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Sales Assessment Guide: Hire & Train Smarter to Build Winning Sales Teams


85% of customers report being dissatisfied with their sales call experiences, according to Salesforce. 

This shocking statistic underlines the need to create better sales teams and processes by hiring the right salespeople and sales managers and delivering top-quality sales training. 

This blog post discusses a central piece of the puzzle for every sales hiring or training process – sales assessment.

Efficient sales assessment lets you ensure that you have a skilled and knowledgeable sales staff and management with the right attitude, so you can deliver positive customer experiences and make more sales. 

With that said, let’s jump into the post. We’ll start with understanding what sales assessments are and then explore everything you need to know to conduct online sales assessment tests to take your sales game to new heights.

Let’s go.

What Is Sales Assessment? 

Sales assessments consist of online tests for evaluating an individual’s sales ability or suitability for a particular sales role. Such tests may feature closed-ended and open-ended questions in various formats, such as multiple-choice, checkbox, fill-in-the-blanks, essay, audio/video-response, etc. 

You can create salesperson tests to assess various sales-related competencies, such as:

  • Knowledge of sales fundamentals 
  • Core sales skills, such as prospecting, objection handling, closing, etc. 
  • Soft skills, such as communication and time management
  • Personality traits required to succeed in sales 
  • Cognitive abilities


Skills and personality assessments play a crucial role in sales hiring, training, and succession planning processes, helping you create the best sales teams while saving time and money. 

Let’s look at the benefits of online sales assessment tests in detail. 

Benefits of Online Sales Assessment Tests 

Sales talent assessments provide many advantages to help you efficiently build top sales teams and skyrocket your sales numbers. Here they are:

  • Hire Better Salespeople

Making bad hiring decisions can hurt your business big time! In fact, you may be losing as much as $15,000 every time you onboard a bad-fit candidate. Sales hiring assessments let you avoid this trouble by simplifying your recruitment process and making it more effective. 

You can conduct a sales skills assessment test to screen candidates based on their sales knowledge, skills, and general cognitive abilities. Then, you can follow it up with a sales personality test to check if they have the personality, attitude, and drive needed for sales roles and if their values are aligned with that of your organization. 


  • Identify Sales Training Needs

The first step in any sales training program should be to find out which employees need training and on what competencies. 

How can you do this? 

Here’s the answer – Sales training needs assessment.

Online assessment tests make it easy to evaluate employees’ knowledge & skills and identify the scope for improvement via training. Armed with insights gained from an online skill test, you can create a targeted and streamlined sales training program to address all training needs effectively. 


  • Deliver Engaging Sales Training & Boost Retention 

Besides analyzing training needs, sales assessments play three other critical roles in sales training:

  • Formative assessments help make training more engaging by providing an interactive learning experience and improving comprehension through instant feedback. 


  • Summative assessments let you accurately gauge the impact of your training program and provide insights to brainstorm the best training methods. 


Pro Tip: Besides conducting sales training quizzes and assessments, you can also empower your training programs by employing an online learning management system

For example, you can use ProProfs Training Maker to deliver impactful sales training featuring assessments, presentations, surveys, and more by customizing ready-to-use sales training courses or building courses from scratch. 

  • Improve Sales Management 

Sales managers are responsible for several crucial sales functions, including setting revenue targets, mentoring salespeople, and managing sales teams and processes. Online sales assessments let you improve your sales management by empowering your hiring, training, and succession planning processes.


  • Easily Hire & Train Remotely

Online assessments enable you to hire from any corner of the world and easily conduct training assessments for globally dispersed sales teams. This lets you establish highly effective remote hiring and training processes.

Pro Tip: For your hiring process, you can even conduct remote interviews using a sales assessment tool. All you need to do is create a video interview assessment that candidates can take anytime, anywhere. 

Watch: How to Create a Video Interview Assessment

  • Reduce Salesperson Turnover

Research indicates that salespeople that receive good support from their managers and organization show lower intentions of leaving their job. Sales assessments help you provide this support to your sales staff through impactful leadership and effective training and development programs. 

Assessments also reduce turnover by ensuring you hire people who will fit in your work culture and helping you align employees with the right roles according to their skills and personality. 

