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Five Ways Sales Leaders Get Talent Right

by Rachel Clapp Miller /

five-ways-sales-leaders-get-talent-right.jpgFinding top talent that successfully fills a skills gap is a big challenge facing most organizations. While this issue can impact many areas within an organization, finding the right sales expertise can be particularly challenging, since sales has such a direct impact on revenue generation for the company.

The Aberdeen Group's 2016 Human Capital Management Study revealed five key ways sales leaders are using processes and tools to align their sales talent with their revenue growth strategy. Here are some key steps:

They Use Predictive Analytics

Aberdeen's study shows that leaders are nearly 2.5 more times likely to consider predictive analytics to be an important driver of their hiring strategyData strengthens confidence in creating the profile of the ideal new hire for a given position. Analytics provide your organization the ability to hire based on data, rather than gut feel. Predictive talent analytics combined with a process to manage to the data puts science into your talent management process.When you're trying to reach aggressive revenue goals, there's no better way to make sure you're hiring the right salespeople.

They Align Success Profiles with Business Strategies

Best-in-class companies are 3.5 times more likely to build internal and external business drivers into their success profiles for salespeople. Aligning key business dependencies with the behaviors that drive success in a role ensures you are hiring for the type of sales person you need in the role.

Assembling the right team can be a complicated equation. You likely have multiple roles within your sales organization. Each of these roles may require different profiles, competencies and behaviors to truly drive success in that role. The bottom line is before you develop a profile for a new hire, ensure that it is aligned with what's needed for the role and your overall business strategy. 

They Reward a Job Well Done

Top companies are more than 20 percent more likely than other companies to account for participation in ongoing training, development and rewards management programs.  Ongoing training is essential to development, especially in sales. Different salespeople have different needs and continuous learning opportunities allow sales leaders and coaches to meet reps where they are.

For example, what a new hire needs is going to be different than what a rep needs after six months on the job. Both of them likely need something different than some of your veteran reps.  In addition, having a structured rewards management program is another way to recognize sales reps beyond straight commissions and build engagement.

Sixty percent of leading companies in Aberdeen's study incentivize sales performance through physical and fiscal rewards. Remember, it's much easier to retain engaged and happy employees. 

They Maintain a Recruiting Bench

Remember, the rule of three. Someone will be promoted. Someone will leave unexpectedly and someone will be fired. Add up the time and money it takes to replace a top performer, even a "B" performer and you've got a revenue-crippling problem. That's why best-in-class companies are 82% more likely to expand resources that drive talent pipeline. 

They Invest in Their Talent Brand

Best-in-class companies are 82% more likely to invest in stronger talent branding and talent analytics than all other companies. No matter your business goals, it will be difficult to achieve them without putting rigor behind the processes needed to hire and retain top sales talent.  Top companies know this and are making the necessary investment behind their talent capabilities. As a result, they're seeing results where it matters the most - the bottom line. 

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