The best sales assessment tests you need when building your team

byAlexander Killeen

Whether you are looking for a more efficient way to hire the best salespeople or you want to save time doing so, you’ll want to make sure you are taking advantage of sales assessment tests.

Being a Sales Manager or business owner looking to recruit new salespeople can be very time-consuming since you’re having to read through a pile of CVs and interviewing candidates. Even once you have done all that, can you really be sure who you’re about to hire is the best fit for the role and for your company culture?

CVs are great in that they show off the candidate’s experience, skill and accomplishments. However, it lacks in showing you their personality and character traits and leaves you to risk deciding if they are a good fit for your job and your company culture.

One of the most effective methods for analysing someone’s personality is with sales assessment tests. To save you the time having to do the research yourself, this post will cover a range of different kinds of assessments for you to choose which is best to implement in your hiring process.


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The MBTI is a popular personality test that discovers people’s personality types through a questionnaire to assign them into 1 of 16 character types based on 4 categories which are energy, information, decision-making and organisation.

Each category is then divided into 2 results that describe opposite ends of that spectrum. Each result is assigned a letter where the candidate’s final character type will be described by a letter from each category e.g. INTJ.

Although not specifically a sales assessment, it does help to discover the personality of a person for you to decide if they will be a good fit for the job.

What are the different results that you can see?

Energy

  • (I) Introversion: enjoys working alone or in small groups and focusing on one thing at a time.
  • (E) Extraversion: works well with people and in a fast-paced environment on a variety of different tasks.

Information

  • (S) Sensing: tend to be more realistic by using facts, common sense and past experience to solve problems.
  • (N) iNtuition: can see the big picture well to be able to see patterns and creative possibilities to solve problems.

Decision-making

  • (T) Thinking: uses logic to make decisions and objectively weighs pros and cons while valuing honesty and fairness.
  • (F) Feeling: tends to be more empathetic and cooperative trying to balance everyone’s needs.

Organisation

  • (J) Judging: prepared and organised while being comfortable sticking to a plan and following rules.
  • (P) Perceiving: flexible when making plans and likes to act spontaneously while keeping their options open.

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

Each category type has its pros and cons in sales and there is no one perfect personality type for sales. For example, a candidate who is considered an extrovert may have no problem making cold calls but may lack the ability to patiently listen to the prospect describing their pain points.

What’s great about this personality test is that you will be able to get a strong idea about how well someone will cope when interacting with lots of different people, managing frequent rejection, solving new problems, etc. Used as a sales assessment, you will get a good idea of how that person works and if it suits your work style and selling methodology.

Where to get this test?

https://www.truity.com/test/type-finder-personality-test-new


Grit Scale

The Grit Scale assessment is a set of 10 questions that gives a score that reflects how passionate and persevering (or gritty) someone sees themselves to be.

Used best when hiring new salespeople, this assessment will determine how much grit someone has. Since the training and development of a new salesperson can take up to 6 months, you want to make sure that whoever you’re hiring has the ability to stick through the hard times and the numerous rejections they will inevitably face.

Although this test does not consider the salesperson’s character for sales, it can be used as a sales assessment as it primarily measures the effort they will give. The test scores out of 5 and shows that those who score higher should have a higher number of hours spent selling on the phone and increase the number of contacts made. It will also result in having lower staff turnover as they are likely to have more stamina to stick with something over the long term since they view achievement as a marathon rather than a sprint.

What are the different results that you can see?

The assessment consists of 10 statements where the candidate answers from 5 choices ranging from “not like me at all” (1) to “very much like me” (5) to describe how well that statement applies to them.

The answers are added up and divided by the 10 questions to give an overall score where the minimum score on this scale is 1 (not gritty) and a maximum score is 5 (very gritty).

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

Grit measures well in somewhat competitive environments where it is seen as challenging and meaningful. The Grit scale was developed by Angela Duckworth who states “to be gritty, in my view, is to have passion and perseverance about something in your life”.

Finally, taken from her website, her research of grit describes “that to be gritty means to pursue something with consistency of interest and effort. Some people choose not to pursue anything in a committed way, and that, to me, is lack of grit”.

Where to get this test?

https://angeladuckworth.com/grit-scale/


DISC

DISC is a behavioural assessment tool to help understand different communication styles. Based on the 4 behavioural styles, a person can have high or low scores in each to determine their overall behavioural profile.

What are the different results that you can see?

The results are shown on a circular chart with 4 quadrants, each divided into 3 giving 12 different results a candidate can get which are ID, I, IS, SI, S, SC, CS, C, CD, DC, D, DI.

Dominance

Describes how someone would respond to a problem or challenge. Those with high dominance are ambitious and not afraid to get straight to the point of the matter. Some characteristics may include: being driven, competitive, directness, forceful and firm.

Influence

Shows how someone can influence other people how well they can relate to them. These people thrive in group environments and work best in a team. Some characteristics may include: persuasiveness, enthusiastic, optimistic, inspirational and high-spirited. 

Steadiness

Refers to how composed or resistant to change someone can be. They generally enjoy working on a fewer number of tasks and being consistent. Some characteristics may include: patience, even-tempered, humility, tactful and supportive.