  • Save Time & Money

Sales assessments streamline your hiring and training processes, help avoid bad hiring, reduce turnover, and minimize wasted training. All of this saves a lot of time and money you can invest in growing your business.

  • Increase Sales 

Improving your sales teams and leadership using assessments will help you improve your sales numbers through more effective selling. Plus, it can also pay major dividends in time since a better sales staff will help you enhance your sales processes and innovate with new sales techniques.

Those were all the benefits of conducting online sales tests. As you can see, skill and personality testing are vital for building a killer sales workforce and achieving your sales goals. 

But sales assessments are only impactful if you know what to assess. Scroll on to the next section to know what skills and personality traits you must focus on in your sales tests.

Top Competencies to Look for in Salespeople 

Here are all the competencies you should assess candidates and employees on as part of your sales hiring and training processes. We’ve divided these into hard skills, soft skills, and personality traits.

Hard Skills 

  • Fundamental Sales Knowledge & Skills 

Any individual applying for or working in a sales role must have a solid grasp of foundational sales knowledge. For example, they must have a deep understanding of the buyer’s journey.



  • Product Knowledge 

The better a salesperson understands the product or service they’re selling, the better they can market and sell it. For example, if a salesperson is selling a software tool, they may need to satisfactorily answer several questions on the tool’s functionalities on each sales call.

  • Lead Prospecting

A salesperson must be able to work together with the marketing department to prospect potential customers by developing an effective prospecting sequence and making cold calls. 


  • Lead Nurturing & Sales Pitching 

Salespeople must know how to qualify leads and implement effective lead nurturing strategies aligned with the buyer’s journey. They must also be skilled at making compelling sales pitches and strong presentations to convince nurtured leads to buy your offerings. 

  • Objection Handling & Closing 

Salespeople must be adept at handling sales objections by alleviating prospects’ concerns around budget, trust, competitors, etc. Once the deal moves forward, they must be able to utilize proven sales closing techniques to seal the deal.

  • Upselling & Cross-Selling 

Did you know that Amazon once attributed over a third of its income to cross-selling? Upselling and cross-selling are key for driving revenue growth and are highly prized skills among salespeople. 


  • Tech-Savviness 

Salespeople need to know their way around various software for sales tasks, such as pipeline management, sales workflow automation, and analytics. For example, they may need to use customer relationship management tools, such as Salesforce or BigContacts and data analysis tools, such as Google Analytics. 


  • Marketing Skills

Salespeople can refine their sales techniques by incorporating marketing methods into their skillset. A marketing mindset can also help them better understand their target demographic and brainstorm more effective ways to sell.


Soft Skills

  • Communication 

Communication skills hold massive importance in the world of sales. Salespeople need to communicate effectively with prospects, customers, and co-workers every day to make things happen.

For example, to conduct a successful sales call, salespeople must introduce themselves properly, employ active listening skills to understand prospects’ pain points, and present a solid value proposition using compelling speech. 


  • Persuasion & Negotiation 

When negotiating the price, salespeople must pull off a tricky balance between ensuring that the customer leaves happy and willing to purchase again and bringing back a deal that makes financial sense.

That takes first-rate persuasion and negotiation skills.


  • Email Writing Skills 

Salespeople with good email writing skills can prospect successfully via cold mailing and nurture leads who prefer communicating via email. To craft powerful email messages, salespeople must know about email etiquette and have good copywriting skills (another core marketing skill). 


  • Relationship Building Skills

The field of sales thrives on relationship building. First, salespeople must build great relationships to create loyal and high-value customers. Secondly, they must collaborate with team members and other employees to achieve their sales goals.


  • Cognitive Abilities

Salespeople must have a sharp mind so they can come up with creative ways to handle objections, upsell and cross-sell, and close effectively. Some of the cognitive abilities you must assess using your aptitude test for sales include the following:


  • Time & Task Management 

A salesperson must perform various activities every day and prioritize critical tasks, meaning that they must be great at managing time, tasks, and stress.


  • Change Management 

Your sales staff must be comfortable navigating and managing organizational change to ensure unhindered productivity and steady sales growth. While important for all salespeople, change management is a crucial skill specifically for sales managers since they’re assigned the responsibility for implementing such changes in their team.


