- June 20, 2005
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
I received a comment on a previous blog where a candidate that had been assessed for a sales management position wrote, “….Don’t you think your sales specific pre-employment assessments are inflexible and not a true indicator of future success? Such tests compartmentalize people, placing them in strict categories. People are not black and white, but colorful, each with a unique identity.”
This inaccurate comment is a great example of how widely people misunderstand assessments in general so I thought I’d take a moment to provide some education. Assessments generally fall into two very broad categories: Professional Assessments and those for entertainment purposes. If you don’t know which ones are which, you’ve probably used the entertainment variety, widely available throughout the internet, for little or no cost.
Professional Assessments fall into four more categories:
- Personality – this is where you’ll find people lumped into categories, based on the way they relate to other people.
- Behavior Styles – categories are often seen in these assessments too, based on how people communicate and get things done.
- Aptitude – these assessments measure how much a person knows about a particular subject.
- Psychological – these are generally administered by the medical profession to measure for emotional stability.
As you can probably guess, only a sales aptitude assessment has anything to do with selling and you can’t let anyone tell you that the other assessment can be used to accurately predict sales performance because they can’t. Even a sales aptitude assessment won’t accurately predict sales performance. Objective Management Group’s assessments break away from those categories and don’t look at personality traits, behavioral styles or psychological make-up. While they do have a component that reveals aptitude, the emphasis is on whether an individual with execute the skills he/she has and which weaknesses will prevent execution. An even greater emphasis is placed on the bottom line; whether a candidate will succeed in a specific sales position for a particular company in a certain industry calling into a targeted market.
If you have any questions about various assessments, their purpose, the way they can or should be used and how they can impact your hiring decisions, company growth or culture, feel free to submit your questions here.