As sales and marketing professionals, we have come to accept the value of data analytics from lead generation all the way to the final sale and beyond. Data informs our decisions along each step of the funnel and continues throughout the entire lifespan of the customer relationship. This has revolutionized marketing and leveled the playing field to some degree, as we no longer rely so much on some mystical intuition possessed by a select few to generate business, we rely on the facts available.
What happens if we apply this data-centric approach to hiring salespeople? Predictably, just like any other endeavor where you inject science and strip off the superstitions and biases, you get superior results. And this is where a sales aptitude test comes in.
The easiest first step in developing a superior sales force
A sales aptitude test is the easiest, most cost-effective way to transform your sales force with new hires. If you begin testing all new applicants immediately, and I mean literally right now test all promising candidates before going any further, you will save a fortune in wasted time and hire the best people possible from your talent pool.
By using a sales aptitude test, you can choose your new sales people based on unbiased, scientific data rather than guesswork or instincts. Human beings are complex, and no test can account for every factor which affects performance but testing indisputably uncovers natural selling potential. It is of course up to you to help bring out that potential using training, superior sales processes, and good management skills.
The second step: test existing personnel
Next, existing personnel should be put through a sales aptitude test. If you can afford it, you should test not only the salespeople, but also the sales managers, customer services reps, VP of Sales, etc. The data will reveal who should be transferred to a job they might be better suited for and happier with, which benefits everyone.
Final step: make your adjustments
Involve your legal and HR departments before making moves to ensure fair transitions. And don’t make the fatal mistake of moving someone just because a sales aptitude test shows that they are a better match elsewhere, because you just might wreck your sales department. Sometimes, people develop a synergy and work well together despite test results, and you want to leave that alone if it is successful and making money for you. Apply “look don’t listen” and really check out the performance metrics and each member’s contributions before deciding on your transfers.
In today’s data-driven sales and marketing model, it makes sense to extend that to all aspects of your business. This includes the hiring of sales personnel, who literally inject the lifeblood into your company: revenue. Make sure you get the best possible people in your vital customer-facing roles by using a sales aptitude test.