Selling is part art, part science. While deals rely on strategy and process, success ultimately comes down to the personality behind the pitch.
Top performers all share certain innate traits that drive results – qualities like resilience, ambition, and emotional intelligence. Personality tests have emerged as the sales world’s crystal balls, predicting which candidates will thrive or falter on the frontlines.
This guide explores popular sales personality assessments, must-have attributes, and tips to showcase your natural selling superpowers and land your dream sales role. Strap in as we enter the psychology behind sales excellence!
What are Sales Personality Tests and Why Do They Matter?
Sales personality tests are assessment tools used by companies and recruiters to evaluate candidates’ personality traits and determine if they have what it takes to succeed in a sales role. These tests provide insights into how a person is likely to perform when it comes to key sales activities like prospecting, presenting, negotiating deals, and managing client relationships over time.
Definition and purpose of sales personality tests
A sales personality test is a standardized psychometric assessment designed to measure an individual’s personal characteristics, behavioral style, attitudes, and motivations as they relate to sales. The tests use a series of questions, rating scales, scenarios, self-descriptions, and other techniques to quantify traits like ambition, sociability, competitiveness, patience, listening ability, work ethic, and more.
The main goals of administering sales personality tests are:
- Screen candidates during the recruitment process to hire those best suited for the demands of the role and company culture.
- Provide managers with data to make informed decisions about training, coaching, and team management.
- Identify strengths and development areas in existing sales reps to optimize their performance.
- Gain insights into how to motivate and incentivize salespeople based on their natural inclinations.
Unlike general personality tests, sales-specific assessments zero in on the attributes that drive success in sales such as persuasiveness, listening skills, resilience, motivation, work ethic, and the ability to influence others. The tests match a candidate’s or employee’s profile against the “ideal” traits for the particular sales job to predict on-the-job performance.
Benefits of using sales personality tests in hiring and training
Using standardized sales personality tests offers several advantages for recruiting success and optimizing sales training programs:
More effective hiring
- Reduces bias in candidate screening
- Provides an objective assessment of sales aptitude
- Identifies natural strengths and weaknesses upfront
- Ensures candidates match the ideal sales profile for the role
- Allows easier comparison between candidates
- Predicts likelihood of success in the field
Better sales training
- Gives managers insights into reps’ natural styles so training can be customized
- Reveals areas that need focused development for each rep
- Allows grouping reps with similar learning styles
- Tracks changes in attributes as reps improve with training
- Identifies potential mentor-mentee relationships between veteran and new reps
- Motivates friendly competition between reps when comparing growth in attributes
Higher sales productivity
- Results in more strategic team structure based on complementary strengths
- Improves rep retention since job is a better fit
- Maximizes talent since reps play to their natural abilities
- Enables managers to better support and incentivize each rep
- Provides data to continuously refine training programs over time
With the right sales personality assessment, companies make far more informed choices during the recruiting process. They can assemble cohesive teams with a diversity of selling strengths suited for their business needs.
Ongoing testing provides a blueprint for maximizing the potential of every rep through targeted training. All of this translates into higher sales productivity, retention, and team morale over the long run.
How personality affects sales performance
Extensive research has shown that personality traits directly influence sales performance. The most effective salespeople tend to share these common attributes:
- Confidence – Belief in one’s ability to succeed and win over customers. Provides a strong, assured presence.
- Sociability – Outgoing, friendly nature that builds rapport with prospects.
- Driven – Strong work ethic and intense motivation to exceed targets.
- Competitive – Desire to win, prove oneself, and outperform others.
- Resilient – Ability to handle rejection and persevere through setbacks.
- Empathetic – Emotionally intelligent with a customer service focus.
- Ambitious – Eagerness to take on challenges, grow skills, and advance one’s career.
On the other hand, traits like shyness, difficulty working independently, disorganization, and impatience tend to impair sales success.
Personality also affects the specific roles salespeople thrive in. For example:
- Hunters – Competitive, bold risk takers who prospect new business aggressively.
- Farmers – Patient, empathetic relationship builders who nurture existing accounts.
- Consultants – Analytical problem solvers who provide expertise.
- Closers – Charismatic negotiators who persistently push for the sale.
