February 27th, 2013


Optimize Sales Force Productivity by Matching the Best Candidate for the Role

Author: Frank Ribuot, Senior VP, Asia Pacific & Global Talent Management, Right Management

Matching your sales needs and style to your current sales team and potential new hires will help optimize company sales force productivity and improve performance.

 

The first step involves establishing predictive lead-measured behaviors and competencies and understanding how to optimize the sales competency profile for your organization. It also is critical to examine your company’s values and understand how they are used in the sales management process. 

 

The second step involves assessing talent gaps and developing a sales talent management plan that identifies the tools and processes that need to be designed and put in place.

 

After you’ve established a sales competency model and identified talent gaps, the third critical step is making sure you place sales executives in best-fit roles.  This means making sure the candidate knows whether you expect him or her to immediately generate sales or establish and nurture contacts for an extended sales cycle – i.e., do you need a closer or someone who uses a consultative approach? Do you need a “transactional” sales person or a “solution oriented” one? A new business developer, an account manager or a mix of both?  Whatever the need, be precise in describing the territory, training and coaching you will offer, and all sales tools that will be at his or her disposal. In addition, provide a snapshot description of both the current and anticipated market and your competitors.

 

If certain talent gaps still exist, then hiring new sales executives and working on improving your existing sales staff capabilities are essential to achieve revenue goals and on-going sales force productivity.

 

Benchmarking is a useful tool to diagnose various attributes of sales force productivity and improve sales performance. For one of our clients, through a mixture of assessment and development, we were able to increase the likelihood that their salespeople would become high-performers by 12%.

 

Our evidence-based approach to accelerate sales force performance employs a unique combination of steps to help ensure you assess and place your current sales talent in the right roles:

 

Step One: Discovery to Define Success

 

Identify key performance drivers and align them with current and future business success.  Examine success criteria, competencies, job information, and hold structured interviews.

 

Step Two: Talent Audit and Assessment

 

Assess current behaviors against the success profile – i.e., perform a comprehensive talent management and sales performance improvement audit.  Options include a “low touch” online assessment approach or a “high touch” approach that incorporates business simulations.

 

Step Three: Remediation/Development Programs Based on Current Needs

 

Launch a learning/remediation program, targeting behavioral changes based on key sales performance drivers.  Using assessment results from the previous step, define the development topic.  Assessment feedback also helps create and/or increase self-awareness.

 

Step Four: Evidence and Analytics

 

Track behavioral changes and business impact through talent management analysis and reporting. This includes a bi-annual briefing and optional ROI analysis.

 

Your sales team represents a significant opportunity to grow revenue and market share. Our process to improve sales productivity and match the right individual for the role will assist in delivering sales performance improvement and help your high performers consistently achieve sales quotas and results.


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