How do most internal recruitment processes run for sales and pricing team roles?


First, recruiters and managers either manually sift through or use algorithms to review CVs. Then, they move on to phone or face-to-face interviews with the most experienced and qualified candidates. After this, they may draw on some off the shelf pre-employment tests. They use psychometric, aptitude or a nonverbal cognitive test to determine which applicants are the best fit. Then they make an offer and barter on salary.


The standard recruitment regimen is backward, inefficient and ineffective.



How and when to conduct a Nonverbal Cognitive Test?


Most companies use a cognitive test at the end of the process to select between 2-3 candidates. In this sense, people are conducting it the other way around. So, why waste your time and the candidates’ time assessing them for their fitness at the end of the process when you could do it in the beginning?


Why risk disengaging applicants with an irrelevant cognitive test at all? You could be using an appropriate nonverbal cognitive analysis that screens and informs candidates about the challenges ahead and the commercial skills that they need to succeed in the role. After all, this makes things easier for everyone.


Using the right nonverbal cognitive test for selection decisions – Sales and Pricing Team Roles


At Taylor Wells, our research and consulting work shows that a multi-trait cognitive framework is a much better way of helping companies, including B2B industrial, building materials, fuels and gas, transportation reduce costs and screen applications.


High-performing pricing teams have several different attributes contributing to high performance, each with its unique capacity. This means pricing professionals may be likely good at financial reasoning because they like numbers. But they are just as likely to be bad at strategic influencing, strategic thinking, and scenario analysis considering their unique capacities.


Our multi-trait nonverbal cognitive testing process assesses teams and individuals across many essential attributes, not just IQ or financial reasoning.  We find a sophisticated cognitive test is also a much fairer and robust way of filtering out the least-suitable applicants.  It helps you sort out applications based on individual capability in a niche area. In fact, you end up with a much smaller, higher-quality candidate pool to undergo the more costly customised aspects of the process.


In cases when applicants don’t want to take a cognitive test, it usually means they’re non-committal about the job or may just be nervous about taking the test. So, clear instructions and guidelines from the test conductor and recruiter can help nervous candidates. Either way, you are qualifying effectively using a nonverbal cognitive test.


Nonverbal Cognitive Test


Disadvantages of Psychometrics for Sales and Pricing Team Roles


Psychometrics, on the other hand, test broad traits and capabilities. They leave recruiters with a bigger, lower quality pool of candidates.


Psychometric testing is a comprehensive brush approach to understanding the specific traits and skills of very complex human beings. The company that an employee should work in, rather than what career one should follow seems to be the basis for career decisions. I know of no psychometric test in the world that can discriminate between one company and another.


Standard psychometrics seem to have no logical connection with the job or the person’s ability. If candidates will take tests, the focus should be on relevant skills and competencies, grounded in domain-specific experiences that they can relate to.


Different professions and industries require different levels of cognitive abilities. So, the human resources team would have to tailor their screening tests with relevance to the demands of a specific job position.


Some professions require repetitive mental routines and memory drills. For pricing professions, they entail constant data analysis, interpreting information, creativity, and forecasting trends. Others require behavioural assessment, problem-solving, concentration, leadership skills, math problems and crunching numbers, organisation, and decision making.


Disadvantages of standard IQ testing in Sales Team Roles


IQ tests are not the only way to measure future job performance in pricing  – it is a fallacy to believe otherwise. It seems odd that we call the human brain the most complex known object in the universe.


Many business and HR leaders are still prepared to accept they can measure brain function and predict future job performance in niche areas by performing abstract IQ tests. Often, IQ tests are fundamentally flawed. They do not take into account the complex nature of the human intellect and its different components.


A single measure of intelligence, such as IQ, is not enough to capture all of the differences in cognitive ability that we see between people in pricing teams.



Nonverbal Cognitive Testing in Comparison for Sales and Pricing Team Roles – Bottomline


In most businesses, the conventional sequence of events does not make much sense in recruitment and is very inefficient.


Instead, screen and measure people using the right recruiting tools. Don’t make candidates walk through broken glass. This happens with unrelated long online job applications, standard tests, and old school psychometrics.


It’s a waste of time and money.  Candidates don’t like doing them. Hiring managers don’t value them. Standard recruiting drags candidates through a sequence that is neither efficient nor effective.


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