Identifying a perfect candidate is always a difficult task. On paper, a prospective employee can look like the ideal person to join your sales team, with an impressive background and reported track record of success. However, you may find that this person may not be all that they seemed to be in their application.
This is why many employers – inside the sales world and in other industries – are turning more and more to job-specific pretesting of a candidate’s skills before making their decision. Business News Daily recommends that hiring managers ask prospective sales candidates to read through a sample pitch and see how they perform as part of the interview. While obviously the interviewee won’t have an in-depth knowledge of the product or service that’s being promoted, this assessment can highlight three main areas of a candidate’s knowledge:
- How much background research they did into your organization (shown by what kind of information they can share with you as the prospective customer)
- How informed they are about your product offerings in general (based on questions or discussions that you may have had earlier in the interview, or what they may have researched)
- How skilled they are at successfully pitching a client and overcoming objections (shown through their interaction with you, even based on their limited knowledge of the product or service)
You can also use other evaluations to assess a prospective hire’s general sales skills through other channels. For example, email a potential interviewee or second-round candidate a five to eight question series of written response inquiries ahead of scheduling them to get an idea of their ability to communicate in writing as well as their question interpretation skills, says Sales Pro Insider. These questions can be general, sales-specific or a mix of both to get a better understanding of the candidate’s overall skills and abilities.
Another great option is to work with a skills testing company to design a specific assessment regiment for your organization. Even many small- and mid-sized companies are now using these organizations, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. As skills assessing has become more common and centralized, companies that specialize in composing exams have been able to produce tests more efficiently, reducing the cost of having a screening assessment created that addresses your organization’s specific concerns. In addition, improved statistical modeling and more advanced computing allows these evaluations to offer a more refined review, providing a more discriminating evaluation of a test-taker’s responses to provide a more accurate and thorough result.
At CSS, we have years of experience screening and reviewing candidates to provide our clients with highly qualified and evaluated prospective employees before they even reach your boardroom. Let us help you find the right candidates with the necessary skill set for your open sales position. Contact us today and see how we can help!