We recently answered the following question on Linkedin:
Are there any psychometric tests out there to assess Sales Skills/Preferences before making a hiring decision? I have heard of two tests: SPQ Gold and SalesKey. But I haven’t used any of them so far and not sure how good they are. If anyone has used these tests, I would appreciate your feedback.
Great question. We help our clients hire several hundred sales reps and managers per year and we use tests extensively. While we don’t recommend basing your hiring decision on a test, they can be very useful for confimring/rejecting assumptions or adding perspective on candidates.
We use a variety of tests depending on the position and the insight we are seeking. I can’t suggest a particular test without knowing the role you are trying for. Some tests are useful for rep positions and others are geared towards management positions. We have specific tests we use for hunters versus farmer positions and others for inside sales.
Whatever you choose, I would want to ask the following questions of your vendor:
– does the test accurately predict top performers and what are the stats (many tests are not benchmarked)
– does the test accurately predict top performers in your unique selling environment (many tests are great at mistakenly identifying the lowest performers as top performers)
– is the test customizable to your role and selling environment (there is no such thing as one sales job)
– what does the test actually measure (sales skills, vs suitability for the role vs. temperament or personality type)
– will the test create a positive impression for your candidate
– is the report easy to interpret (we have seen some tests that produce 50 page detailed reports on candidates – at the rep level! All good information but most hring managers get lost in the detail – summaries and comparison charts are better)
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
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