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A business-to-business sale is fundamentally different from a retail or consumer sales transaction. In B2B sales, you have to deal with people on multiple levels of an organization, each with their own needs and motivations.
Industries like healthcare and technology are highly reliant on B2B transactions. Many companies that sell B2B products invest significant time in finding new ways to recruit top-notch B2B salespeople for their teams. One of your highest priorities should be finding skilled sales reps who have a track record of success in their chosen field.
Ideally, you'll want to hire someone involved with similar products or services to yours before. We highlight some great ways to use and assess a B2B sales test for hiring the best candidates below. If you can find a good fit, it will go a long way toward ensuring that your business thrives.
There are many benefits to using a sales test during your hiring process, but it's essential to understand what testing is suitable for you and your company. Here are some B2B sales tests for hiring candidates that have proven effective.
When evaluating written communication skills, seek a candidate who can create engaging content that maintains your interest. See if their writing is professional and free of spelling or grammatical errors at a basic level. Take special care to look at candidates' response rates when evaluating email communications.
Email correspondence may be one of your best opportunities to evaluate someone's written communication skills. If you receive an initial response from a candidate within 24 hours, they are likely attentive and interested in working with you.
The key to success as a salesperson is building relationships with clients and prospects. A candidate's enthusiasm for your company's goals will translate into better sales results. You want people excited about doing business with you, not just because of what you sell but also because of how you sell it.
Showing, not telling, will help you gain the trust of potential clients. When you're trying to sell something to a customer, they need to feel like they can relate to you. The easiest way to do that is by showing them that you understand their needs and that your product or service can meet them.
People are far more likely to buy from someone who understands their problems and shows empathy than someone who tries to push their agenda on them. You achieve that by sharing stories about how your product has helped other customers.
A verbal interview with a potential sales candidate is an excellent way to determine whether or not they have strong social skills. During an interview, you can ask questions that will allow you to gauge their ability to connect with people personally.
The best candidates for B2B sales jobs are those who can clearly explain how their product works and what it does for your company.
Objection handling refers to a salesperson's ability to handle objections during a sales call. An objection could be anything from a simple question or comment on your product or service or a request for more information.
Test their skill by asking them how they would respond to common objections such as "I don't think I need it right now" or "I don't know if I can afford it."
Your ideal candidate should have well-honed objection handling and negotiation skills and should be able to quickly get past objections so they can focus on closing deals. Their responses should include creative ways to address these objections, perhaps by offering you a payment plan or explaining how you offer discounts for early buyers.
A mock pitch is a great way to evaluate how well your hiring prospects can sell, and it will also help you figure out if they're a good fit for your company culture. The premise of a mock pitch is relatively simple. You'll ask potential candidates to sell you an idea.
Ask questions about how and why they made certain decisions throughout their presentation. This will allow you to see how well they think on their feet and whether or not they have any reservations about making bold claims.
Gauge the conviction of each candidate as they speak. B2B sales reps should be able to confidently explain why they chose a particular product over another without hesitation. Candidates should feel comfortable presenting their ideas without feeling like they're trying to tear them apart.
The B2B sales process essentially breaks down into prospecting, closing, and onboarding. Evaluate how a salesperson goes through these stages to get the job done effectively and efficiently.
When it comes to sales, you need people who know how to sell. Those with knowledge of your product or service should be able to answer questions about its features, benefits, and uses. So, one way of testing their understanding is by posing some hypothetical questions about your products.
For example, if you sell roofing materials, your potential salespeople should be able to explain why investing in new shingles is a better idea than patching up old ones.
This level of knowledge will go a long way towards proving that they're experts on industry trends. Such assessment allows candidates to show off their expertise and ensures that you hire someone who has a strong understanding of your business model.
A test, much like a resume, can't truly capture how well you'll perform on a job. Problem-solving skills on the other hand indicate a candidate's ability to think critically, creatively, and analytically. All of which are vital to be successful in sales.
Salespeople with problem-solving solid skills have an easier time overcoming objections and finding innovative solutions to complex problems. You can assess these skills by asking candidates hypothetical questions about situations they might encounter at work or by giving them real-world scenarios and seeing how they react.
