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Sales certainly isn’t for everyone, but many wish it was. After all, many sales jobs—perhaps because of their high demands—come with great rewards. These rewards can range from commission-based perks like free cars and tropical vacations to positions with raises and greater seniority. It can be a very rewarding and fulfilling position, but not everyone is built for it. Competitive sales can be particularly taxing on a person if they’re not made for it. And eventually, jobs that are taxing can burn a worker out and make them want to quit. So before hiring your next high-pressure salesperson, you’ll need to make sure they’re up for the task. But how do you know for sure? It all starts with establishing what makes a salesperson successful.

What Makes a Salesperson Successful

Whether you’re recruiting for positions in sales or not, we’ve all met a natural-born salesperson at one time or another. It might’ve been at a car dealership, in an expensive store, or even on the phone with a spokesperson with your phone/internet provider. They’re personable, proactive, and maybe even quite pushy. But that’s what makes them good salespeople. They did their job of closing the deal and certainly left an impression on you. You’ll remember them because of their confidence and edge.

But it’s not enough to just hire the first person who you interview and makes a lasting impression on you. A successful salesperson is not only likeable and outgoing, but further goal-oriented, coachable, and competitive. They need to be comfortable making connections with clients, but not afraid to close a deal. As well, as Joseph Curtis notes in his article on Harvard Business Review, the best salespeople should be experts in their field, resourceful, helpful, swift, and responsible.

And sure, it’s easy to see how well a candidate fits this bill on the job, but how can you be sure they will be able to meet all of these criteria before you make a job offer? Perhaps even more crucially, how can you tell the candidate will fit the bill within the environment and conditions you and your organization set? To find out, you’ll need to take a survey of what makes a salesperson successful in your organization in particular. After all, they’ll need to not only match the criteria needed for the position, but also the criteria for working under your management and in your corporate culture.

And luckily for you, we’ve got just the tool for you to be able to do so.

Measure Potential for Success with Packfinder

Packfinder is our free psychometric assessment that, with recent updates, can now be completed in just ten minutes online. The questionnaire is comprised of 168 single-word descriptors that users then rank based on how closely they relate to each. These questions, from “enterprising” and “competitive” to “goal-oriented”, target both a user’s potential in 60 different career paths and their core character traits/communication style.

After all, a candidate’s success in any given position is not just based on the position itself, but also how they function in a given environment or under a certain kind of management style. And this, as Rob Dougan, expert in psychographic profiling and consumer behavior notes, is crucial.

In order to offer recruiters and other hiring professionals the information necessary to make informed and sound hiring decisions, Packfinder measures the following in each user:

1. Their self-management or enterprising potential

  • Many successful salespeople, especially high-pressure salespeople, tend to be very competitive, proactive, and assertive

2. Their motivational profile

  • Many successful salespeople are very competitive, challenge-oriented, and perhaps even a bit impatient (a range between +25 and 0 would be the most ideal because these workers are both good at building relationships, but are still not afraid to ask for the business and are not risk-adverse)

3. Their environmental fit

  • An ideal salesperson is coachable, and their environment and management should reflect this. (I.e., are you yourself a hands-on manager? Do you like to offer and expect a bit more freedom and independence from your workers?)

4. Their comfort with conflict

  • High-pressure salespeople should be good at handling objections, negotiating, and raising unpopular views

5. Their people orientation or their social style

  • While important to know, don’t forget that not all extroverts are good salespeople, and not all salespeople are extroverts!

6. Their analytical orientation

  • Many top salespeople enjoy learning

Using Packfinder to Predict Potential for Success

Of course, Packfinder can be used to determine how likely a candidate is to succeed in a given position, specifically at your organization and under your leadership. However, especially since it’s free to use, Packfinder can also be used in an earlier stage in your hiring cycle: at the filtration stage. After all, Workwolf uses Packfinder results to create candidate pools that are specific to benchmarks, so your candidates can be closer to what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for a strong sales candidate, for example, Workwolf filters all candidates you offer the assessment to based on their likelihood to succeed in a sales position. This means of all the candidates who completed the assessment, the candidate pool will only include those scores most closely match the position at hand (5/5 or close to it). This way, your filtration is both effective and equitable. After all, this method of filtration only tackles soft-skills and not markers of identity.

Ready to try it out for yourself? Join the Workwolf network today with a Workwolf Business account and start sending your applicants Packfinder for free!


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