CPQ – Craft Personality Questionnaire – The Original

Update 2017: The CPQ Assessment has been Replaced with the APQ Sales Assessment

The APQ Sales Assessment is the next generation in testing and assessing your team and potential hires. Designed to improve sales performance, coaching and turnover, this 81-question sales assessment saves time and money.

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One of the tools I recommend to implement immediately in any sales organization is the CPQ, or Craft Personality Questionnaire. The reason is that 50 percent of sales success has been demonstrated to be natural aptitude, and by putting people into the “right seats on the bus,” previously struggling sales teams have been turned into revenue powerhouses.

At Asher Strategies, we deliver the original CPQ, which has an over 30 year record of success predicting sales performance.

With the development of the new generation CraftMetrics Personality Inventory (CMPI), I thought I would give a brief primer on the CPQ and compare it to the new assessment, and explain why we still use the original for now.

The Craft Personality Questionnaire

Over 1 million test takers are familiar with the CPQ, used across many industries as a hiring/selection tool, and especially adopted by the sales industry.

It was developed by Dr. Larry Craft in the mid-1970s after administering personality tests to applicants in the financial services industry. Seeing how long it took for psychologists to produce the results reports for each candidate, and noticing the ease with which applicants could fake answers to get acceptable scores, he devised his own assessment — the Comprehensive Personality Profile.

The CPQ eventually used software-based scoring systems, and was later refined into the CPQ after Craft received his doctoral degree.

The CPQ plots test-taker results against the ideal ranges, based on historical data, of eight major personality traits. Color-coding and plain English reports make the CPQ extremely easy for any manager to decipher the results and understand its recommendations.

The CPQ is unparalleled in its ability to predict success or failure for a selection of over 30 job roles, from outside sales hunter to customer sales representative to CEO. It truly does find the “born to sell” candidates as proven by case study after case study.


Dr. Craft sold his original company in 2005 and started to deliver his new assessment, the CMPI, about two years ago.

It adds a vocabulary test and a few other tweaks intended to detect if someone is trying to “game” the system by answering dishonestly in order to make himself look better. Follow up questions are automatically generated for managers to use to cross-validate results should this be the case.

So, with all these new bells and whistles, why do we currently stick with the original CPQ? Simply put, because of its track record of 30 years of proven success in predicting SALES performance, with hundreds of real-world cases proving correlation.

This is not to say we will not adopt the CMPI eventually. We very well may, once it has a sufficient track record to prove it is accurate as, or better than an already trustworthy tool – the CPQ.

If you have any questions about either the established CPQ or the newer CMPI, please give us a call or send us an email. We would love the opportunity to show you the change that adding aptitude testing to your organization will bring.


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