Psychometric Tests – Sales DNA or Sales Tarot Cards?
Psychometric Tests – Sales DNA
Psychometric tests are now a multi million dollar industry spanning every country, industry, business and job sector. These tests have been used extensively in Sales, both to aid in the recruitment of new sales people and their training, to help them further understand buyers and how they think. Interestingly there are those in Sales who hail Psychometric testing with the reverence that a Police Detective views DNA testing, yet conversely there are those who view Psychometric Tests like Tarot Cards from a Fairground Mystic that have no place in modern selling. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of using psychometric tests to recruit and train sales people?
1) Psychometric Tests rely on the user providing honest and authentic answers to the questions. Given that someone applying for a job may be highly motivated, there is obviously a chance that some people will be less than honest with their answers.
2) Psychometric Test results can be affected by the emotional state of the user. We all experience times when we are not “thinking straight” and under these conditions it is unlikely any test results will be 100% accurate.
3) Accuracy figures of Psychometric tests are difficult to prove either way. The only consensus appears to be that tests are never 100% accurate.
4) The answers to Psychometric Tests are open to the interpretation of the tester. Unless the tester has been trained and is 100% objective there will be a further reduction in the accuracy.
5) Psychometric Tests only provide one part of a picture for recruiters and trainers and they should not be used as a hire/no hire tool.
1) Psychometric Tests when used properly make Employers stop and think. What are the preferred behaviors required to be successful in the role? Have we defined those behaviors and are they reflected in the written Roles & Responsibilities? Without this definition employers tend to focus on finding who they believe to be the “best” candidate versus the “right” candidate.
2) Psychometric Tests when used properly make Sales People stop and think about their behaviors. Regardless of how accurate the results are, anything that makes sales people step off their “Hamster Wheel” and think about how their behavior may be perceived by others is a great thing.
3) Psychometric Tests can help interviewers by providing a starting point for questions. Rather than having a standard set of questions, both parties can then have a more relevant and productive interview session.
4) Psychometric Tests help Sales People understand that buyers are different, and as such should be treated differently if you want the best outcomes from them. In the same way these tests can provide Sales Managers with a greater understanding of their sales team.
5) Psychometric Tests many times inspire people to go further, learn more about themselves and continue onto other forms of Personal Development.
Psychometric Tests whether you love them or hate them are never going to disappear as our natural human curiosity will always provide a steady flow of candidates. The accuracy, validity and use of the tests will however continue to be questioned. Regardless of this, few would surely question the value in learning and understanding more about both our own preferred behaviour and those of our prospects and clients. If this is therefore our ultimate goal, the methods to which we reach the goal are less important. As we say in sales “Sell the destination, not the journey”.
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