• Mike Poledna

How to Use Assessments in Your Sales Training Programs

Updated: Jan 13

After delivering many sales and sales management training programs, it has come to our attention that one of the most powerful and lasting components of these programs is the sales-specific personality assessments we include in each workshop.

Many people find the assessment to be an integral component for several reasons. They usually want to know more about their strengths or weaknesses as sales professionals and, specifically, how their natural characteristics impact performance.

But when we dug a little deeper into the feedback, the following were the top three reasons why they are such a popular part of workshops:

  1. Learning about one's personality traits is intriguing for most people, and it can be empowering to discover how those traits might develop in success.

  2. Personality assessments give people insight into their personal shortcomings. They encourage insight and self-awareness, which can ultimately improve or at least active focus on a person’s challenge areas.

  3. Understanding the behaviors and motivations of others is a powerful way to give learners an advantage in their sales interactions. Frankly, this understanding makes our jobs easier, and that’s something people want.

These principles serve as guidelines for how to include sales assessments into sales training programs. Such practices can make an impact, so it’s important to remember these best practices when incorporating the results into your sales training program.

  • Take care to integrate the results of your assessment into the training sessions in a way that will produce their best possible outcome. Introduce the results during a module that connects well with test questions. If the sales assessment information doesn’t feel relevant and useful to what is being taught, you risk losing its power by not maximizing its impact.

  • Don't deliver the assessment results in a way that can feel punitive or too personal. Some people find it uncomfortable to talk about their strengths and weaknesses because some information makes individuals feel vulnerable. This is why it’s important not to share findings from the assessment that will leave any participant feeling embarrassed, ashamed, or insecure.

  • Ensure the facilitator has a deep understanding of selling and how to use the assessment tool because powerful information placed in untrained hands could be more damaging than useful. People will always have questions related to this, so have a presenter who knows how to answer them.

  • Implementing personality assessments into a sales training program requires care. It’s vital to tie them back in with the workshop's content to ensure that attendees can take what they learned and apply it long after completion.

  • I recommend that you offer attendees an assessment subject matter expert after the training. The assessments can be complex and difficult to process in one or two days, and as they go on with their day-to-day lives they will encounter situations that may trigger questions about the assessment. Being able to consult with an expert after the workshop will help them better make use of their reports, leading to a greater regard for the training itself.

Incorporating sales-specific assessments into a sales training program can create a powerful and one-of-a-kind experience for the participants. Moreover, it will tie everything they learn back to their day-to-day selling efforts. By adding a scientifically validated assessment into your program, you’ll differentiate the concept from all other programs that people may have attended before now. You also make an impact on these learners' lives and careers by including these outside evaluations.

Get everything you need to execute a productive sales interview. Our ebook, 3 Essential Resources for Interviewing Sales Candidates, has the tools to make it easy. You’ll get an outline for the perfect interview, a list of questions to ask (and ones to avoid), and a candidate evaluation form to make sure you and your team make the best hire.

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