A proper sales assessment is something all good hiring managers should have in their arsenal. It helps level the playing field, lower the cost associated with a bad hire, helps to avoid the bias hire, and brings in stronger candidates overall. What more could you possibly want? As always if you have any questions please schedule a free 30-minute consultation and I’ll do my best to help in any way I can.


What we’re going to cover:

  • Why you need an assessment
  • The cost of not assessing
  • Avoid the bias hire
  • Assessment options



Why you need an assessment


“If you want to hire an engineer there is a specific skill set you’re looking for and you can test for that, with sales, it’s a little bit different. Instead, you’re going on their assessment of themselves, how they feel about themselves. They’re conditioned to reach out to sell, and they’re selling you on them. An assessment helps level that playing field.”


Hard to tell the difference

“It’s hard to tell the difference between an A player, and a B player. Becuase you’re looking at a brochure or a resume that they’ve written, and you’re going on what they tell you alone. So, the sales assessment helps you look at them objectively and tell the difference between the two.”


Reduce risk

“When you use a sales assessment, you’re reducing the risk of a bad hire. We know that a bad hire is a big problem not only for the team’s performance but for your performance as a manager and the overall company performance. But really when you hire somebody and it’s a bad hire, you know you’re affecting the entire team.”


Hiring managers unclear on what they want

“Oftentimes hiring managers are unclear on what they want. ‘I just need someone to sell my stuff.’, but there’s more to it than that. For example, there’s a lot of difference in selling to fortune 500 companies than small to medium-sized businesses. So, you really need to be clear on what you want. The assessment will help you work through that through an objective point of view.”


Low quota attainment

“The fact of the matter is the vast majority of salespeople do not hit their quota. So, what makes you think that the only people you’re interviewing are people that have hit quota attainment? It’s hard to tell the difference.”

“How can you tell the difference when the only thing you have to go on is what they are telling you about themselves?”

The cost of not assessing


Unreliable emotional hire or gut feeling

“Most managers and VPs emotionally hire or use gut feeling. I’ve talked about how unreliable it is but I’ve never said walk away from your gut feeling, your gut feeling is very important especially if you have high emotional intelligence. But that shouldn’t be the only thing you go on.”


Lost business

“It’s not only lost business from that person not selling in that territory but lost business in taking up your time as a manager, not being able to spend your time elsewhere because you’re dealing with them. So, if you make a bad hire, you don’t assess properly, that lost business is wider and deeper than you can imagine. It’s not just limited to the person you hired that failed or the person you’re replacing, it’s more than that.”


Spreads throughout the company

“This kind of thing spreads throughout the company. It affects everybody is you make a bad hire and you don’t assess people. It affects everybody in the company that has to deal with the person that’s not performing or incapable of performing.”


Assessments are a too, not the answer

“Assessments are easy in terms of signing up, paying for them and getting access to them. Just remember that it’s a tool, not the answer. It’s supposed to provide you with some guidance but you have to fill in the gaps with everything else. Such as your ability to bring in the right candidates, your ability to interview the right people and the ability to walk through that interviewing process using the assessment as a tool.”


Avoid the bias hire


“I don’t care what anybody says, everybody has built-in bias hire and it’s hard to walk away from those. It can be very emotional.”


Positive or negative fact overshadows the decision

“If somebody gives you a positive vibe, or they say something positive that you like that registers with you because of how you’ve done business you tend to avoid the negative stuff that’s right in front of you. You pretend it doesn’t exist.”



“This especially affects women and minorities, so don’t be afraid to think about that or talk about why that is. Because there are stereotypes of high-level salespeople being testosterone driven maniacs, and while there are many good men that are good sales reps, there are equally a good number of female salespeople.”


Comparing weaker versus strong candidate

“Well, shouldn’t I hire the stronger candidate? It depends. Let’s say you had a weak candidate come in, and right after they leave you interviewed the next candidate. They weren’t really strong, they were just slightly stronger than the weaker candidate. They would look fantastic stacked up against the weak candidate, right?”


Just like me

“The worst is if you hire someone who is just like you, and the sole reason you hire them is that they remind them of yourself. That built-in bias stays with you, not only in the hiring process, but you give so much rope when you make those kinds of hires because you want it to be right. Because they are just like you.”


Huge effect on who gets hired

“This bias has a huge effect on who gets hired and it’s a sad insult in many ways because you’re missing out on great candidates because you’re letting your biases get in the way. It’s hard, it affects all kinds of people, and you’re putting yourself in a position where you’re not getting the best candidate.”


It takes work.

“It takes a lot of work to get to the point where you’re not seeing your biases, you’re seeing the person and their ability to do the job, an assessment will help you do that. People tend to gravitate to people who are just like them. I get it, I get the positive or negative overshadowing, the weaker vs the stronger. I don’t care for the stereotypes, I think we need to get past that. But if you use an assessment your objective is one thing and one thing only, hire the best person for the job.”


Assessment options


“As of this podcast, I have decided to be neutral. In other words, I do not carry anybody’s products for the purpose of client interaction. However, I have access to Objective Management Group folks if you need me to connect you with somebody or if you need assessments.I’m just separating myself because directionally, to avoid this bias.”

Objective Management Group

Objective management group focuses on the sales, so strictly selling.”



“Disk sales assessment gives more personality related, how do you relate to different personalities, what your personality type is, and  that sort of thing.”


Don’t be discouraged!

“There’s a myriad of assessment options out there, so don’t feel discouraged if you cant find one right away. If you want some guidance on how to look at an assessment drop me an email and I’ll help in any way I can.”


Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.

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