Setting talent management priorities may look like a daunting task.
But research clearly shows that not creating a plan for top talent management can cost your sales organization more than spending the time and resources needed to develop a talent management system.
Best in class companies have clearly defined priorities for managing their sales talent, and have put them in place for managing their peak performers.
1. Put people management processes and tools in place.
Having an established operating rhythm brings all your talent management processes and tools together in one place. A simple and consumable toolkit and a consistent set of processes are essential for managing your top talent. You and your sales team will turn to it again and again for managing business and people.
2. Set clear expectations of job responsibilities.
An operating rhythm sets clear expectations of your talent’s job responsibilities. Best in class companies have clearly defined organizational roles and responsibilities with appropriate standards and measurements to evaluate performance.
Beginning with the onboarding process, clearly define performance expectations to promote ongoing employee satisfaction. Ongoing knowledge of what is expected for the job ensures talented individuals will be encouraged to advance and get recognition for initiative beyond their responsibilities.
3. Use predictive analytics to assess your current sales team and define the right DNA for new hires.
The way a sales organization selects, trains and supports its sellers has a huge impact, not only on revenue generation, but also on overall customer experience and success. Recent research from The Chally Group shows that the cost of a bad hiring decision can be as much as 3x the base salary of the position. Research also shows that the reasons people fail in a position are different than the criteria used to select them. Managers who identify these failure points and use them to guide future hires can reduce hiring mistakes by almost 25 percent.
Today, most sales organizations are focused on utilizing consistent tools and analytics to help develop and coach a team of high-performing sellers. A team-based talent audit can help sales leaders determine the strengths and gaps within their existing sales team and identify improvement areas that require action. A Sales Success Profile can help provide a consistent process around screening, assessing, selecting and coaching your new hires.
4. Simplify your talent management processes.
An established management operating rhythm helps you know you are executing the right things at the right time and simplifies the process of talent management.
Utilize tools such as Coaching Guides, Quarterly Assessments, Developmental Action Plans, and Team Capability and Succession Reviews to simplify the processes of an effective talent management program.
5. Clearly evaluate your team’s performance.
An operating rhythm provides an unrestricted line-of-sight into your team’s performance based on what drives success in their roles.
Your team and individual talent should be evaluated on industry knowledge, their specialized skills, as well as the definition of success in your company. Without a clear set of standards, measurements and evaluations, you will have a reduced ability to retain and grow your most successful sales people.
6. Create clear accountabilities and expectations.
Having a repeatable operating rhythm around people management and development creates clear accountabilities and expectations because evaluation and assessment tools are in place and utilized on a regular basis.
Without providing this framework, you will find yourself struggling with inconsistent enforcement of sales standards and procedures that could lead to low accountability and lack of commitment from your talent.
The next time you find yourself with struggling sales talent, take the time to set and execute these Talent Management Priorities to get you and your team in an operating rhythm that will result in better performance and talent retention.
Do you know the strengths of your sales team? Do you know your strengths?
Get a head start on talent management by accessing our special free edition of the GrowthPlay Talent Assessment that will provide you with a complimentary Predictive Strengths Indicator report. There is no charge or obligation to participate. Get your entire sales team to participate!
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