Today's business environment demands that salespeople know how to collect, summarize and interpret data. This is especially true when researching your target market or prospecting for new clients. Model candidates for B2B sales positions should be able to demonstrate experience using a variety of databases to gather information about companies in a specific industry.
Having strong information-gathering skills will allow you to quickly learn about your prospects' industry, company size, financial situation, and other vital details. The more you know about a potential client or customer before you meet with them in person, the better prepared you'll be when presenting your products or services.
B2B sales pitches require sales reps to be organized, on time, and manage their time. They'll need to be able to build relationships with potential clients, follow up with them regularly, and professionally present themselves.
Additionally, they'll have to be able to prioritize their day so that they're working on high-value tasks at all times. The best way to assess whether or not someone has these skills is by having them do a project or job that requires organization, time management, and professionalism. Perfect candidates will give you a plan of action before starting work, then deliver it on time and within budget.
Technology is a vital part of business today, and every B2B salesperson must be tech-savvy. Technology can help you better understand your customers' needs and allow you to sell more effectively. Assess the ability of candidates to work with new software such as:
Keep up with all changes in your industry and look for candidates who have experience using these tools in their previous jobs or internships. Integrate training into your onboarding process so that they will be ready to hit the ground running on day one.
Another essential part of using B2B sales tests is assessing closing skills. Closing deals involve more than just presenting a product or service to a client; it also convinces that client to buy what you're selling.
It would be best to have assertive, confident salespeople who are good at reading people and can get others on board with their ideas. This means that your prospective employees need to be able to read their clients, know when they're close to making a sale, and how to close a deal without aggression.
A solid hiring technique ensures that your sales team has a strong rapport with clients, negotiates well, and most importantly, closes deals.
A great B2B sales team can be your best asset in creating partnerships and growing revenue. Here are crucial steps to build a successful recruiting strategy that will help you attract and retain top-notch talent.
B2B sales is a broad term that encompasses many different job functions and skillsets. The first step in recruiting for your team is to define what you need and what kind of person would be best suited to fill it. Typical sales roles include:
Defining roles will help ensure you're hiring someone who can hit the ground running when they start their new position. It also helps prevent misunderstandings or confusion once they've joined your company.
You need to post an enticing ad that appeals to people with relevant experience and expertise to attract top talent. Include an engaging description of your company, including its mission, vision, and values.
Leverage your company's job page and niche-based job boards that focus on specific industries or positions. A good job listing should be clear and concise and provide information on what qualifies someone as a top candidate.
A strong job description will help ensure that only those candidates apply who have experience or skills related to those needed for your company. It also helps keep applicants from applying when they don't have relevant knowledge or skills, saving time.
A targeted approach will help you reach potential genuinely interested candidates in your advertised position. By creating a detailed description of what success looks like in your business, you can find better-quality candidates.
Effective screening of resumes is one of your first steps in recruiting new talent. Having a stringent hiring process is crucial to ensuring you hire only qualified candidates.
Begin by assessing all applicants against pre-established qualifications and then conducting interviews based on those findings. Be prepared to conduct interviews via phone, video conference, or in-person.
Once you conclude an interview, follow up with any outstanding questions or concerns before making a final decision.
Once you've identified your preferred candidate, it's time to extend an offer. Give them a recap of why they were selected and make sure they understand their responsibilities.
Highlight your compensation strategy and provide details on how they can expect to grow in the company. Outline the benefits and other perks that come with working at your company.
Here are three considerations for recruiting top-notch sales reps that will help ensure that your hiring process is a success.
The first thing you want to know about your sales candidate is how they plan to prospect for clients. Your ideal candidate will have concrete strategies for contacting and communicating with potential clients and resources that allow them to make those contacts at scale.
Great salespeople believe in their company's long-term vision. Suitable applicants need to think about your company and its future success, but they also need to be able to articulate how they can help you achieve that success.
Consistency is vital when it comes to recruiting salespeople. Evaluate a candidate's performance over their entire career. Make sure they have experience working in other companies and different industries and understand how they performed in each position.