The most effective teams have a healthy mix of personalities fulfilling different roles.
Understanding precisely how personality aligns with sales tasks allows managers to strategically leverage each rep’s natural talents. Sales training can then build lacking areas.
Regular personality testing provides concrete metrics to track a rep’s development in key traits tied to higher commissions and promotions. Salespeople feel invested in their professional growth when it aligns with their unique strengths and growth opportunities highlighted in the assessments.
Most Common Sales Personality Tests Used by Companies
When hiring and managing sales teams, more and more companies are turning to proven sales personality tests to quantify the behaviors and motivations of candidates and reps. While there are many assessments, a few well-researched and validated options tend to be the most popular.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most widely used personality assessments in the world. Over 1.5 million people take the MBTI each year.
Overview and key traits measured
The MBTI categorizes an individual’s personality across four dichotomies:
- Introversion (I) – Extroversion (E): Where one focuses their attention and draws energy
- Sensing (S) – Intuition (N): How one absorbs information
- Thinking (T) – Feeling (F): How one makes decisions
- Judging (J) – Perceiving (P): Approach to structure, organization, and deadlines
Based on preferences across these dichotomies, the MBTI places candidates into one of 16 personality types, such as ESTJ or INFP. It provides a multi-faceted perspective on behavioral tendencies and work style.
In sales, the MBTI is often used to ensure teams have a healthy diversity of personality types that complement one another. For example, pairing more introverted types with extraverted teammates can provide sales role balance.
However, it has some limitations in predicting actual sales performance. Just because a rep is an extrovert does not necessarily mean they will excel at prospecting. Critics argue there is insufficient evidence linking MBTI types to sales success. Other assessments better quantify sales-specific behaviors.
The DiSC Profile focuses purely on measuring four core personality traits:
- Dominance (D): Confident, competitive, fast-paced
- Influence (I): Outgoing, collaborative, lively
- Steadiness (S): Sympathetic, consistent, patient
- Conscientiousness (C): Analytical, reserved, precise
Overview and key traits measured
Based on a rep’s responses to the DiSC questionnaire, they receive a custom report that explores their blend of the four traits along with tips to improve their sales style and challenges they may face.
It is an accessible, easy-to-understand sales personality assessment. The DiSC dimensions provide managers with actionable insights into improving communication, motivation, and strengths of each rep. It simplifies matching reps to the right opportunities based on their selling style.
For example, reps rating high in influence may thrive at networking events while dominance types perform better presenting to executives. The steadiness trait indicates who will succeed managing long sales cycles and complex enterprise accounts.
While DiSC supplies useful data points, some argue it is too basic. There are other more sophisticated options that provide deeper sales-specific personality insights.
The Caliper Profile contains 65 personality traits measured across four vital categories:
- Persuasiveness – can influence and convince others
- Interpersonal skills – ability to collaborate and build rapport
- Problem-solving – critical thinking and decision making
- Emotional resilience – ability to manage pressure and setbacks
Overview and key traits measured
The Caliper Profile has strong predictive validity regarding sales performance. The assessment accurately identifies reps who will struggle with core sales competencies like cold calling, negotiating, managing rejection, and controlling emotions.
It pinpoints development areas to improve through coaching and reveals team synergies. For example, pairing new reps still building confidence with veteran reps high in persuasiveness allows the skills to rub off.
The test can feel overly invasive to some. Caliper argues that deep personal probing is required to truly understand sales behaviors. With over 50 years of research backing it, companies from every industry have used the tool to optimize their sales hiring and training.
Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)
Unlike other options, the Hogan Personality Inventory contains both positive and negative traits that either help or hinder sales success:
Positive traits measured:
- Interpersonal sensitivity
- Inquisitive thinking
Negative traits measured:
Overview and key traits measured
The HPI’s inclusion of detrimental attributes gives managers full visibility both into a rep’s strengths and areas that may undermine performance if not properly managed.
For example, a rep rating high in the imagination trait may think creatively to prospect new accounts but allow creativity to result in scatterbrained, disorganized work habits. Knowing this allows the manager to provide organizational tools while still nurturing imagination’s benefits.
