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Is Emotional Intelligence more Important than Intellectual Intelligence When Hiring Sales Employees?

Is Emotional Intelligence More Important Than Intellectual Intelligence When Hiring Sales Employees

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Sales and marketing roles, which Betts Recruiting specializes in, have traditionally been “social” jobs. The most successful people in these roles are extroverted, loud, and personable.  How important is emotional intelligence when hiring sales employees?  How critical social and emotional “smarts” to be competitive in your job?

Betts Recruiting, in an effort to continue to grow and learn decided that we should each take an EQ Test.  Yep, EQ- which stands for Emotional Intelligence (or Quotient) and is the sister to the more commonly known “IQ” test.  But instead of testing your brains and your innate intelligence, it tests your ability to see connections between what you do/how you act and how it affects other people.

The EQ test measure’s an individual’s score for “self-awareness”, “self-management”, “social awareness” and “relationship management” with a quick and simple test that then breaks down what your strengths & weaknesses are.  Unlike an IQ test, you can actually improve & change your EQ test scores with practice and awareness.  I personally scored the highest in social awareness & relationship management and scored the lowest in self-management- because I know I can hold grudges and let people get to me. Taking this test makes you actively aware and able to improve any weaknesses.

There are a lot of studies and a general belief that EQ can help predict how successful people are.  Think of the people around you- the ones that are the most successful in their careers and work- are they also successful in their relationship with loved ones and family?  I would go as far to say that EQ is more important than IQ in helping people reach their goals both personally and professionally.

Employers are now paying attention to EQ and general emotional awareness.  I believe this is especially true in sales since everyone knows sales (and recruiting) is about relationships.  Employers argue that emotional intelligence, being able to read a situation and communicate more effectively is now more important to employers than SaaS experience and your educational background.

Hiring managers often say a person did not fit with the team or the company culture. Yet, when pressed, hiring managers have a hard time explaining exactly what that means. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are referring to a candidate’s EQ.


The book and test that we took was “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.

-By Cici Alvord, Account Executive, Betts Recruiting

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