Sales Aptitude is So Hard to Assess – How APQ Does It

Sports is a multi-billion-dollar industry. While sports superstars get a lot of attention for their individual flair and abilities, teams are predominantly managed to success by statistics rather than personalities. Contributing to this were the results obtained by manager Billy Beane, as famously documented in the hit book and later film, Moneyball. Beane transformed the Oakland A’s into a powerhouse that could stand its own against the likes of the Yankees with a much smaller budget, and he did it by looking at players using different metrics than the traditional ones used by other recruiters.
A similar shift gaining a foothold in sales recruiting. Instead of relying solely on the old methods of selecting “players,” such as the resume and work experience, salary history, personal interviews with tricky questions and similar, a more scientific tool is increasingly used: the sales aptitude assessment. It is only logical — if scientific measurement proves so successful in recruiting sports players, doesn’t it make sense to leverage the same approach in building a winning sales team?
Why the APQ
The best sales aptitude assessment currently available is the APQ, which stands for the Advanced Personality Questionnaire (formerly known as the Craft Personality Questionnaire).
It is an affordable test which takes about 20-30 minutes to take and is available on any internet-connected computer through an ordinary web browser.
The APQ sales aptitude assessment plots the taker’s test scores across several ranges which correlate to low, moderate, and high correlation for success for a given sales role, from outside hunter to inside farmer.
There are nine primary traits which are the most important to determine natural sales aptitude. These are:
1. Intensity/Drive
2. Need for Independence
3. Assertiveness
4. Recognition
5. Need to Analyze
6. Self-Protection
7. Need to serve
8. Trust
9. Optimism

Since aptitude counts for roughly 50% of a salesperson success, it pays to gauge whether a candidate’s scores lie in the ideal ranges for these nine traits before making a hiring commitment. The other four factors of sales success are:
• Product Knowledge (achieved with training and on-the-job experience)
• Sale process (created by employer)
• Motivation (developed through training, compensation, recognition, necessity level, etc.)
• Selling skills (improved through training and experience)
The difference between these and aptitude is that a salesperson is born with it or not – while he or she can stretch their personality to do better and develop greater emotional intelligence, there is only so much that can be improved without possessing natural ability in the first place.
Here is a video which covers all these points in an easy to understand, visual way:

Sales is like sports. The APQ is your best scouting tool.
Not everyone has the aptitude to hit a baseball. While someone who is all thumbs can practice for hours and hours and get to the point where they occasionally hit a ball, they are not going to be able to make a living at it when compared with someone who possesses hand-eye coordination and a good natural swing. And the performance metrics of each player will bear this out – the one with the higher stats will be the one with aptitude, naturally, and that’s the one a manager wants for his team.
Similarly, you can teach someone with zero sales aptitude to get a deal closed every now and then – but it will be a very hard slog for them to make enough money to support themselves and their family. In contrast, someone with natural ability but who hasn’t sold a thing in his or her life can be trained and thereby succeed.

Over 10,000 companies use the APQ.
The APQ sales aptitude assessment is the preferred tool for over 10,000 companies to find natural sales “athletes” which they can then develop into top performers through training and support.
Some of the primary reasons we choose it for our customers:
• Proven correlation. There have been numerous large-scale correlation studies which show that people who score high versus low on the APQ have an average of 50 percent higher sales commissions than those who scored low. They make more money for themselves and the companies they work for as proven by these studies.
• Used to both hire and develop. The APQ not only helps filter in the most gifted people, it also helps point out their strengths and weaknesses and provides coaching tips to develop them into strong performers.
• Designed to discourage and detect gaming. It is very hard to cheat on the APQ to make yourself look good. The questions are designed to detect inconsistencies in answers and will alert test administrators to this fact. If this happens with one of your candidates, you can either have them retake the test, or you move onto a more honest prospect.
• Helps salespeople increase their emotional intelligence. It is estimated that 67 percent of our success in life is related to obtaining higher levels of emotional intelligence. This makes complete sense when you consider how interconnected we are with other, emotion-driven human beings in our daily lives. The APQ sales aptitude assessment illuminates how others might perceive the test taker, the first step in building EQ. Now that he or she has gained this awareness, they can pro-actively adjust how they communicate to better relate to others.
• Unbiased and scientific. The APQ sales aptitude assessment is color-blind and doesn’t discriminate based on gender, age or anything else. Its purely personality-based and is safe to use under the EEOC and other employment laws to make hiring decisions.
Learn more about why the APQ is our number one choice:

Science is safer
It is safer to make decisions based on what you can measure and observe rather than gut instinct or guesswork. By helping you choose salespeople with natural sales ability, the APQ sales aptitude assessment gives you a better chance at assembling a team of heavy hitters who beat quota and work well together as a cohesive unit.
Real world results, numerous studies, and thousands of satisfied customers explain why the APQ sales aptitude assessment continues to gain favor among recruiters and HR personnel. I only expect this to increase as companies continue to adopt more scientific, data-driven tools and processes to get their jobs done and “play ball” with the best recruits possible.


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