The HPI questions are also specifically designed to detect misrepresentation of unfavorable traits, increasing result accuracy. This is the optimal test for managers seeking to minimize bad hires who may interview well but lack sales fundamentals.
Sales Genie Sales Personality Test
The Sales Genie Sales Aptitude Test measures five attributes most predictive of success across various sales roles:
- Sales hunting – Prospecting, initiating contact, bringing in new accounts
- Sales farming – Expanding existing accounts, repeat business
- Sales processing – Systematic managing of accounts from lead to close
- Sales helping – Customer service, relationship-building, empathy
- Sales adapting – Flexibility, resilience, thriving under pressure
Overview and key traits measured
Based on candidates’ scores across each trait, the tool matches their personality profile to ideal roles they are suited for like business development, account management, inside sales, and more.
It identifies if someone is better as a hunter who lands new business or a farmer who nurtures long-term relationships. The Sales Genie assessment brief 15-20 minute length keeps candidates engaged while still providing valuable behavioral insights.
Low self-awareness can result in reps rating themselves inaccurately. So the tool works best when confirming results with past managers.
Overall, the Sales Genie test supplies a quick yet insightful analytics-backed profile of sales personality perfectly tailored to the demands of the profession in the modern business landscape.
Key Personality Traits of Top Salespeople
While every sales role and company is different, extensive research shows that certain personality traits consistently separate high performing sales reps from the rest.
Understanding and measuring these attributes can dramatically improve your hiring and training decisions. Here are the key qualities shared by most successful sales professionals.
Self-confidence fuels every stage of the sales process. Confident reps:
- Approaching cold calls and demos with certainty
- Quickly establish credibility and authority
- Convince prospects to share challenges and objectives
- Maintain composure handling objections
- Negotiate assertively to close deals
A longitudinal study by the University of Western Australia analyzed personality data from over 500 salespeople across several industries. It found self-confidence was the top predictor of both sales performance and revenue growth.
Without confidence, reps struggle to get buy-in, become tentative when negotiating, and feel hopeless after rejections. Measuring confidence levels in candidates helps identify those who will persist and succeed in sales’ up and down cycles.
Competitiveness and drive
Sales is a results-driven profession. The most successful reps are relentlessly competitive and have a high drive to exceed targets:
- Sets ambitious monthly, quarterly, and annual goals
- Dissatisfied if not the top performer on the team
- Eager to earn promotions and new responsibilities
- Motivated by financial incentives like bonuses and commissions
- Hates losing deals more than they enjoy winning them
Competitive personalities thrive on performance metrics and rankings that let them benchmark against peers. Channeling this competitive energy in the right directions propels growth.
A salesperson’s ability to influence and persuade others is obviously vital to their success. Strong persuasion skills include:
- Customizing pitches based on prospect needs
- Connecting product benefits to customer pain points
- Using psychology and motivation triggers to make the case
- Painting a compelling vision of the post-purchase experience
- Overcoming objections, doubts, and inertia confidently
- Conveying authenticity, expertise, and trustworthiness
A persuader sales personality asks smart questions, actively listens, and naturally builds consensus to steer the sale. They influence without seeming pushy or manipulative.
Persuasion requires emotional intelligence to make an intellectual and emotional connection. This generates customer excitement to buy-in.
Empathy and emotional intelligence
Empathy and emotional intelligence (EQ) enable salespeople to fully grasp prospects’ perspectives and make deeper human connections:
- Reading body language and listening fully to uncover unsaid needs
- Avoiding self-centered attitudes by focusing outwardly
- Considering the customer’s desired outcomes throughout interactions
- Maintaining composure, positivity, and professionalism in all situations
- Addressing concerns and anxiety throughout the sales process
- Following-up after the sale to resolve issues and build the relationship
Salespeople high in empathy build trust that turns prospects into loyal accounts. Emotional intelligence allows customizing pitches based on the individual’s preferences and communication style.
According to studies published in Psychological Bulletin, EQ accounted for over twice as much variation in sales performance as intelligence (IQ).
