DISC vs. A Validated & Predictive Sales Assessment

A client’s resident psychologist’s reasons for moving from using a DISC based test to the validated and predictive sales assessment.

1) Many competitors DISC test vs. our decision to use the validated & predictive sales assessment

DISC assessments focus only on four dimensions of an individual’s behavior as they relate to the work environment. The validated and predictive sales assessment, on the other hand, focuses specifically on personality traits that predict the candidate’s potential for sales success. In addition, the validated and predictive assessment contains sales situations and scenarios, which help measure the candidate’s knowledge of the consultative/relationship-oriented sales process. The validated and predictive assessment highlights the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses while generating interview and reference questions based on the candidate’s score.

2) Why are we changing assessments?

The production (i.e., dollar and unit volume) was examined in relation to test scores based on the use of DISC. Unfortunately, the only DISC factor that could predict production was the “C” or Conscientiousness (or Compliance) scale. In this case, salespeople with mid-range “C” scores had higher productivity than those with scores on either end of the scale. This one scale, however, did not provide enough information for us to fully assess or predict which candidates would more likely be productive salespeople.

Using the DISC test to continue profiling candidates, when 3 out of 4 test subscales do not predict performance, appeared to be an inefficient and ineffective use of resources and money. Since the purpose of the testing was to help identify candidates with a higher probability of producing we decided to continue using selection assessments as part of the recruiting process but use one that was specifically targeted for relationship-based sales positions.

3) Why are we using a validated and predictive assessment as opposed to other selection assessments?

We carefully reviewed a battery of different assessments that are used in recruiting consultative sales positions. The validated and predictive sales assessment from Maximum Potential was chosen for several reasons:

(A) it was created strictly for selection testing with a developmental component, in comparison to the DISC which was created for uses other than selection.

(B) it provides an overall hiring recommendation that has been shown to predict performance, in which candidates who scored a “best” rating had sales volumes that were consistently significantly higher than those of salespeople with an “avoid” rating.

(C) it provides interview questions that can be asked of the candidate or his/her references based on the candidate’s identified weaknesses; and (4) it provides specific guidance to help the hiring manager with coaching and developing the candidate upon hire.

4) How can we understand DISC versus the validated and predictive assessment?

DISC simply measures the four dimensions of behavior. We have discovered that the DISC test was not predictive of a candidate’s sales potential. The validated and predictive assessment from Maximum Potential is validated and predicts a candidate’s potential to be in an organization’s top 50% of salespeople based on earned compensation.

6) Is there a predictive assessment profile that we’re looking for in particular?

Currently, we have not established a specific profile for our organization. An examination of the validated and predictive assessment test scores against sales performance will be conducted when enough assessments have been collected to allow for statistically meaningful analyses. In the meantime, the validated and predictive assessment recommends using scores that fall towards the top ranges for their 8 factors and following their guidelines of “avoid,” “ok,” “good,” “better,” and “best.”

7) What happens if we are asked to give the DISC test anyway?

Effective immediately, our recruiting team can no longer administer the DISC test because we will discontinue our contract with the DISC test vendor. To maintain consistency in the types of information that are used to evaluate sales candidates, especially as it relates to non-discriminatory hiring practices, the validated and predictive assessment must be given to candidates.

Written By Bill Schult