Sales teams tend to have some of the highest turnover, so it would make sense for HR and sales to collaborate and create a cohesive partnership.
An article I read recently that was originally published on Worldatwork.org outlines some great ways that HR and sales can partner:
1. Understand Sales Strategy before Making Assumptions about Talent Requirements – It’s important for HR to work closely with sales to find out their needs. What skills are they seeking? What makes a successful sales team member? HR should strive to understand the organization’s sales strategy and guide them as to what type of qualities they should seek out in talent. As the article outlined, it’s important to discuss the following key areas:
a. Strategy – Which products provide the greatest return on sales? How are customers segmented? Are there specific account strategies that salespeople use to drive growth?
b. Organization – How many and what types of sales resources are needed in each channel? What level of sales productivity is expected?
c. Talent – What sales compensation plan will drive results? What performance measures are in place? Do we have the right people and skills to deliver on our customer value proposition?
2. Understand the Type of Sales Roles Required and How they Will Work Together – HR must understand how various sales roles work together and the difference in skills required for each position. Some positions might be responsible for sourcing leads, others nurturing, and other closing. Each require a unique set of skills.
3. Do More with What You Have: Deploy the Right People in the Right Roles – HR can help evaluate the current sales team to ensure that people are in the right roles for their experience and skills. The results can be used to reassess sales roles and see where additional training could be helpful. It can also help to project career paths for the team members.
4. Focus on “Moving the Middle” - A study by Chally Group, a global leadership and sales potential and performance measurement firm, found that on average, Top Performers (20% of the sales force) produce 52% of revenue, Dependable Performers (60 % of sales force) produce 45%, and Low Performers (20% of the sales force) produce only 3%. Sales leaders often place all their attention on the high performers and low performers. Chally Group’s research shows that focusing on all three groups is most beneficial and will produce the best financial results. The middle group, Dependable Performers, represent the majority of a typical sales force. It’s important not to overlook them. With the right attention, they can eventually be some of your top performers.
5. Clarify and Showcase the Employee Value Proposition – HR and sales should partner to create a compelling employee value proposition. Beyond a competitive compensation plan, how does the company help them succeed? An employee value proposition includes benefits, compensation, career opportunities, culture, and work environment. You should be able to present a clear career path for sales opportunities. Describe the culture among the team – is it competitive? You are more likely to find a good fit, if the prospective candidate fully understands the opportunity, culture, and work environment.
How do you partner with sales to help them succeed? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.