Resilience and grit
Selling involves constant rejection and disappointment before achieving success. Resilience and grit allow salespeople to power through the many “No’s” encountered in prospecting, closing deals, and account management:
- Handles rejection objectively rather than taking it personally
- Persists through sales slumps and extended down periods
- Draws motivation from within rather than external validation
- Regains composure quickly after mistakes or failures
- Retains optimism and enthusiasm despite challenging odds
- Continuously improves skills through failure analysis
Resilient salespeople view obstacles as opportunities to improve. They demonstrate tenacity chasing leads and closing difficult clients. Measuring resilience predicts who will thrive under pressure and meet long-term quotas.
Extroversion and people skills
While sales introverts absolutely exist, most top performers skews toward extroversion:
- Draws energy from social interactions and building new relationships
- Comfortable initiating conversations with strangers
- Asks questions and actively listens to learn about prospects
- Confidently presents products/services to groups
- Charismatic style immediately puts prospects at ease
- Networking comes naturally at industry events and tradeshows
Extroverts’ outgoing, gregarious nature helps establish quick rapport. They tend to speak fluidly on sales calls without awkward pauses. Extroverts’ enthusiasm around products is often contagious.
However, assessing people skills matters more than pure extro/introversion. Ambiverts combine extroverted social abilities with introspective listening strengths.
Tips to Ace Your Next Sales Personality Test
More and more companies now use sales personality tests as part of the interview process. With preparation and insight into how tests work, you can ace your next assessment and land the sales job.
Understand the company and role
The first step is researching the company and specific sales position you are applying for.
- What products or services do they sell?
- What accounts and territories would you be assigned?
- What challenges might the role encounter?
Understanding the company’s industry, culture, and ideal sales attributes allows tailoring your responses accordingly. You want to emphasize the personality strengths you possess that align with their needs.
For example, highlight your consultative approach if they sell complex enterprise solutions. Play up persistence and thick skin if it is a highly competitive space rife with rejection.
Sales personality tests often use multiple questions to probe the same trait from different angles. Contradicting yourself raises red flags about your self-awareness.
For example, you would not want to rate yourself highly as both:
- An introvert and someone who excels at networking events.
- Focused on customer needs yet also very quick to speak and pitch your product.
- A brilliant improviser but extremely detail-oriented and regimented.
Keep your answers aligned throughout the test to present a consistent, confident picture of your sales personality.
Self-awareness is key to accurately representing your personality. Before the test:
- List your strengths and weaknesses. Stick to strengths in areas that matter for the job while minimizing weaknesses. But don’t claim strengths you can’t back up.
- Recall examples demonstrating relevant traits. Draw from sales wins highlighting persistence, client rapport, negotiation tactics, communication style, etc.
- Ask colleagues for feedback. Get an outside perspective on your sales personality from managers and coworkers.
- Review past performance reviews. Look for recurring themes about your strengths that align with the open sales position.
Don’t overthink responses
Sales personality tests are not designed to trick you. There are no right or wrong answers. The key is simply to:
- Provide your honest self-assessment based on the role.
- Avoid overthinking and changing responses repeatedly.
- Go with your gut reaction to each question.
Your natural instincts will serve you better than intense deliberation. The test is evaluating your candid behaviors, not your ability to outsmart it.
Changing too many answers can also lead to inconsistencies that set off red flags. Trust yourself and resist the urge to second guess.
Remain calm and confident
Some final tips for maintaining poise during the personality assessment:
- Get a good night’s rest beforehand. Taking the test when tired harms focus and self-awareness.
- Read each question slowly and carefully. Rushing leads to misreading items and answer errors.
- Silence distractions. Find a quiet spot away from coworkers, TV, pets, etc.
- Imagine yourself excelling in the sales role. Picture your confidence and personality strengths helping you succeed.
- Smile and sit up straight. Your posture impacts your test-taking mindset.
- Take some deep breaths to manage nerves and remain centered.
You know your sales personality better than any test. By being prepared, avoiding contradictions, and trusting your instincts, you will demonstrate your natural sales strengths. Now get out there and ace that assessment on the way to landing your dream sales job!