  • Storytelling Ability 

Salespeople who can tell engaging stories that prospects can resonate with can deliver impactful sales presentations that your prospects can relate to, improving the chances of conversion.

Personality Traits 

  • Positive & Friendly Attitude 

Since salespeople need to engage with prospects and form lasting relationships with customers, they must be likable and exhibit a strongly positive and extroverted attitude. Such an attitude also helps build trust and improve teamwork & collaboration. 


  • Confidence 

Salespeople must be confident in all communication with prospects and customers. That’s because confidence helps build trust, a key driver for boosting conversions and customer loyalty. 

  • Self-Motivation & Ambition 

Self-motivated and ambitious salespeople can maintain the high levels of productivity, confidence, and goal-orientedness needed to meet or exceed sales targets while maintaining a work-life balance.

  • Coachability 

To remain competitive in the sales world, you must regularly come up with fresh ways of doing things, meaning that your sales staff must be trainable and open to new ideas. A coachable sales staff will enable you to implement your new methods efficiently. 

  • Empathy & Emotional Intelligence

Successful salespeople have a customer-centric approach to selling. They use empathy and emotional intelligence to understand their customer’s needs and keep those needs in front of their mind throughout the sales process instead of just blindly following a sales pitch.


So, that was a list of all the skills and personality traits you must assess as part of your sales assessment. Now let’s dive into how you can create an online assessment test for sales hiring or training. 

How to Create an Online Sales Assessment Test

Here’s the process for creating a salesperson test in five quick steps. 

Step 1: Choose a readymade assessment or start creating one from scratch


Step 2: Create your questions or import them from a question library


Step 3: Automate scoring (for scored tests) or map personalities to choices (for personality tests)



Step 4: Configure settings for security, customization, notifications, and more


Step 5: Decide on the look & feel of your sales assessment


If you’d like to know more about the assessment creation process, you can refer to our ultimate test-making guide or watch this video tutorial:

Watch: How to Create an Online Assessment Test

Best Practices for Conducting an Online Sales Assessment

Here are some tips you can use to create the best assessment tests for hiring and training for sales roles.

  • Be Clear on Your Requirements

To create an online sales test that perfectly suits your requirements, you must first gain clarity on what you want to achieve. This means understanding your product, sales process, and customer personas. For this, you can ask yourself questions such as:

  • How complex is the product or service we’re selling?
  • How are most of our sales happening – via phone, in person, or online?
  • Are we targeting first-time buyers or repeat customers? 
  • How complex is our sales process?
  • What is my ideal customer profile? 
  • Create Different Skill Tests for Different Roles 

For your recruitment tests, you can create a single test to assess all sales skills or create different tests for each of the key competencies you require in your candidates. If you decide to create a single test, make sure you at least create a different test for different sales roles. 

For example, here are some pre-built sales assessments that target a particular sales role:

  • Corporate Sales


  • Inside Sales 


  • Field Sales


  • Retail Sales 


  • Use Different Question Types 

Including various question types in your sales assessment makes it more engaging and insightful. This will enable you to provide a better candidate experience with your recruitment assessments and make sales training more effective with your training quizzes and tests. 

You can include various closed-ended question types, such as multiple-choice, checkbox, fill-in-the-blanks, matching, etc., and open-ended question formats, such as essay and audio/video response. 

Watch: 15+ Question Types for Online Assessment

  • Ask Situational Questions

Salespeople need sound judgment to handle tricky situations and capitalize on opportunities. Situational questions let you easily assess judgment and practical knowledge. Plus, they’re interesting to answer. 

In a situational question, you present the assessment taker with a scenario and ask questions based on it. You may create a different scenario for each question or ask multiple questions on a single scenario using a comprehension-type question. Check out this quiz that tests sales judgment using scenario-based questions.

  • Add Images and Other Media

Besides using a mix of question types in your assessment, you can also make it more engaging by adding media to enhance its visual element. Here are the various ways you can use media in your sales assessment tests:

  • Add images to the question statement
  • Add images to answer options or create image-only answer options
  • Add a video to the test and ask questions based on it

Watch: How to Create a Video Quiz

  • Ask Audio/Video-Response Questions

Audio/video response questions are an amazing way to ask open-ended questions that benefit both the test taker and the evaluator. The test taker can answer essay questions conveniently while the evaluator can thoroughly assess the test taker’s personality and communication skills in addition to their knowledge. 

