Navigate your sales tech stack with a sales technology roadmap
The best way to manage incoming sales tech is with a detailed sales technology roadmap to help your team plan for the future.
Sales talent issues are commonly associated with hiring. “I can’t find anyone who meets our requirements.” “I can’t afford the talent I need in this market.” But, in reality, the most common missteps occur before hiring and continue well beyond it. In this article, we’ll focus on post-hiring sales talent problems.
Many organizations have significant opportunities to keep seller exits from happening or, depending on the situation, make them happen more quickly.
Korn Ferry’s recent research noted that seller attrition in 2020 was roughly 22%, much higher than it was a few years ago. However, 12.5% was voluntary attrition and 9.5% was involuntary. This leads to the real crux of the issue. Were the 12.5% the ones you wanted to leave? If so, then how long did their sales territories underperform, waiting for you to exit them? If they were more valuable sellers, then why didn’t it work out?
Assuming that a sales organization is hiring appropriately, what needs to happen afterward? Think of it like selling. After you close the deal, how do you ensure that the client gets the value you promised or that the deal was as beneficial to your organization as you hoped? How do you ensure that you renew and grow the relationship over time? Here are 5 things to think about when developing your sales team.
Most organizations have an onboarding program, even if it’s informal. But often, onboarding ends up being too much one-way information sharing of product knowledge.
Study participants who agreed or strongly agreed that they had a strong onboarding program reported getting sellers up to full productivity in 8.5 months. Those who disagreed or strongly disagreed took 9.5 months. If quotas are $2M on average, the resulting gap of that month could potentially make a difference of $50K to $100K per new salesperson.
A dedicated sales enablement discipline that supports both sellers and managers through onboarding, ongoing development and sales coaching is a critical element of the sales talent system.
In our recent research, organizations looking at development through an enablement lens (rather than from the learning and development or training point of view) can better integrate their sales content with training and coaching and their sales process with their sales methodology and the customer’s path. This elevated approach helps sellers feel more supported and be more successful.
It’s still true that most people quit managers, not jobs. Yet, despite almost two decades of discussion on the importance of sales coaching,
Korn Ferry’s recent research found that 62.9% of organizations are still leaving coaching up to managers to be done ad hoc or using an informal approach. But the minority with a “dynamic” coaching approach (linked to training and content) won an average of 55.2% of forecast deals, far higher than the 41.8% found in organizations that left sales coaching up to the individual sales manager’s discretion. Conventional wisdom holds. Coaching works!
Many falsely assume that salespeople are “coin-operated,” meaning that if they’re making money, they’re happy. Others overemphasize superficial tactics to motivate sellers. Neither is the right way.
Sellers need to feel that they can be successful in your world and meet their personal and professional goals. For some, this may mean management opportunities, but not for most. For some, it may mean first crack at selling new products, access to sales support or input into product development plans.
Sales organizations should be careful to keep their finger on the pulse of engagement. Voice-of-employee insights collected from those in the role and from those leaving the organization can tell you a lot about what’s working and what’s not.
Like hiring and onboarding, data can help smooth other types of transitions as well. Put simply, the more you know about your sales force, including what works and what doesn’t, the better prepared you’ll be for both the planned and the unexpected.
In order to ensure you have productive and efficient sales talent, ask yourself these questions:
Want to know more about developing sales talent? Contact us for further information.