Using Personality Tests in Your Sales Recruiting and Training
Sales personality assessments empower managers to make strategic hiring decisions and customize training programs that play to each rep’s strengths. Here is how to effectively incorporate testing into your sales talent strategy:
Best practices for testing candidates
When using sales personality tests in your hiring process, follow these guidelines:
- Test all candidates for the same role consistently. This allows fair comparisons.
- Have candidates take the assessment early in the screening process. Personality misfits can be filtered out right away before spending excessive time interviewing.
- Use a validated test that accurately predicts sales performance. Avoid generic free online quizzes.
- Compare candidates’ results to your defined “ideal” sales profile for the position. Look for alignments.
- Combine test results with interviews, resumes, and roleplaying exercises for a complete picture.
- Have candidates take the DiSC or another fast, basic test a second time in-person during interviews. See if results match the first test.
Following these best practices allows the personality data to provide unique insights that complement the rest of your evaluation process.
Ways to incorporate tests into training programs
Sales personality tests offer several applications for improving your training initiatives:
- Baseline for Growth – Testing reps before training provides a quantitative baseline to measure growth in attributes tied to sales success.
- Group Training – Cluster reps by personality type based on DiSC, DISC, or similar tests. Tailor programs to strengthen areas each group needs.
- Target Weak Spots – Tests like Caliper illuminate poor-scoring traits in reps. Customize coaching to build up weaknesses.
- Motivate Improvement – Share rep’s test results to highlight strengths and growth opportunities tied to incentives and promotion criteria.
- Mentor Matching – Pair mentors and mentees based on complementary sales personality types.
- New Hire Onboarding – Testing provides insights into incoming reps’ styles to integrate them with current team.
- Management Insights – Results help managers better motivate, communicate with, and resolve conflicts among reps based on personality differences.
Ongoing testing allows tracking team development over months and years as training improves sales competencies.
Coaching salespeople of different personality types
Sales training must align with the natural inclinations of each rep’s personality.
- Data-driven personalities prefer insights backed by analytics and research. Share statistics demonstrating how new tactics will improve sales.
- Skeptical types need proof concepts work before buying in. Have them shadow a colleague successfully using the tactics or share case studies.
- Cautious reps do best starting new initiatives gradually after seeing small-scale successes first. Let them run a pilot program instead of changing their entire sales process overnight.
- Ambitious personalities respond to training that accelerates their career. Show how new skills will increase leadership opportunities.
- Introverts may need more focused one-on-one coaching to implement new extroverted strategies like networking.
Adapting training approaches for different personalities leads to greater adoption of new initiatives and ultimately higher sales productivity. Personality assessments are an indispensable tool for guiding effective sales coaching.
How Mystrika Can Enhance Your Sales Outreach
While personality assessments optimize your sales hiring and training, technology like Mystrika enhances the productivity of outreach campaigns.
Mystrika is an AI-powered cold email platform offering robust tools to increase email deliverability and streamline cold outreach automation.
Email warmup improves deliverability
Mystrika specializes in “warming up” email addresses to improve inboxing rates. Their proprietary warmup technology and large high-quality IP pool increases the reputation of sales prospect email addresses.
This results in more cold emails reaching the intended recipient without getting blocked or labeled as spam.
Preheaders boost your Cold Email open rates
Mystrika is the only cold email software that supports preheaders – short summaries of email content visible in inbox previews.
Preheaders entice recipients to open cold emails by succinctly conveying the value proposition. This significantly increases open rates, the first step to email campaign success.
Tools for optimizing cold email campaigns
Mystrika provides sales teams advanced tools to optimize every phase of cold email campaigns including:
- Email Sequences – Automate drip campaigns with customizable follow-up and workflows.
- A/B Testing – Try different subject lines, content, and designs to boost performance.
- Spam Testing – Check emails against detection algorithms before sending to avoid blacklisting.
Analytics provide data-driven insights
Mystrika delivers actionable analytics on key performance indicators to inform campaign strategy including:
- Open, clickthrough, and reply rates
- Historical trends and forecasts
- Performance benchmarks
These granular insights enable continuously refining campaigns and nurture streams for peak productivity.
Custom tracking maintains brand consistency
To build trust and brand recognition with prospects, Mystrika facilitates sending cold emails with custom tracking domains. This results in all links and unsubscribe pages maintaining sender branding.
