Playbook for Hiring Top Sales Talent

How to Hire Top Sales Talent with Assessments

Sales Hiring Roadmap 


Ever missed your revenue target because you didn’t hire the right salespeople? 

  • Hiring a good salesperson can dramatically boost your revenue and reduce ramp time 

  • Hiring a less successful salesperson reduces your revenue and may increase your turnover 

Not having A full sales team costs time and money:  

It takes an average of 68 days to fill an open position (much longer than 5 years ago). If a salesperson typically generates $25,000 a month, you would have lost out on over $50,000 in revenue in that time. 


So, what’s the solution? 

Hire smarter and more efficiently to build a team of top salespeople so you don’t miss your revenue goals. 

Identify what you want  

Firstly, what are your company goals and what traits do you want in your sales staff?  

Some traits that predict success in sales: 

  • Fast learner 

  • Competitive 

  • Goal-oriented 

What salespeople look for in a new role:

  • Solid compensation package 

  • Meaningful mission 

  • Opportunities for growth 

  • Transparent and committed leadership 



What do sales applicants want? 

The Bridge Group, a leading Sales Consulting firm, found that mentioning certain things in a job description had either a positive, neutral, or negative impact on the job seeker. 

  • Positive 

  • Mentioning career potential  

  • Painting a picture of the company’s story  

  • Name-dropping big customers 

  • Neutral 

  • Mentioning company’s growth trajectory 

  • Emphasizing plentiful inbound leads 

  • Mentioning cold calling 

  • Negative 

  • Mentioning expectations for quotas 

  • Discussing numbers of dials 



But resumes only tell you so much... 

  • 78% of resumes contain misleading statements  

  • 46% contain actual lies Relying too heavily on resumes may lead you to overlook high-potential applicants with less experience. 



So how can you accurately identify potential in your sales applicants? Pre-employment assessments are a cost-effective and efficient way to identify job candidates with the aptitude and personality to succeed in sales. Tests provide objective data that are scientifically correlated with sales performance. 



Cognitive aptitude tests measure: 

  • Critical thinking 

  • Problem-solving ability

  • Ability to learn and adapt 



The predictive power of aptitude testing

  • Research shows that cognitive aptitude is one of the most accurate predictors of job performance? 

  • 2x more than job interviews 

  • 3x more than experience 

  • 4x more than education level 



Personality traits measured by personality tests that correlate with sales success: 

  • Achievement 

  • Competitiveness 

  • Initiative 

  • Extroversion 

  • Assertiveness 

  • Self-confidence 


Assessments Recommended for Consultative Sales 

Job examples: Software Sales, Technical Sales, Account Executives 

Criteria recommends two tests: 

  • The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) measures an individual’s aptitude, or ability to solve problems, digest and apply information, learn new skills, and think critically.  

  • The Employee Personality Profile (EPP) analyzes twelve behavioral traits that influence job fit, and includes a custom benchmark for sales positions. 


Assessments Recommended for Transactional Sales 

Job Examples: Retail Sales, Call Center Reps, Sales Associates 

Criteria recommends two tests:  

  • The Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) measures trainability through skills such as verbal and math ability, communication, and attention to detail. 

  • The Sales Achievement Predictor (SalesAP) measures personality traits that are critical to success in sales, including traits that aren’t apparent in an interview or resume, such as inhibitions about cold calling or motivation to follow through with a sale. 


A Real-World Case Study 

One company used the SalesAP to increase the revenue per day from its call center sales staff. Employees who received a “Highly Recommended” rating on the SalesAP generated 25% more revenue than those who received “Not Recommended” ratings.  

The company estimated that by using the SalesAP to hire its 750-person call center, it could increase sales volume by $4.8 million per year. 


Our goal is simple. Criteria wants to help you identify the job candidates with the greatest potential to help you hit your revenue targets. 

A few of the companies who trust Criteria’s pre-employment tests when hiring for sales roles: 


Read Criteria customer case studies here and see how Criteria's testing platform can help you hire great tellers. Start a free trial today.


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