4 Ways Hiring Assessments Can Benefit the Sales Training

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Using personal assessments to hire salespeople isn’t a new practice by any means. But using them in the training context is a lesser-known—yet immensely powerful—method of taking the deep information contained in an assessment report and using it to make a lasting and positive impression on the learner.

It only makes sense to assess a potential candidate’s behavior style and aptitude for the position before making a hiring decision. But the benefits of hiring assessments go far beyond selection. The very same assessment that HR uses to screen and select sales talent can be used by learning professionals to enhance the training experience for the participant and add greater value to the organization as a whole.

Here are four ways hiring assessments can benefit the training department.

#1: Assessment Results Indicate Areas of Strength and Gap

A major motivation in using assessments during the hiring process is to determine whether a candidate possesses the key competencies a position requires for success. This, in turn, will help identify areas of coaching and development once the candidate is hired. By gaining an understanding of a new hire’s assessment results, training professionals can get a sense of where learners need the most improvement.

Additionally, assessments that identify selling skill competencies measure a candidate’s knowledge of successful selling tactics and skills, which provides an enormous amount of insight from a sales training perspective. By evaluating individual assessment results, the facilitator will be in a much better position to focus content on areas in which learners lack clarity.

#2: Understanding a Personal Assessment Can Increase Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the cornerstone of personal development. An important—and lasting—learning experience starts with what we call the “science of self,” and the same assessments that are used by HR to understand an individual can be used to help that individual learn his or her unique strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots, as well as how to address them.


Salespeople will be more open and receptive to training when they are aware of their own areas of strength, tendencies, clarity, and improvement. People love learning about themselves, so new hires that have had their assessment results interpreted correctly in a classroom setting will learn to leverage areas in which they excel. In other words, they will be motivated towards improving those which are in need of development. And, quite frankly, including assessments in a training program simply makes the experience more fun.

#3: The Right Assessment Reveals a New Hire’s Optimal Learning Conditions

A comprehensive assessment can help you pinpoint exactly how to deliver content to the individual in a way that will guarantee it resonates and makes a difference. Learning styles vary greatly, so understanding the most effective way to get through to someone is critical for comprehension and retention.

For example, an individual who is detail-oriented and methodical will prefer in-depth explanations and as much information as possible, while results driven, fast-paced learners will do much better with bullet points and summaries. Assessment tools can help learning professionals understand these individual dynamics.


#4: Assessments Improve Communication and Team Dynamics in the Classroom

Assessments such as DISC and PIAV will not only teach learners about their own tendencies and preferences, it will also teach them how to read and tailor their approaches to others. Positive relationships are formed when people are comfortable adapting to those around them, and collaborative group learning can be enhanced through the use of personal assessments.

The ability to understand and work with others improves team dynamics, resulting in a tight-knit sales team that will be motivated to improve performance—not only for personal gain, but also for the greater good of the team.

Hiring assessments are an invaluable tool for decreasing turnover and increasing tenure, but they don’t stop there. Reach out to HR and get the most out of the assessments your organization uses for talent selection by leveraging the insight they provide within your onboarding and training initiatives.

About the Author

As chief operating officer of The Brooks Group, Will draws on his leadership, marketing, sales, sales management, and operational experience to help develop and execute the company’s overall growth strategy. Drawing from over 15 years of experience in the training and development industry, Will combines his deep institutional knowledge and client experience to optimize operations at The Brooks Group.  Will has co-authored the book, Playing Bigger than You Are, with his late father Bill Brooks, and has been featured in a number of industry publications. He has received awards for service to the HR profession and also is actively involved with ISA, The Association of Learning Providers.

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