Conscientiousness

Is how well someone responds to rules and procedures. People who score high here are generally analytical in their decision-making and task-orientated. Some characteristics may include: being careful, cautious, systematic, reserved and detail-orientated.

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

Understanding the DISC behavioural styles of your salespeople can give strong indications of how likely they are to succeed in a sales role. As a sales assessment, it can be said that those who show high levels of Dominance are more likely to perform better as they are more confident and thus more likely to be confident in their sales skills.

Where to get this test?

https://www.123test.com/disc-personality-test/


NEO Personality Inventory (aka The Big Five Personality Model)

The NEO-PI assessment is a psychometric testing tool used to help get a sense of which potential career paths best fit someone and can accurately assess the personality traits of candidates.

It measures 5 personality factors that are believed to make up the core of our personality which are Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness.

Within each of the 5 personality factors, there are 6 facets that are measured to provide a detailed way of looking at each factor.

What are the different results that you can see?

Neuroticism

A candidate who scores high in neuroticism tends to be anxious and worrisome. They will often be unable to handle stressful well and prone to shyness or embarrassment when dealing with people. 

Extraversion

Describes how well someone can keep close relationships. It also tells the energy level of the person where a low energy level individual prefers a slower pace as opposed to someone with high energy who thrives in group environments and stimulation.

Openness

Someone who has low openness will be closed off. They tend to keep to themselves and is not interested in trying out new things.

Agreeableness

This factor describes how trusting someone is. It will tell how willing they are to put their own needs before others and can manipulate people into doing what they want. Also, it will show their level of humility and how tough-minded they are.

Conscientiousness

This candidate will be tested on their level of preparation and efficiency. Their levels of dependability and reliability will be tested. Their levels of aspiration, thoughtfulness and tenacity will also be tested.

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

The results of this personality test are presented in a visualised report that summarises the scores for each section and will include information on your personality type across each of the 5 factors. It will be marked from low to high with a description by each score showing the strengths that are associated with it to help you understand your candidates better.

Where to get this test?

https://www.sapa-project.org/blogs/NEOmodel.html


Caliper Profile Assessment Test

The Caliper Profile Assessment test consists of 180 multiple-choice questions. The test measures the candidate’s characteristics and motivations to predict on-the-job behaviours and potential.

There are 4 categories that are tested to understand the key skills and personality traits which are leadership, interpersonal, decision-making and time management skills.

What are the different results that you can see?

Leadership

This category tests areas such as maturity, ability to coach, ability to drive results, communication as a leader and building a team.

Interpersonal

How well a candidate tests in their relationship building, teamwork skills, helpfulness and ability to work within an organisation.

Decision making

Tests for decisiveness, strategic thinking and ability to make decisions.

Time management

Tests a candidate’s ability in process management, focus on quality, organisation, planning and managing priorities.

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

The results will show how well the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses align with the position they are applying for. It can help to see how well they fit with the culture of the organisation and gain deeper insight into their behaviours and motivations.

Where to get this test?

https://calipercorp.com/caliper-profile/


16 Personality Factor Questionnaire

The 16 Personality Factor (16PF) Questionnaire is an effective tool used to reveal potential and suitability. The personality test consists of 164 statements where the candidate must answer from disagree (1) to agree (5) on questions about specific situations to assess their behaviour and opinions.

The test will measure different traits such as managing stress, problem-solving skills and interpersonal skills where the results will outline the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

The candidate’s results will show how they scored in each of the 16 personality traits.

What are the different results that you can see?

  • Abstractedness (imaginative vs. practical)
  • Apprehension (worried vs. confident)
  • Dominance(forceful vs. submissive)
  • Emotional stability: (calm vs. high-strung)
  • Liveliness: (spontaneous vs. restrained)
  • Openness to change: (flexible vs. attached to the familiar)
  • Perfectionism: (controlled vs. undisciplined)
  • Privateness: (discreet vs. open)
  • Reasoning: (abstract vs. concrete)
  • Rule-consciousness: (conforming vs. non-conforming)
  • Self-reliance: (self-sufficient vs. dependent)
  • Sensitivity: (tender-hearted vs. tough-minded)
  • Social boldness: (uninhibited vs. shy)
  • Tension: (impatient vs. relaxed)
  • Vigilance: (suspicious vs. trusting)
  • Warmth: (outgoing vs. reserved)

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

You can see how closely a candidate fits the required characteristics you need in a salesperson. You will also learn their values and culture fit in your organisation as well as their work preferences, integrity at work and emotional intelligence.

Where to get this test?

https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/16PF.php


Holland Code Career Test

The Holland Code Career Test focuses on career choice as it groups candidates based on their suitability for six different categories of occupations which are Realistic (building), Investigative (thinking), Artistic (creating), Social (helping), Enterprising (persuading), Conventional (organising). This creates the RIASEC acronym.

This short questionnaire can be used for employers and managers who are looking to recruit new people or managers developing staff into jobs that are more fitting for them. It shows which jobs will suit the candidate’s interests, talents, and aptitude.

