August 31, 2018


The APQ Sales Aptitude Test is a must-use tool to hire superlative sales talent, especially outside sales hunters. But what about sales executives? After all, since many are wooed over the course of several months, this should give recruiters ample time to judge the potential and pitfall of each candidate, right?

If only that were true in every case. Here is a scenario which illustrates why the APQ Sales Aptitude Test should be used on executive hires just as much as sales people on the lower rungs of the ladder.   

Was it the exec or was it his team?

Jim was hired as the new VP of Sales for Ace Computer Corp. He came from a big competitor, and was well-known to most in the industry due to his regular appearances at networking events and prestigious community functions. He rubbed shoulders with the elite at endless happy hours and fashion shows, and was firmly associated with that circle. Hiring Jim was a big “get” for the recruiter, and he was given an extremely generous hiring bonus and lots of perks, including a completely remodeled office suite with new art and expensive designer touches, a company luxury sedan, welcome gifts including a new tablet- the works.

Unfortunately, after a year on the job, sales were flat. Morale was low, and Jim was hardly available to work with his sales managers or salespeople because he was always out of the office “drumming up business,” which never seemed to materialize (although the receipts for expensive lunches with “prospects” sure did). After a few uncomfortable conversations with the CEO, Jim was let go with the generous severance package he negotiated when he signed his offer letter. Ace was forced to eat a loss near mid-six figures, not including the opportunity costs and loss of reputation.

How did this situation at Ace happen? Upon closer inspection, it was found that Jim really didn’t bring in much business at his prior company at all – he was simply a figurehead. His STAFF did all the real work, especially his overworked personal assistant Rebecca, who did the bulk of the actual selling. Had Jim been given the APQ Sales Aptitude Test, it would have revealed that he really didn’t have the personality traits of a successful salesperson, let alone a VP of Sales. It would have exposed his staff as the valid recruitment targets.

Ace could have poached Rebecca instead of Jim (after testing her with the APQ to be sure) and made a rock star executive out of her eventually. Or, Jim could have insisted that Rebecca come along with him to Ace to preserve the successful dynamic he enjoyed at his previous firm and save his career.

This scenario plays out similarly in companies across America all the time because recruiters use the wrong criteria for hiring. Rather than rely on mere instinct or past sales figures (which should not be discounted, but aren’t paramount), the APQ Sales Aptitude Test measures the desirable traits needed to be successful in sales roles, from customer service reps to C-suite execs.

And this leads to a better team and the chance for maximum growth. A worthwhile target, wouldn’t you agree?

How to Use APQ for Selection and Hiring