Why you should not rely on the DISC assessment to hire salespeople

The DISC assessment has been a go-to tool for assessing the personality style of job applicants and current employees across many industries since the early 1970’s.

The assessment is named after the four major personality styles:  Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.

It is thought that by testing someone and plotting their answers against DISC’s established personality patterns, a gauge of that person’s aptitude for a certain job can be established.  Although the DISC assessment is currently the number one selling personality test, it has delivered mixed results – especially with regard to sales positions.

Here is a brief rundown of some of the major pros and cons of the DISC assessment:


  • Widely known and used in HR departments across the United States.
  • Thought of as more reliable than the Myers Briggs Assessment.
  • Considered mainly a tool for coaching and development.
  • Better than not using any assessment.


  • It can be easily “gamed”
  • There have been no large-scale correlation studies to show that test results match real-world job performance, unlike the APQ which has been thoroughly tested with large groups of salespeople in numerous large companies.
  • Highly detailed test results require special training to interpret.
  • Evaluators have to sift through 20-30 pages of test result data for each applicant.

In short, while the DISC Assessment can give some insight, it is not the best assessment to measure the natural aptitude and predict the performance for salespeople and sales managers.

Why should I test at all?

The cold hard truth is that 50% of sales success is basic aptitude.  That’s right…most salespeople are born with “it”.   Sales training is used to hone the skills they already have and take them to superstar level, but if they don’t have the natural talent, they will get below-average results.

Here is why the APQ is far superior to DISC

  1. Used for hiring and development for all 12 sales positions
  2. Predictive of job success (correlation studies in large companies)
  3. Cannot be “gamed” (“forced choice” questioning methodology prevents it)
  4. Enables salespeople to develop higher levels of emotional intelligence (EQ)
  5. Associated IQ assessment (important for technical/financial companies)

Click here to learn more about the APQ

If you would like to try the APQ assessment contact Amy Sawyer for a discounted rate (1 per company).


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