Why You Need to Assess Your Top Salespeople

Every sales manager already knows that top performing sales reps disproportionately contribute to a company’s bottom line: the top 5% produces 26% of a company’s productivity while the top 1% produces 10%.

Therefore, assessing the skills, characteristics, and traits of your top salespeople just makes sense when you’re trying to hire sales reps similar to these superstars.

In practice, however, assessing existing salespeople to create a hiring benchmark doesn’t always happen.

Why not?hire-top-sales-people-for-a-start-up

Everyone thinks they already know what the traits of a top salesperson are

Googling “characteristics of a top sales rep” turns up 3,900,000 results. But the truth is, you’ll never really know which traits determine your top performing salespeople’s success unless you measure them directly. Otherwise, you’re just making best guesses.

Even the smartest people’s guesses aren’t always right. Google dropped brainteasers and GPAs from their hiring criteria when the data revealed they didn’t correlate with future job performance.

HubSpot’s Chief Revenue Officer Mark Roberge hires salespeople based on a personalized predictive index created by statistically analyzing interview and sales data. Using this data-based approach led him to discover that coachability – a trait he initially didn’t consider – is one of the biggest predictors of sales success at HubSpot.

Most people use the wrong methods for assessing traits

Most people think a face-to-face interview is the best way to assess someone’s personality. The problem with interviews is the level of subjectivity and guesswork involved. We tend to screw up the process by asking irrelevant questions, being led astray by our cognitive biases, and most of the time, we simply end up hiring the person we like the best.

Not to mention, when it comes to assessing existing employees, a job interview doesn’t even make sense.

Instead, research has demonstrated that an objective, data-based psychometric assessment is the best way to assess someone’s personality traits, motivations, and values.

So why do you need to assess your top performing sales reps?

Knowing which traits your sales team need to succeed at your company provides you with a huge competitive advantage. By creating your own personalized predictive index for sales hiring, you significantly reduce the error in hiring, and we all know how expensive and painful hiring mistakes are.

The bottom line? Assess your top salespeople and make more money.

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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min