These 6 areas of interest cover a wide range of tasks and activities from which the top 2 or 3 scored highest become the candidate’s Holland code.

What are the different results that you can see?

  • Realistic: enjoys practical things you can see, touch, and use such as tools or machinery
  • Investigative: analytical mind and enjoys problem-solving and areas like math or science
  • Artistic: thrives in creative activities like art, drama, crafts, dance, music, or creative writing
  • Social: works best when helping others and areas like teaching or nursing
  • Enterprising: likes to lead, persuade people and areas such as selling or engaging with people
  • Conventional: good at working with numbers or records in an orderly way

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

Depending on which category the candidate scores highest in, some resources online provide a wide range of professions most suitable for each category. Using the career’s provided and the results themselves, it can be a good indication to see what career best suits the candidate.

Where to get this test?

https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/RIASEC/


Hogan Personality Inventory

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) assessment sees how you relate to others when you are at your best. It focuses on normal (bright side) personality traits which reveal who a candidate is under normal everyday working conditions.

When used as a sales assessment, it can be used to determine how well you work with others as a leader and/or as a follower. It comprises of 7 primary scales, 6 occupational scales, and 42 subscales.

What are the different results that you can see?

Based on the candidate’s test results they will be given percentile scores, ranging from <25% considered as low up to >75 considered high, in each of the 7 primary scales:

  • Adjustment (confidence and calm under pressure)
  • Ambition (competitive and desire to lead)
  • Sociability (extraverted and talkative)
  • Interpersonal sensitivity (friendly and perceptive)
  • Prudence (self-discipline and responsible)
  • Inquisitive (imaginative and curious)
  • Learning approach (insightful and values education)

The same score system is given to each of the occupational scales which are:

  • Service Orientation
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Reliability
  • Clerical Potential
  • Sales Potential
  • Managerial Potential

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

The HPI has a few use cases, namely in recruitment, staff retention and personal and professional development. The personality test will help you understand who your candidates and employees are in a quantitative way by seeing how high a candidate scored in the primary scales that interest you most. Using this, you are in a much better position to correctly manage your current workforce and determine how well a candidate fits the job.

Where to get this test?

https://www.hoganassessments.com/assessments/


The Enneagram Personality Test

The Enneagram Personality Test is a model that describes patterns in a candidate’s core beliefs. There are 9 (Ennea – Greek for nine) personality types that are displayed on a symbol (Gramma – something drawn) to display the results.

The Enneagram is used to see how people deal with stress as well as what motivates them and what makes them fearful.

What are the different results that you can see?

The 9 personality types are:

  • The Perfectionist (1) – naturally positive individuals with a strong will to help others
  • The Caregiver (2) – emotional thinkers and are good followers seeking affection from others
  • The Performer (3) – desires to be successful and to be admired by others
  • The Individualist (4) – seeks to be unique and expresses their emotions authentically
  • The Investigator (5) – prefers to work with data than people and are deep thinkers
  • The Skeptic (6) – well-prepared for problems and are seen as great decision-makers
  • The Enthusiast (7) – easily bored and thrives on adventure and spontaneity
  • The Protector (8) – feels they are strong leaders and see themselves in control
  • The Peacemaker (9) – enjoys stability striving to be agreeable and adaptable in a team

The Enneagram results are shown on a circle with 9 points evenly spaced along its circumference. The test will reveal which type the candidate is and the diagram will illustrate which 2 other supporting types supporting which give more insight into who they are.

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

Often times our core beliefs can limit us and it may be something we are not really aware of. By understanding the candidate’s Enneagram type, it can help to make them and you have a better perspective and learn how to approach problems in a more meaningful way.

Where to get this test?

https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram-test


Values and Motives Inventory

The Values and Motives Inventory (VMI) helps you to understand where the candidate’s drive and satisfaction come from. You can see from their values what motivates them and what type of job and environment they work best in.

There are 11 scales grouped into 3 categories to test a candidate’s values when relating with others (interpersonal), workplace behaviour (extrinsic) and personal beliefs (intrinsic).

What are the different results that you can see?

Interpersonal values

  • Altruism (generous vs. self-centred)
  • Affection (closeness vs. isolated)
  • Affiliation (people-person vs. independent)

Extrinsic values

  • Achievement (ambitious vs. laid-back)
  • Financial (materialistic vs. comfort)
  • Security (cautious vs. adventurous)
  • Aesthetic (abstract vs. concrete)

Intrinsic values

  • Moral (strict code vs. situational)
  • Traditional (respects authority vs. challenges authority)
  • Independence (holds strong views vs. adaptable views)
  • Ethical (faith in a higher power vs. trusts science)

A percentile score is given to each of the results to show how high or low the candidate scored. 

What can you learn about the candidate with this as a sales assessment?

To ensure high productivity and low staff turnover, you can use this test to discover what drives an employee such as who would feel undervalued if they are not recognised for their work, or less motivated if they do not get financially rewarded.

You will understand what values your candidates and employees hold and determine if the job or the company environment is suited for them.

Where to get this test?

http://www.alisonpricepsychologist.com/values-motives-inventory-vmi/


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