Channel Sales Training – Success Starts with an Assessment


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In 2009 as a brand new HubSpot reseller, we were given an opportunity to participate in Dave Kurlan’s Baseline Selling sales training program.

This was an innovative and successful HubSpot VAR partner training program pioneered by then HubSpot Channel Manager, Pete Caputa.

A prerequisite for entry into the sales training program was an assessment of selling aptitude from Dave omgKurlan’s Objective Management Group.

I’ve had lifelong aversion to testing and was more than a little nervous about taking a sales aptitude assessment as I had been out of quota carrying B2B selling role for 10+ years, having worked out of my home in OEM sales, marketing and in my own consulting business for 5 years.

Most questions in the assessment I answered honestly, but I tried to game-the-system in questions I thought would show up my weaknesses , of which I was well aware.

I could not find my completed assessment at the time of writing this article, but recall that the results were spot-on. The report suggested that I had the ability to be successful in sales, but had a problem with call-reluctance and commitment.

The assessment was very effective in identifying sales aptitude and attitude and I was impressed with the obvious depth of research in selling psychology that went into its construction and I recommend it.

I reconnected with Dave following our mutual success in winning multiple awards at the recent Top Sales World Awards.

With less than 50% of quota carrying reps having made their quota last year, it is more important now than ever to assess selling aptitude prior to making new hires.

Attitude is a critical success factor in selling and this can easily be determined in an assessment.

I asked Dave the following questions to help sales managers and leaders figure whether they should assess their new hires and existing team.

Should sales managers put new hires through an assessment?

Most sales managers have a hiring track record that’s at best, hit or miss.

And if you define HIT as a salesperson who quickly ramps up and meets or exceeds quota, then it’s mostly MISS.

The right assessment, used at the right time, will accurately predict whether or not a candidate will be successful in their company’s specific sales role, calling into their particular market, and competing against their competition at their price points with their challenges. Why use gut when science is 3x more accurate?

Should salespeople in your existing sales team be assessed?


An evaluation of the existing sales team not only provides data on the key differences between those who are succeeding and failing, but even more importantly, answers questions like these.

What to do with struggling salespeople in your company?

As mentioned above, one of the questions we answer is, can your under performers be saved and if they can, what will it take to get them performing?

So there are really two groups of under performers.

Those who have the Sales DNA to make it and need help, and those who don’t have the Sales DNA to make it and need to be redeployed.

About 30% of all under performers tend to be savable.


1. The best time to upgrade your sales team is when the market is on the up vs on a downer.

2. Science, not gut feel is the best way to build successful sales organizations.

3. Redeploy struggling salespeople who don’t have what it takes sooner vs later.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Gibson
Mark Gibson has been at the forefront of developing sales and marketing tools that create clarity in messaging value for 30 years. As a consultant he is now engaged in helping sales, marketing and enablement teams to get clear about value creation. Clarity attracts inbound leads, clarity converts visitors into leads and leads into customers, clarity builds mindshare, clarity engages customers, clarity differentiates value, clarity helps onboard new hires clarity helps raise funds, clarity + execution win markets.


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