If you wait for a negative event to trigger a focus on sales talent development, opportunities have been lost. The sales talent success guide and development plan you put in place after the negative event can help ensure better results in the future, but you can never get back the poor results just posted. Let’s now examine the first key to strategic talent development which is establishing the sales talent success guide.
In baseball, lots of teams throughout history have built championship franchises with effective strategic talent development. What these championship teams do is determine the profile for the types of players they need to make the team successful. The team may need to develop more speed or players who hit for a higher average. Once the team determines the types of players it needs to be successful, they set out to draft and develop these players.
In sales, when starting a strategic talent development initiative, we need to do the same thing. Given the external market factors impacting your sales environment, your salespeople could require a variety of different competencies, knowledge, skills and attributes to be successful. As a result, it is essential to build a talent Success Guide. When establishing the talent Success Guide, the most important thing is determining which competencies, knowledge, skills, and attributes your sales people need to be successful in a given role. You can determine this by studying your current top performers and by soliciting input from other sales leaders in your organization.
The reason the Success Guide is so important, is because it provides the benchmark for which individual development will be measured against. Without this benchmark, there is no guide for hiring, no guide for individual development activity and no guide for developing a sales training curriculum. Additionally, without the Success Guide, you have no way of determining the current talent makeup of your team.
Why is determining the current talent makeup of your team important? Check back with us next week as Key #2 to Building a Championship Sales Team will answer that question.