When your business hits a significant growth hurdle the hardest challenge can be pinpointing your talent management problem.

  • Have you misaligned your priorities?
  • Were your sales predictions off from the get-go?
  • Is it your sales team that’s falling short of expectations?

More often than not it’s a combination of breakdowns within your people and your processes that lead to hiccups in the growth cycle. But how do you identify your weak links and work to correct them? Developing a mechanism to provide leadership with measurable and quantifiable data is critical to your talent management and for righting the course.

Successful sales teams have audit processes in place that regularly assess performance and suggest ways to provide feedback that can lead to meaningful change. Enhanced talent audits are a critical component of figuring out exactly where your people are succeeding and where they need to improve. In many cases, a talent audit can reveal important patterns in the breakdown of your sales team, patterns that may tell you where it’s your hiring process – not the people – that are hurting revenue.

The hiring process itself is perhaps the most critical part of the success of your sales organization. Too often it’s delegated to HR or rushed in favor of seemingly more pressing initiatives. Data says there are a few common hiring mistakes many business make time and again that lead to ineffective teamwork and, more importantly, ineffective leaders.

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These include:

  • Relying too heavily on interviews and/or personality tests
  • Comparing candidates to successful people instead of studying unsuccessful people from within
  • Failure to use “validated” criteria to measure new hires

After the “people” part of the equation is decided on, development can become a hurdle in and of itself. It all starts with an effective onboarding program and includes quarterly talent assessments. If your organization doesn’t have a formal mentorship/coaching program it may be a good idea to implement one.

The processes that drive your sales organization can also affect your organization’s ability to retain top talent. These critical components can include everything from the way your sales team communicates with each other to the steps and support your salespeople receive when trying to move an opportunity through the sales process.  Ask yourself: Is our process repeatable and consistent? Are your team members able to be held accountable and qualifying every lead? If you don’t have formal processes in place along every step of the sales curve you’re losing opportunities and setting your people up to fail.

The right investment in talent management will provide your sales organization a clear pay-off where it matters most – in the numbers. Regular evaluation of both your talent and the tools you’re providing them with are critical to successful managing and growing revenue year after year.