As sales cycles become more and more complex, sales personality testing is gaining popularity as a tool for sales team development and hiring. Not only can these assessments provide insight into the behavior and preferences of potential customers, but more importantly, they give the sales professional insight to what drives their own behavior, and how that behavior directly impacts the success or failure of a sale.
If you’ve attended any of my sales management training programs you have probably heard me say, "you can’t change what you don’t measure.”
So when it comes to sales behavior assessments, there are two key benefits.
- First, gaining a non-biased look into your own personality, allowing you to see how your behavior either compliments or conflicts with other’s styles.
- And second, understanding how to identify personality traits in your prospects and customers so you can tailor your behavior in relation to their personality style.
How Should Sales Teams Utilize Sales Personality Testing?
There are two primary ways that teams can utilize sales behavioral assessments–in the hiring process and for personal development.
While at SalesLeadership, we don’t work with companies in hiring salespeople, we do recommend the use of assessments to remove bias and assumptions.
We have also found them to be very helpful to include in our sales and sales management training programs as they help participants improve their self-awareness and other awareness
Sales Personality Tests for Hiring
As competition for quality job candidates continues to get tougher and tougher, it is becoming increasingly difficult to not only find, but retain top sales talent. Recently more and more sales managers are turning to pre-hire sales behavioral assessments to assist them in their decision making process.
While good personality tests for sales jobs can be very beneficial tools, Jill Koob of the HR consulting firm EnergizeHR recommends companies use the following guidelines when leveraging sales personality tests in the hiring process:
- Pre-hire sales behavioral assessments should only account for up to 25% of the hiring decision – you also need to consider other important factors such as the interview, reference checks, the candidate's background and experience, as well as cultural fit.
- Be aware that pre-hire assessments don't provide insight into a candidate's learned behaviors – too much dependence on the results might give you an incomplete picture of your candidate.
Also, it is important to remember, there is not an ideal personality type that indicates if a rep will be a success. All people are different and all organizations are different.
These assessments will simply give you more data that when used in conjunction with other key factors will help you determine if the candidate is a good fit for the position, organizational culture, and work environment—or not.
Using Sales Behavioral Assessments for Personal Development
The second way personality assessments can be used in a sales environment is for the personal development of the sales team, as these tests provide valuable insight into one's strengths, areas of weakness, and personality preferences.
The bottom line here is that there are no right or wrong personality types. However, studies have shown that there are consistent patterns for how individuals with different personality traits interact–for better or for worse.
When one has a clear picture of what their dominate traits are, they can have an awareness of how they may interact with other members of their team, sales prospects, and client. And, they can work to improve behavioral responses that are limiting their career growth.
Sales managers can leverage these tools to help get a clear understanding of the team dynamic, communication styles, and potential areas of conflict. They can also coach and mentor the team based on identified areas of improvement.
Are All Sales Personality Tests the Same?
The short answer is no. As these assessments grow in popularity the market has been flooded with a wide range of options–with some being true standouts and others, not so much.
In this article we will focus on four of the top ranked assessments and look at the pros and cons of each.
The DiSC Assessment
The DiSC assessment is a powerful tool for understanding your personality and how it can affect your interactions with others. It can be used in a variety of situations, from assessing teams and individual performance to helping with conflict resolution.
The assessment measures four different personality traits:
Each trait is represented by a letter, and your score in each area gives you a picture of your overall personality, specifically how you approach your job and communication For example, some individuals approach problems “head on” while other prefer to arrive at a good solution using a more methodical approach.
By understanding your personality, you can make better decisions, improve communication, and work better with others.
It can also help you identify what motivates you and how to use that motivation to achieve success.
There are also some drawbacks to using DiSC assessments. For example, this assessment doesn’t measure a person’s intrinsic motivators or the “hard to train” skills such as resiliency, initiative or aptitude towards learning.
Also, DiSC assessments may not take into account the nuances of individual personalities, and they can only provide a snapshot of the person's behavior.
In the end, DiSC assessments can be incredibly useful, but it's important to remember that they're just one tool in a broader management toolbox.
If you're looking to develop your sales team's emotional intelligence, the EQi 2.0 Assessment is the perfect tool for you, and is seen as the "gold standard" for measuring one's EQ levels across a comprehensive range of emotional competencies.
The EQi 2.0 Assessment is an online test that measures five key areas of emotional intelligence:
- Decision Making
- Stress Management
It is one of the most scientifically validated tools for measuring one's emotional intelligence levels and provides personalized feedback on areas you can improve.
The EQi 2.0 Assessment is a great way to gain insight into your emotions and how they affect one's relationships and decision-making among peers and clients.
It can help you become more self-aware and in tune with your feelings, so you can take steps to improve your relationships and professional development.
With the EQi 2.0 Assessment, you'll be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to maximize your potential.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an assessment that sorts people into 16 distinct personality types based on their preferences for how they interact with the world.
Developed in the 1940's by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs, the MBTI is based on the psychological theories of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung.
It is the most widely used personality assessment in the world, and is used to gain insight into how people think, act, and make decisions.
The MBTI consists of four sets of preferences:
- Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
- Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
- Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
- Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
Each of these preferences is paired into one of 16 different personality types.
For example, someone who is an ISFJ (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging) would be considered a "Guardian", and someone who is an ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving) would be considered a "Champion".
By understanding their own type and the types of others, people can gain insight into how to better communicate and interact with one another.
The Birkman Assessment is a psychological tool used by organizations to assess the behavior, interests, and needs of their employees. It is based on the idea that people's behavior is determined by their underlying needs and interests.
By understanding what motivates a person and what makes them unique, organizations can make better decisions about how to use their resources and how to get the best out of their employees.
The assessment includes four parts:
Each part measures different aspects of the individual's personality and how they interact with the environment. It consists of over 300 questions, which measure 11 different dimensions, including problem-solving, assertiveness, and decision-making. The results are then compiled into a comprehensive report that provides a snapshot of an individual's personality and how they interact with others.
The Birkman Assessment is used by companies around the world to analyze the potential of their employees and to get an overall picture of how they think, how they work, and how they interact with others. By understanding the unique needs of each employee, organizations can create an environment that allows each individual to reach their full potential.
While a highly respected assessment tool, many people find the questions on the test to be confusing or difficult to answer accurately. This can lead to results that don't accurately reflect the individual's true personality.
Additionally, the results of the Birkman can be difficult to interpret. This can make it difficult for sales managers to make an informed decisions about team members or potential hires.
Which Personality Test is Best for Sales?
While all four of these assessments can be useful tools for hiring and managing sales professionals, at SalesLeadership we are big fans of the EQi 2.0 Assessment because it is focused exclusively on the emotional intelligence competencies that have a direct impact on sales performance.
The key difference between start sales performers and average performers is their level of emotional intelligence. The first step in boosting your sales team’s EQ skillset is measuring and assessing where your team is strong, and where there are gaps that need to be improved.
This assessment often helps sales teams bridge the know and doing gap by identifying soft skills that support the consistent execution of the right selling behaviors.
EQi 2.0 is the perfect tool for sales teams who are looking to boost performance by upping their Emotional Selling Skills.