In my pre-employment test research on sales reps, I tested huge numbers of the best sales reps in many companies. I often find the reps tend to get certain personality test scores.
By uncovering these benchmark or typical pre-employment personality test scores of its terrific sales reps, a company can use the test to quickly and scientifically find out which applicants have the same personality traits as its best reps. And the fastest way to hire great reps is to hire applicants who have work-related qualities similar to your company's best reps.
Overall, after testing thousands of the best reps in a lot of companies, I often see the following typical or benchmark high, moderate, and low personality or behavior test scores.
6 HIGH TEST SCORES on PRE-EMPLOYMENT PERSONALITY TESTS
1. MOTIVATION TO EARN INCENTIVE PAY
They run after making sales and, thus, earning higher commissions or incentive pay.
2. MOTIVATION TO FOLLOW-UP WITH PROSPECTS & CUSTOMERS
This means terrific sales reps follow-up and keep control in dealings with customers and prospective customers.
A smiling, extroverted rep quickly develops rapport and makes good impressions on potential clients.
Although many reps work a lot on their own, inside they view their sales work as teamwork and collaboration with their clients, prospects, and co-workers.
5. POISED REACTION TO PRESSURE
When successful reps feel under pressure or stress, they do not whine, moan, nor complain. Instead, they pick themselves up like a mature adult, and move forward toward their sales goals.
This is the can-do attitude the best reps exude. They overwhelmingly and automatically focus on solutions, not problems. Also, since optimism is contagious, their upbeat optimism make customers feel more magnetically attracted to buying from them.
4 MODERATE TEST SCORES on PRE-EMPLOYMENT PERSONALITY TESTS
Top sales reps are moderately assertive. They are not passive and laid-back. And they are not aggressive and pushy. Their moderate assertiveness makes them easy to get along with and nice to deal with.
2. FLEXIBLE IN FOLLOWING RULES & PROCEDURES
Good sales reps are flexible in following rules, policies, and procedures. They know what they can and cannot offer to customers. Sometimes they need to conjure up solutions to the problems of prospective customers, so their flexibility helps them come up with win-win solutions. That results in their increased sales success.
3. FEELINGS-FOCUS & also FACT-FOCUS
Selling involves both feelings or emotions, and also dealing with facts. Prospective customers sometimes need a rep to focus on their emotions in the sales situation, and sometimes on specific facts involved in the sale. Great reps focus on whichever their customer needs and desires to focus on.
4. PROVIDING GOOD SERVICE MOTIVATION
Interestingly, when my pre-employment testing proves a company's best reps are only moderately motivated to provide good service, sometimes the VP-Sales or VP-HR will gasp, "How could that be? Our best reps spend many hours per week helping prospects and customers!" Yes, the good sales reps spend a lot of time providing good service, but not because doing that is deep in their hearts. Instead, by providing good service the best sales reps fulfill their biggest motivations of (a) increasing their earnings and (b) following-up with customers.
2 LOW TEST SCORES on PRE-EMPLOYMENT PERSONALITY TESTS
1. CREATIVITY MOTIVATION
Yep - you read that right: Good reps typically get low test scores on Creativity Motivation. Why? Because they work each day using proven sales techniques they know work. They follow the sales recipe-for-success, rather than wasting time creating a new way to sell.
2. LEARNING MOTIVATION
Great sales reps' personality test scores usually show they possess a low level of desire to learn more. Instead, they would rather learn what they need for their sales job, and then go out and sell, rather than attending classes that are not related to how they can sell more. So, on their list of priorities of what they want to do, learning usually is near the bottom of their list.
RECOMMENDATION TO HELP YOU HIRE THE BEST SALES REPS
Research found that good pre-employment tests provide more accurate assessments of job applicants than other methods, such as interviews and reference checks.
You can use the following techniques when you test applicants for sales rep jobs:
First, only use personality test designed for pre-employment testing of job applicants. Never use any so-called "test" created for (a) team building exercises or (b) uncovering mental illness.
Second, have some of your best sales reps take the test. Their typical test scores become your sales reps benchmark test scores.
Third, have applicants take the test.
Fourth, seriously consider possibly hiring applicants who get scores similar to the benchmark test scores of your company's best sales reps. On the other hand, if an applicant's test scores differ from your company's benchmark test scores, then you probably want to find some better sales rep applicants.
Using a pre-employment personality test with your company's custom-tailored benchmark test scores can help you scientifically and objectively work toward your goal to hire highly productive sales reps!
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