Sales Candidate Assessments

Have you ever hired a salesperson who had a great resume, and who interviewed incredibly well, only to find out, a little too late, that they weren’t that good at sales?

Statistics from an Objective Management Group study of 300,000 sales managers show that 43% did not know how to recruit effectively. This is often because sales managers have been previous top salespeople that have gone through internal promotions without any recruitment experience.

You’re looking for sales A players – the type that will truly add value to your organisation. In order to find these candidates you’ll first need to understand your needs, then identify whether the strengths of a candidate matches those gaps.

Your people are your most important asset. It’s a cliche because it’s true. In fact, it’s perhaps truer in sales than it is in other business verticals, as employee performance is so directly tied to business profit.

Sales candidate assessments are therefore absolutely critical to business growth and success. But sales and hiring managers often don’t know how to create such an assessment, or even where to begin. If an assessment is too easy, every candidate will seem like the right candidate. If it’s too hard, no candidate will seem good enough.

This leads many managers and hirers to instead rely on instinct and gut feel; to forget about organisational needs and quantifiable skills, and instead go for the candidate who simply ‘feels right’. But rarely does such an approach result in the best candidate being chosen. 

Salespeople do some of their best selling in the job interviews. They know what a hiring manager wants to hear. This is why it is important to take an objective approach, rather than one of gut feel.

At SLP our sales training experts can reveal the exact type of candidate that your business needs to succeed. Our sales candidate assessments can then analyse a pool of available talent to find the professional that best aligns with those needs.

Boasting a predictive validity of 95%, our objective sales assessment simply works. 12 months after they are hired, 92% of our recommended candidates are still working and in the top 50% of the sales force. On the flipside, 75% of the candidates that are not recommended by our assessment tool but are hired anyway will fail within the first 6 months.

We therefore increase the likelihood that you’ll find a candidate that is your unique version of perfect, who will drive sales and business growth for years to come.

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How to assess sales candidates?

SLP sales candidate assessments are designed to identify candidates that will be successful selling your specific products and services. We’re sales specialists, not recruitment specialists. Unlike recruitment agencies, we understand the unique challenges of sales, and we focus on quality over quantity.

SLP sales candidate assessments are sculpted according to your needs and situation, but might include:

Verbal communication assessment

While the written word is perhaps the most common form of communication in sales, verbal communication is arguably the most important, as deals are more often closed in-person or over the phone. Depending on the open role this form of assessment can range from casual to formal.

Role play/mock pitch

How well does a candidate perform the task they will be employed to do, and how do they work under pressure? In a mock pitch scenario we act as the customer to assess presentation, problem solving, objection handling and general sales skills. This process can also reveal how eager a candidate is to join your organisation, as it will require a degree of preparation.

What do salespeople do?

Identifying the best sales candidates is only possible if you bring an understanding of what your organisation needs in a salesperson and the traits that the best salespeople share. Making sales is a complex dance that demands a broad and highly tuned set of skills – skills that SLP our experts know how to identify.

Generally speaking, the best salespeople are able to demonstrate the following skills:

Listening and communication

Salespeople must be capable of listening to a customer’s needs and pain points before clearly communicating why your product or service is the right solution. They must be comfortable doing so in a range of high-pressure situations.

Networking and relationship building

The best salespeople work hard to develop a sales pipeline that delivers a steady stream of warm leads. This is built on a foundation of networking, relationship building and personal brand development.

Persuasion and negotiation

Some customers are indecisive. Others are on a never-ending quest to find the best deal. Persuasion and negotiation are distinct but related skills that often separate the best salespeople from the rest.

Emotional intelligence and soft skills

Empathy – the ability for a salesperson to put themselves in their customers’ shoes – is perhaps the most underrated sales skill of all. At SLP we assess candidates for this and other soft skills to identify those that will understand and connect with customers best.

Ambition, motivation and drive

Sales is a game of targets, and the most successful professionals tend to have a fire burning inside. Though ambition, motivation and drive are often inherent traits, they’re also characteristics that can be developed.

Organisation and hitting targets

The best salespeople bring passion to their work, but not at the expense of process. Our sales candidate assessments are built to identify organised, goal-driven individuals who do the fundamentals well.

What are employers looking for in assessment tests?

An SLP we build each of our sales candidate assessments around exactly what you as an employer need from hired talent given the open role. Whether you’re looking for someone with extensive experience selling in a particular industry, or a more entry-level sales professional who can grow into their role, we can customise an assessment to suit.

Not sure exactly what you need in a hire? We can help with that too. Our experts can assess where your sales team is currently at, and the skills and experience they need to take that next step.

Sales candidate assessment reviews 

Once the necessary SLP sales candidate assessments have been completed, we’ll take the time to review each carefully chosen candidate with you, to give you a complete picture of how each might fit into and enhance your team.

These review sessions offer clear and actionable insights on each candidate and prepare you for the next step in the hiring process, whether that’s another round of interviews or putting an offer on the table.

The best candidate for you isn’t necessarily the most talented salesperson – it’s whoever best aligns with your goals, your needs and your culture. SLP candidate assessments are built to take these disparate elements into account, to offer you a far clearer and more accurate picture of the best candidate for your business.

Our Objective Sales Assessment has helped 2.3 millions sales people from 34,000 sales companies

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