Reviewing the Basics of Sales Aptitude Testing

The APQ sales aptitude test has been instrumental in turning around low-performing sales teams for several decades, in conjunction with sales training and coaching. In the past, sales executives and hiring managers had to rely on imprecise recruitment methods, such as gut instinct and interview performance. With the development of the APQ sales aptitude test they could glean deeper insights into a candidate’s personality and determine with much greater accuracy whether he or she was the right fit for the job.

Should you test your salespeople? Let’s explore what makes the APQ different from others in the marketplace, and what makes it so well-suited for selecting sales-related personnel.

How the APQ sales aptitude test works

The test can be taken from any internet-connected laptop or desktop. It takes approximately 25 minutes to complete, and results are delivered instantly.

Once an applicant completes the APQ, he or she will receive their Primary and Secondary trait scores on a scale of 1 to 100. Each score is plotted against the ideal ranges for a specific job role. If the scores fall into the green range, this is ideal for that trait and job role. Yellow and red ranges indicate incompatibility, although applicants might be able to correct this through coaching and personal development.


The APQ sales aptitude test comes with several powerful and detailed reports.

  • Compatibility Chart. This report shows the candidate compatibility score for a specific role, including the primary traits and their relation to ideal/moderate/low ranges. It also provides follow up questions for the “red zones.”
  • This defines the primary and secondary traits and displays candidates scores for each, and also defines the applicant’s personality type: Reflective “Thinker,” Directive “Driver,” Expressive “Communicator,” or Supportive “Helper.”
  • Coaching Report. Provides in-depth coaching recommendations and tips for each of the candidate’s traits, in order to move them into more ideal ranges for the job role being tested for.
  • TeamBuilder Report. Describes the communication style of the applicant as it relates to colleagues, and career recommendations.
  • SalesBuilder Report. Identifies selling style of the applicant and teaches how to “match” or “stretch” to a buyer’s style. Shows which buyer type presents the biggest challenge and provides suggestions to adapt.

Why test?

The APQ sales aptitude test is recognized as EEOC-friendly, meaning you can safely use it in making hiring decisions because test results correlate to real-life performance (always consult with your legal and HR team of course). It provides a scientific way to filter out candidates who are likely to underperform, and select those who have the best shot at building lucrative careers in sales.

Testing reduces the mystery associated with the hiring process. It’s just a piece of the puzzle, but an important one, because it is hard to “game” the test.

So, I hope this post has been informative. Aptitude testing is here to stay, and its use will likely increase as everything from advertising to selling becomes more data-centric and the demand for accuracy continues to grow.


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