As a sales leader, you cannot underestimate the importance of owning your sales talent process. That means taking individual ownership of developing a cadence on how you attract, hire, on-board and retain top sales talent. We find that too many sales leaders across industries, across organizations, fundamentally underestimate the power of putting rigor behind your sales talent organization.
Talent is your only sustainable competitive advantage. Product features are fleeting. Your competitors are going to eventually catch up to you. Your only sustainable competitive advantage over time is talent. Owning the sales talent process in your organization requires focus in two key areas:
1. Define Success in Your Sales Roles
Elite sales organizations refuse to become a statistic. They know who will be successful in their organization. As a sales leader, it is up to you to find the right fit repeatedly for your organization. The person who has the right behaviors to be successful within your sales organization and who can operate with maximum efficiency in the key areas of sales effectiveness. That requires a clear definition of what success looks like in the variety of sales roles you have. Without that definition, you will never be able to be an elite sales organization because you will constantly be struggling with the wrong performers.
2. A Sales Management Cadence
Think of the best coaches that you know. The best coaches that you've likely ever had were great teachers and also had the ability to meet you where you were at any given time.
Sales managers need tools and cadences to help them manage. Otherwise, they’ll fall victim to selling for their reps and spending too much time with low performers. Elite sales organizations have managers that meet people where they are. We teach a Skill/Will model that enables managers to coach their team members based on those qualifying categories. Whatever your mechanism, you need to ensure you're enabling your managers to coach. It's a fundamental component to owning your sales talent process.
Often, sales managers are unconsciously competent. They have a tough time communicating “the how” to others. They can say the what and the when, but a lot of times they aren't articulate on the how. Your managers need to get consciously competent around the "how".
It’s a scary proposition for a lot of leaders – taking managers away from helping selling to learn coaching techniques. But, as we've seen at Force Management time and time again, taking the time to teach your managers to coach improves sales productivity and ultimately your ability to reach and even exceed your revenue goals.