For a top-performing sales organization to thrive, managers need a viable coaching strategy. Developing a process to attract and retain top sales talent is a critical component to lower turnover rates and improve your sales team’s bench strength.
CSO Insights’ research repeatedly shows sales organizations struggle with developing processes that help them recruit and onboard top sales talent. In their most recent report more than half of sales organizations need to improve their ability to “consistently hire reps to succeed.”
Even more importantly, few organizations have a process to help ensure retention of their best hires. The truth is, even your best performers won’t succeed if your organization can’t define their success.
Here are five key tools that will help you focus your talent management strategy and ensure you retention of your top performers:
1. Success Profile
Don’t confuse a success profile with a job description. Rather, it’s a profile of your perfect seller’s DNA. It’s a combination of the success competencies – knowledge required to effectively perform the job, and the success behaviors – what competencies look like when the job is being performed effectively.
When you define what success looks like in your sales positions, you’ll be able to effectively source, evaluate and develop the role moving forward. A success profile drives consistency and the process behind
- Selecting and acquiring talent
- Onboarding and assimilating
- Managing and rewarding performance
- Developing and retaining talent
- Workforce planning and talent review
- Leading and promoting
2. Skill/Will Model
Our clients use a Skill/Will model that directs them how to coach their own salespeople to success. It’s effective because it gives them a tool to (1) rate sales people based on their skills and motivation and (2) use that information to coach them to success.
If you’re missing your numbers, determine which of your reps are succeeding and which ones are facing challenges. If your low performers aren’t making their number and they’re dragging the team down – then it’s likely you have a talent issue that needs to be corrected. If your top performers aren’t making their numbers – you likely have a problem that’s bigger than your people. Your next step is to determine why they’re struggling. A customized skill/will model can provide the insight you need to keep your best sellers on board.
3. Quarterly Assessments
Quarterly assessments assess individuals’ current level of skills and knowledge based on their competencies and behaviors. Review their successes as well as the areas where additional goals can be set. Remember these five things managers want from their employees
- Give me clear direction
- Listen to me
- Let me know how I’m doing
- Help me learn
- Give me a sense of purpose
4. Developmental Action Plan
As you give feedback, make sure you are providing an action plan to improve behaviors. A developmental action plan will help you address and close the gaps identified in the Quarterly Assessment. Use it as a guide to help you create specific and timely development plans.
5. Management Operating Rhythm®
Your company’s ability to develop its Management Operating Rhythm®, or MOR, will help model the consistency and behavior necessary to retain talent and drive strategy. A structured MOR– a sales cadence – will keep your sales team focused consistently on your critical few high-value sales activities.
A successful Management Operating Rhythm® provides you, as a leader, with an unrestricted line-of-sight into the performance of your sales teams. It also equips you with the processes and tools leaders need to provide structured direction and coaching around key sales support processes.