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The sales team is the direct link between the company’s product or service and its customers. It is the one that makes sales, drives the growth and profit of the business and maintain a relationship with the customers. Therefore, a strong sales team is a crucial factor that contributes to the success of a company. No wonder then that hiring competent sales professionals is absolutely essential for the growth and development of the business. Traditional methods of hiring and recruitment are not quite helpful for the recruiters to pick the right talent consistently every time.

A sales competency test, on the other hand, is a valid and reliable method to hire talented sales professionals each and every time for an open sales position. A sales competency test may be defined as an assessment that measures the knowledge and skills required for a sales job.

Skills that Define Sales Competency

Depending upon the nature and functioning of an organisation, a sales competency test may be adapted to suit their unique business requirements. But there are certain skills that cut across business domains and are desirable in sales personnel in general. Let us have a look at the various skills that define sales competency:

  • Product knowledge: Any sales representative should first and foremost completely understand the product or service his/her company is selling. A complete understanding will help any sales representative craft his/her sales pitch effectively. In fact, deep product understanding and knowledge are what make a highly successful salesperson stand out from the crowd. Regular training followed by a short assessment will help the sales representatives gain complete product knowledge.       
  • Interpersonal skills: Broadly, interpersonal skills may be defined as skills a person uses to interact with others. They are important for employees in general and salespeople in particular to have. Further, interpersonal skills are a combination of several other skills that include communication skills, active listening, empathy, teamwork, negotiation, problem-solving and more. These skills can be easily assessed using a tailor-made personality test.  
  • Operational selling: The skills necessary to carry on day-to-day selling is referred to as operational selling. They are the fundamental skills a sales representative needs to be able to sell the product or service the company has to offer to its customers. Strong operational skills help salespeople hit their target consistently. Experience and intuition are two factors that contribute to the strengthening of operational skills. Structured sales training and coaching can help companies build a strong sales team. 
  • Competitor awareness: Understanding the competitor is the first step to get ahead of the competition. Awareness of the business domain, the various competitors, their business practises, strengths and weaknesses with an honest assessment will keep any business and sales team on top of the competition.
  • Leadership skills: A good leader is able to inspire and motivate others, is committed, passionate and accountable, is a good communicator and has decision making, delegation and empowerment capabilities.
  • Selling process adherence: Understanding the sales process and complying with the process requirement ensure process success and deliver the desired results. Developing a foolproof sales process, training and awareness for the entire team and ensuring compliance lead to sales process adherence.  

A carefully designed sales competency test will include questions and scenarios to test each of these skills and choose talented candidates to create a high-performing sales team.

Applications of Sales Competency Tests

A strong sales team is the backbone of a business and competent sales team members drive the team performance. Rather than using the traditional hit-and-trial method of hiring and recruitment, a sales competency test will help sales managers choose the right talent. Candidates who perform well in a sales competency test are more likely to succeed in their sales job role and contribute towards the success of the team and therefore the business. 

A sales competency test can also be used by the learning and development team of the company to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the sales team. It will help the L&D team come up with a tailor-made program to address the weaknesses and build on the strengths of the team for workforce development.

MeritTrac Platforms for Sales Competency Tests

MeritTrac offers several assessment platforms that are suitable to conduct sales competency tests. Pariksha, SmartTest, SpeechTrac and SSPQ are the MeritTrac platforms that recruiters and sales managers can use to administer sales competency test to the applicants. Of these, SSPQ or Sales Situation Personality Questionnaire is especially designed to appraise the personality dimensions of front-line sales agents.Tailor-made assessments, remote proctoring, performance analysis and comprehensive reporting are the hallmarks of these platforms. They make recruitment almost an automated process freeing up recruiters to focus their attention where it matters. The hiring quality also goes up helping sales managers build a strong sales team to drive company success and profit.

FAQ

1. What is a sales competency test?

A. It is an assessment that measures the knowledge and skills of a candidate that will help him/her succeed at a sales job.

2. How is a sales competency test useful?

A. The performance of a candidate in a sales competency test gives recruiters and sales managers a fair idea about his/her ability and competency at the sales job. Therefore, they can reliably and accurately pick and choose the right talent to make up a successful and strong sales team.

3. What are the applications of a sales competency test?

A. A sales competency test is useful during the recruitment process and helps identify the candidate with the right talent for the open sales position. It can also help identify the strengths and weaknesses of the sales team members who can then be trained accordingly to give their best.

4. What are some of the skills assessed by a sales competency test?

A. This test measures a candidate’s interpersonal skills, leadership skills, product knowledge, competitor awareness, operational selling skills and sales process adherence.

5. Why go for MeritTrac’s sales competency tests?

A. MeritTrac offers end-to-end solutions for a company’s recruitment strategy rather than a standalone assessment. From administering the appropriate online sales competency test to proctoring, analysing, and reporting our assessment platforms can handle them all. Our expertise, experience, assessment platforms and certified processes ensure a seamless and reliable recruitment process that helps select the right talent consistently and confidently every time.

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