Use sales testing with evidence collection and SWOT analysis for TNA, sales skills development, and staff selection
Do you know your sales strengths and weaknesses? You probably have some sense of what you and your organisation are good at and what you could do better. If so, you have the means to improve results and earning power. If the statistics gathered from sales testing that we have conducted using the Sales Exam are representative, fewer than one in twenty salespeople are proactive about self-development. Even fewer have taken an inventory of their sales skills and habits.
This may represent a missed opportunity for sellers, businesses, and recruiters.
Assessment tests that examine sales skills and habits offer several advantages over the psychological evaluation presented by most general psychometric assessments.
Direct questions allow tests to deliver self assessed scores for review and SWOT analysis by users and third parties such as supervisors, human resources staff, or managers. Results are easy to validate from performance data, observation and follow up questions.
Separating assessments into aspects of competency and then specific skills and habits that are examined via direct verifiable statements, facilitates easy customisation. Test can be quickly aligned with job specific competency models.
Every salesperson and manager has the opportunity to increase performance by improving sales abilities however, the nettle is hard to grasp. Time for learning costs time for selling. Getting better is often left to chance, or relegated to the bottom of a ‘to do’ list.
The ‘work smarter rather than harder’ wisdom is to spend more time on self or team development. Sales assessment tools help people take the initiative to improve their skills.
Without consultation or assessment, training may fail to address needs or win participant ‘buy in’. Results from assessments help managers focus training on the right issues.
An inventory of sales skills and habits makes the interview and selection process much more efficient. It provides a template for objective discussion of a candidate’s suitability. Prior assessment helps candidates to present their abilities effectively, recruitment consultants to match their brief, and employers to select the most suitable candidate.
While there are a wide range of general tests for personality, aptitude, and drive, and some that have a sales theme, assessments that provide a straightforward sales skills and habits inventory are hard to find.
Using the search terms – ‘sales assessment’ and ‘online sales assessment’ on Google returned many results. After the first page or two, the relevance of the links seemed to decline rapidly. Here are some details on the better-looking offerings.
Sales Test Online offer a pre hire assessment based on word association. It takes about ten minutes to complete. Fees start at $32 per use.
Profiles International is one of the larger providers of assessment tests. They offer two sales specific assessments. The shorter test takes about fifteen minutes and the more comprehensive assessment takes about an hour. As a rough indication only, fees range between $100 and $350.
Miller Heiman offer Sales Excellence Assessment and Predictive Sales Performance. Both tests take between one and two hours to complete. Each costs around £130 per use.
Resolution Systems Inc offer a high end, comprehensive sales specific assessment that takes about 90 minutes to complete and sells for around $700.
The main differences between the SalesSense assessment tests and other offerings is the use of direct questions that are not reliant on psychometric evaluation and support for 'do it yourself' review.
Used effectively, sales testing has a wide range of applications including personal growth, career management, solving performance problems, designing training, and staff retention. Compared with the potential for bottom line contribution, there cost is negligible.
“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” So wrote Lao Tzu. If you need to sell more, increase the value you offer. To increase your value, develop your strengths. It’s usually a lot more fun to become extraordinarily good at things that you already have a talent for.
Article by Clive Miller
If you are interested in sales testing, sales skills assessment, or sales swot analysis, we can help. Telephone +44 (0)1392 851500 for more information. We will be pleased to learn about your needs or talk through some options. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.