For sales teams overwhelmed by manual outreach tasks, Mystrika provides the automation and analytics to scale productivity. Features like warmup and preheaders create optimal deliverability and visibility.
Mystrika ensures your sales process, backed by recruiting optimizations from personality assessments, leverages technology for peak efficiency.
- Sales personality tests help quantify the behaviors and motivations of candidates to identify those most likely to excel in the role and enhance training programs.
- Assessments like Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Caliper Profile, and Sales Genie are the most trusted options used by leading sales teams.
- Confidence, resilience, competitiveness, persuasiveness, and emotional intelligence are key traits of top sales professionals.
- When taking a sales personality test, answer honestly, avoid contradictions, reflect the role demands, and don’t overthink responses.
- Incorporate testing into recruiting to benchmark candidate strengths and weaknesses early in the process.
- Ongoing assessments allow tracking team development over time and customizing coaching to each rep’s personality style.
- Technology like Mystrika increases cold email deliverability through address warmup and improves productivity with workflow automation, analytics, and testing.
- Personality tests provide a strategic advantage in building stellar sales teams. Combining assessments with optimized outreach powered by tools like Mystrika drives revenue growth.
FAQs About Sales Personality Tests
What are the most common sales personality tests?
The five most popular sales personality assessments are:
- Myers-Briggs (MBTI) – Measures personality across 4 dichotomies including introvert/extrovert and thinking/feeling.
- DiSC – Analyzes dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness traits.
- Caliper Profile – Quantifies persuasiveness, interpersonal abilities, problem-solving, and resilience.
- Hogan Personality Inventory – Examines qualities like ambition, skepticism, and imagination.
- Sales Genie – Tests sales hunting, farming, processing, helping, and adapting abilities.
What traits do the best salespeople have?
The key personality traits and skills shared by top sales professionals include:
- Confidence and perseverance through rejection
- Competitiveness, motivation, and work ethic
- Ability to influence, persuade, negotiate
- Emotional intelligence and listening skills
- Resilience to handle stress and bounce back from failures
- Extroversion and ability to build relationships
How can I prepare for a sales personality test?
Tips to ready yourself for a sales personality assessment:
- Research the company to understand the role’s demands
- Take practice tests to get familiar with common questions
- List your relevant strengths tied to sales success
- Avoid contradicting yourself across similar questions
- Answer honestly rather than trying to game the test
- Remain calm and don’t overthink or second guess responses
What questions are on sales personality tests?
Common sales personality test questions include:
- Statement pairs you must choose between
- Rating scales assessing the extent you agree/disagree
- Questions asking you to rank lists of traits or adjectives
- Scenarios presenting sales situations to evaluate your response
- Open-ended questions about how you would handle sales tasks
- Items probing your motivations, work style, communication skills, and preferences
How can personality tests improve sales training?
Personality assessments enhance sales training by:
- Providing baseline metrics to quantify skill growth
- Grouping reps by shared personality types
- Pinpointing weak areas needing coaching
- Motivating improvement in strengths tied to incentives
- Matching mentors/mentees based on compatible personality fit
- Allowing managers to adapt coaching styles to each rep’s natural inclinations
What is the DISC profile sales personality test?
The DISC assessment analyzes:
D – Dominance – Confident, demanding, strong-willed
I – Influence – Outgoing, lively, high energy
S – Steadiness – Even-tempered, accommodating, patient
C – Conscientiousness – Reserved, analytical, systematic
It identifies strengths and limitations of each trait to provide development insights.
What does the Myers-Briggs test measure?
Myers-Briggs measures personality across four pairs of traits:
- Introvert (I) vs. Extrovert (E)
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (I)
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
It categorizes people into one of 16 personality types like ISFJ or ENTP based on their preferences.
What is emotional intelligence in sales?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to the ability to understand emotions and connect with people on a human level during the sales process. Key skills include:
- Reading body language and listening fully
- Focusing outwardly on the customer
- Managing own emotions and reactions productively
- Building trust and providing reassurance
EQ allows salespeople to grasp unstated needs, tailor pitches, and forge strong relationships with prospects. Studies show it is twice as important in sales as intelligence (IQ).