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Here’s How to Test Sales Candidates Before Hiring Them

2 min readSeptember 16, 2016

If you’ve been tasked with hiring sales reps, you’ve likely already faced the reality that it’s getting harder and harder to hire reps with proven sales experience. A lot of the sales leaders we’ve worked with here at Revenue.io have told us that competition to recruit reps has grown so fierce that they are hiring reps right out of college.

It can be tricky to determine which reps have the potential to be all-stars. With the right approach to the interview process you can actually gain a lot of insight into a rep’s potential. But a failed sales hire is costly. Think of all the time and resources that go into training a single rep. That’s why it’s so important to test reps prior to hiring them.

The right test can weed out which sales candidates (even inexperienced SDRs) can win revenue for your sales organization.

Testing SDRs

Here at Revenue.io, we ask SDR candidates to do the following:

  1. Identify a possible customer they’d like to bring to us, and explain in detail why they might be a good fit.
  2. Identify who they would try to contact, and give a rationale as to why those contacts might be best.
  3. Write a sample email and call script with the approach they have chosen.

While we look for overall excellence, the thought process evident in the approach is really the most important aspect of the exercise. You can tell a lot about the candidate when looking at the customer criteria they discovered in their research, as well as in the professionalism and creativity used in the approach.

Testing AEs

In our recent eBook, we asked some sales leaders that we trust most to reveal some of their prized sales hiring secrets, including Datanyze’s CRO and co-founder Ben Sardella. According to Ben:

“With AEs, we give them an assignment to study our product, study some of our materials and within a week they’re demoing to a group of us here at Datanyze. We then grade them on the demo. We certainly don’t expect them to be product experts, but we do expect them to know how to communicate and ask the right questions. We want to know what kinds of questions they’ll be asking prospects.”

Hungry for more sales hiring tips from some of the world’s most successful sales experts? Check out our eBook 31 Expert Sales Hiring and Coaching Tips.