's skill at writing clear messages and look for any warning signs in their communication style.
Test: Examine how your candidate responds when you send them emails (but don't say you're assessing them).
What you should look for: A candidate will likely email you in the same style they'd email a prospect. So evaluate their communication skills as if you were their customer. You want prompt, polite responses and a friendly and professional tone.
Warning signs: A candidate who doesn't communicate clearly, takes a long time to reply, or has grammatical mistakes in their writing isn't a good fit.
Verbal communication over the phone and in meetings is essential to closing deals, so you need to assess whether a candidate is confident and effective at communicating on the phone.
Test: Your initial phone call with the candidate is them giving you a demo of themselves. Don't be afraid to ask a few challenging questions. After all, most sales prospects won't be afraid to, and you want to see how a candidate responds.
What you should look for: A candidate should project confidence, exceptional listening skills, and the capability to tolerate silence (since nervously filling in silence, especially at the end of a sales meeting, can kill the close).
Warning signs: Candidates should be able to sell themselves — the "product" they know best. If a candidate sounds nervous selling themself, don't put them on the phones with the prospects you spend so much money to acquire.
Goal-setting is critical to achieving sales success, and you want sales reps who can set goals in multiple areas: activity, growth, and closing deals. Below are some sample goals-setting assessment questions you can ask to screen for candidates who are proactive and goal-oriented:
Look for candidates whose answers indicate they're proactive and optimistic about achieving goals. You want people who show initiative and creativity.
Candidates who seem passive about meeting sales goals or can't develop ideas independently are likely not a fit.
A mock pitch is an excellent way to assess a candidate’s presentation skills. You can evaluate two types of presentation skills: prepared and spontaneous.
Choose a product or service for the candidate to pitch. Schedule the presentation ahead of time so the candidate has a few days and so you can see how well they research and prepare.
Mock pitches should show a candidate's presentation skills and confidence in speaking in front of people.
If the candidate doesn't seem excited about the product or well-prepared, this indicates they're not interested enough in your role to put the time in to prepare.
Of course, a sales rep can be 100% prepared for a pitch and know your product inside and out — only for a prospect to throw them a curveball. Here’s how to test a candidate’s ability to think on their feet.
Ask the sales candidate to imagine that their computer suddenly died and they couldn’t use their pitch deck. How do they proceed with the presentation? If the candidate can’t adapt, they probably won’t be able to when working for you, either.
If you’re taking a sales ability assessment for a new role, it’s critical to prepare yourself. So let’s go over some of the basics you need to know.
Organizations conduct sales personality tests to determine how well you're likely to fit into the company, team, and role. Many companies customize personality tests for their own use, which makes it challenging to prepare. Additionally, there aren't always right or wrong answers to aptitude tests. However, there are answers that hiring managers will be looking for to see if you share the company's values.
When taking a sales personality test, read each question carefully, take your time, and be honest.
Salespeople need basic math skills, so many companies test those skills. They'll most likely show you graphs, tables, and charts and ask you to answer timed questions relating to the content they contain.
Make sure to brush up on your math skills before a sales assessment training. That way, you'll be prepared and confident under the test pressure.
To close a sale over the phone, you need excellent communication skills, which is why companies will likely test your verbal-reasoning ability.
Assessments measure competence, drive, ambition, work ethic, and emotional intelligence. If you’ll be taking a sales assessment test on the job, your employer wants to see that you know the product inside and out. Go back to the training materials you got when you started the job and review them with a fresh eye.
Go through your prepared presentation with a fine-tooth comb and look for improvements.
Imagine what you’ll say if you’re doing a roleplay and the assessor throws you a curveball.
The sales assessment tests you use should help you determine whether or not a candidate shows up to their calls with conviction and — most importantly — whether they can close the sale.
That’s where The Sales Connection’s values and decision-making assessment can help. We use scientific, evidence-based processes to remove interviewer biases and gut-based decisions. Our systems are repeatable and customizable to your business, so your sales team can grow quickly.
Learn more about our "Sales DNA Profiler," which filters out 98.7% of sales talent, leaving you with the top 1.3% to grow your revenue.
Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.