What’s more, video-response questions are also an excellent alternative to video conferencing for conducting remote interviews. You can use video-response assessments to assess candidates from any time zone without any scheduling difficulties


Read: How to Use Online Testing to Change Your Recruitment Game

  • Configure Security & Proctoring Settings 

To ensure the integrity of your sales assessments, there are certain security settings you must configure before deploying them. Here they are: 

  • Make your tests private and password protected
  • Disable tab switching 
  • Enable proctoring 
  • Shuffle questions and answer options 
  • Randomize question selection using question pooling 
  • Disable copying and printing of assessment content 

To know more about security settings, check out our blog post on cheating prevention strategies for online tests.

  • Set Time Limits

Setting time limits on your assessment tests or individual questions makes them more challenging and lets you test how quickly a candidate or employee can recall critical information.

Time limits also serve as an anti-cheating measure since assessment takers won’t get the additional time they need to cheat in a timed assessment. They’ll only have enough time to answer the questions. 

Watch: How to Create a Timed Assessment

  • Don’t Make Your Test Too Long

No one likes to take unnecessarily long assessments, whether during a recruitment process or as part of a training course. So, make sure you create a short and effective assessment composed of relevant, not-so-wordy questions. 

  • Use a Top-Notch Assessment Tool

You need an excellent sales assessment tool to conduct sales assessment testing that suits your requirements and drives results. Here are some things to consider when choosing your tool.

  • Check if the tool has a comprehensive resources library to speed up test creation.
  • The tool should be easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and test editor. 
  • You should be able to ask questions in diverse, engaging ways.
  • The tool must have robust privacy and cheating-prevention settings. 
  • It should let you automate the scoring, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time manually grading tests. 
  • The reporting provided by the tool should be useful and feature statistics that make it easy to evaluate sales training needs and candidate performance. 

Watch: How to Choose the Best Assessment Software

Create a Rockstar Sales Force 

Online sales assessment is a simple yet highly effective way to improve your sales hiring and training processes and, in turn, improve your sales processes and bottom line. As long as you’re clear on what competencies you must focus on, you can create online sales tests quickly and easily using sales assessment software

But to fully leverage sales tests for business growth, you need software that has all the functionalities you’ll need. 

When it comes to this, ProProfs Quiz Maker is the most feature-packed online assessment software. It lets you create questions in 15+ interactive formats and configure, customize your assessments with 100+ settings and analyze performance with advanced reporting & analytics. Plus, it comes with a resources library featuring ready-to-use sales assessments and quizzes and over a million ready questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Sales Assessment Test?

Sales assessment tests are skill or personality tests to assess a candidate or employee’s sales potential and ability. Such tests consist of closed-ended and open-ended questions in various formats, such as multiple-choice, checkbox, essay, video-response, etc. These can be used to test hard skills, soft skills, cognitive abilities, and personality traits to comprehensively assess an individual’s sales competency. 

How Do You Assess Candidates With Sales Assessment?

Here’s how you can effectively assess job candidates with a sales assessment:

  • Conduct a sales skill test early in your recruitment process to screen candidates based on core hard and soft skills for sales.
  • Conduct video interviews for your remote candidates using video-response questions.
  • Conduct a personality test to find if the candidates fit your work culture and role requirements. Use the insights gained from your personality tests to enrich your unstructured interviews and ensure a role fit.

What Are Good Sales Skills?

Top hard skills for sales include sales knowledge, upselling & cross-selling skills, product knowledge, prospecting, lead nurturing, closing, handling sales objections, tech-savviness, and marketing skills. And the critical soft skills for sales professionals include communication, negotiation, email writing, relationship building, cognitive aptitude, time management, and change management.

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About the author

Vipul Bhagia is an e-learning expert and content creator, specializing in instructional design. He excels in crafting compelling e-learning modules and designing effective employee training assessments. He is passionate about leveraging digital solutions to transform work culture and boost productivity. Vipul enjoys exploring emerging tech innovations and sharing his insights with fellow industry professionals.