Quality sales drives on team effort and not one individual person. Over time, the market landscape and customers have changed to flesh that statement into truth. And in this alternative reality, the everyday salesperson pivots into the spotlight, becoming what you may call a central point of contact.
He or she understands the product, its complexity, and delivers on its nuances to evolved customers with touch points to the marketing, technology and product teams. You get the picture. You need great people to fill these pivotal roles – roles that drive your business.
Funnily enough, pivots are aplenty in the talent market; but what about ones that fit perfectly into your organizational doorknob? Ah. Do we have your attention now?
Touch Points with Talent Acquisition
To sales leaders tasked with hard numbers aimed at profit margins and growth, recruitment may just equate to an unwelcome distraction – a necessary evil best passed along, and left to, the HR department. Thing is, the wrong (or right) people categorically impact company KPIs, sales culture, account retention and even growth.
In fact, today’s talent-driven market demands a close relationship with your HR department. It’s worth its weight in gold, this partnership.
Having put that out of the way, this article is aimed to unveil trends that matter to sales directors looking to acquire and retain the best talent. So, without further ado, let’s just take a grand look at what we have to say.
Starting from Within: The Salary Game
We start with this because remuneration has never always been the most important criteria for candidates, but it rarely does fall out of the top four in that regard. On one side of the coin, you have sales executives ready to ask for more, even at fairly junior levels. On the flipside, hiring managers identify that expectations don’t match commercial realities or visible skillsets.
Your most talented organizational fit is just as likely to gloss over your offering figures as much a newcomer with the potential to be a top performer. But this doesn’t mean that expectations must be met to stay competitive; just that it requires additional thinking.
Is it possible for sales leaders to work with HR to better leverage strong team culture, company brand, or powerful learning and development programs in lieu of a salary bump? Or, do you require adjustment in tandem to market realities? Of course, the latter’s only possible with a sound grasp around who’s paying what, and for whom.
Nonetheless, whatever the truth – it is a matter of cross-discussion between sales leaders and the HR function.
Sales Recruitment: Streamline Your Process
57% cite hiring top performers as key to business success. But they’re just as unaware as to whether they’re hiring that top performer.
If there’s one thing we’ve noticed, it’s that hiring managers continue to miss out sales talent because of an annoyingly long recruitment process. The longer you make them wait, the more likely they are to look elsewhere.
At the same time, organization face the dilemma of cutting time at the expense of quality within the recruitment process. However, the advent of assessment technology renders that notion irrelevant. Especially, with how it’s now possible to reduce cost and time, while boosting quality of hire.
Look at how Mettl helped Berger Paints not just hire the best salesperson, but the right one.
Sales Alternatives to New Talent: Retention as a Recruitment Tool
45% cite that they have no idea why their top performers succeed. In fact, L&D programs often fail at identifying those competencies that make top performers, rendering programs useless for employees aspiring for the same.
For all that effort you put into talent acquisition, it’s often more cost effective to retain and train. In August 2017, BMS Index suggested that salespeople are unlikely to last more than two years at a company. In terms of how it impacts your organization – these employees tend to take their skills and experience with them.
At the same time, dissatisfaction upon departure may pose a risk to your brand reputation. But research suggests that most attrition related departure focus on career development or newer avenues to improve individual skill. This provides organizations with a reservoir of opportunities to tap strong employees with well-structured L&D engines that transition to long-term loyalty.
Conclusion: A Winning Approach to Sales-Talent Acquisition Strategy
In three steps, to attract, engage and secure the right talent for your sales function is no easy job. But with an understanding of what your employees need along with business requirement, you acquire the opportunity to tailor the recruitment process on an individual level. That’s a brilliant experience to deliver, and in today’s world, experience is exactly what talent desires.
We’ve based much of our findings on an extensive survey conducted by an internal team in 2017. You can find more insights here.
Originally posted September 12, 2017
Small corner of the internet that we have put up for sharing ideas about personality and aptitude assessment. Our articles cover topics as light as personal reflections on the day-to-day experience of an assessment consultant to in-depth discussions on current practices and theories of the current assessment field.