Can Sales Success Be Predicted?


Since our inception in 1999, our sales recruiters have been asked thousands of times how to best predict sales success.

We used to say that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, so would target candidates that had achieved success in prior sales roles.

Thanks to dramatic improvements in the science of human behavior, we can now amend that advice, and recommend that our clients utilize some of the truly amazing tools that are readily available to better predict which candidates will excel in their role, and which will fail . 

After all, everyone on your sales force impressed their interviewers and underwent the same in-house training.

 So why have some developed into selling machines while others languish in mediocrity?

The answer may be that the rainmakers possess psychometric profiles that translate into sales success.

Psychometrics seeks to test candidates’ character, personality, and emotional state to predict behaviors, reactions, and outcomes within specific work environments and situations. The goal is to identify people who exhibit the attributes that most positively predict strong selling potential.



Source: Psychometric Success

 Adherents say this is particularly important in sales.

 Salespeople are adept at selling themselves in interviews, presenting their best features and benefits, and overcoming objections. Sadly, interview performance often bears little on job performance, because many of the attributes interviewers (and people in general) value are irrelevant in some jobs.

For instance, a University of Iowa study found that agreeability “is not an important predictor of job performance, even in those jobs containing a large social component (e.g. sales or management).”

Psychometric testing has identified 4 primary Attitudes, Values & Character Strengths which can help predict a person that is most likely to perform well in sales situations:


    • Competitive Drive – wanting to be the best salesperson possible
    • Internal Motivation – willingness to put in the time, do the research, and make the sacrifices required to satisfy that drive
    • Self-reliance – taking responsibility for one’s own success or failure
    • Contentment – comfort with one’s work, family, and personal situation


To incorporate psychometric testing into your recruiting efforts, start by researching vendors. They run the gamut from respectable firms to snake oil peddlers. Many of the good ones can provide tests specifically designed for hunters (heavy weighted for assertiveness, extroversion, tenacity) or farmers (empathy, patience, tact).

For a sales assessment which measures both innate psychometrics and sales style, ISC recommends  SalesPro  by Select International .

" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Brian Dishman and his team at Select International  have a stellar reputation in helping companies determine which candidates have the highest probability of success based on an assessment of their sales competencies, sales style, and intrinsic motivators. Having this information prior to making hiring decisions can give users a dramatic edge in predicting future sales success . You can reach Brian directly at  to give yourself every available advantage when making hiring decisions. 

International Search Consultants   has been providing exceptional candidates to our clients since 1999.

 To have a large pool of candidates to choose from, for all of your  hiring needs, contact ISC   today!