Even in these hard times, sales leaders are making big bets on their people. We heard many innovative ideas from over 100 Sales and Marketing Leaders at the recent Chief Sales Executive Forum on hiring new and developing existing talent. Here are a few:
Involve the customer in the hiring process. One company involves the buyers from their largest accounts in the hiring process for their account managers.
Get the right people with the right skills into the job. We’re seeing a more rigorous approach to hiring. Several participants said they focused on getting the job right – by looking at competencies of their best reps and building thorough hiring profiles – before they interviewed a single candidate.
Deploy additional coaching resources in the field for new hires. One company that recently underwent a 20% expansion of their sales force added coaches in the field to ensure new hires got adequate coaching and mentorship.
“Take off the training wheels”. We heard that it’s important to make sure you continuously evaluate the use of specialist sales roles in the field. One company periodically pulls back on the resources they have available to make sure that their account managers are able to promote the whole product portfolio.
Invest more in developing the Front Line Managers. A key message coming out of the Forum was the need to invest more in front line sales managers. They are an integral part of driving the sales process and tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to investment in sales force enablement.
What is your sales leadership doing to ensure that your hiring and talent development is the best it can be?
Learn more about the Alexander Group and other sales leadership events.