Talent Management Trends for the Commercial Organization

Mike Burnett and Dave Eddleman, principals at the Alexander Group, preview some recent Alexander Group research findings on talent management trends for commercial organizations where business services was one of the primary industries.

The research focused on identifying the strategies that successful growth leaders employ compared to their peers. These leaders demonstrated better performance in terms of profitability and revenue growth. Notably, they had more sellers achieving their sales quotas, a higher likelihood to meet their 2023 goals, improved net revenue retention and lower turnover costs. These findings highlight the effective practices of these leaders in sales and development.

Mike Burnett: Hello, this is Mike Burnett and Dave Eddleman, both principals and co-leaders of the business services practice at the Alexander Group. Today, we’re offering a preview of a recent study conducted by the Alexander Group regarding talent management trends for the commercial organization. This study and briefing are founded on a survey conducted with over 200 organizations across industries, of all sizes. Given the topic at hand, Business Services happened to be one of the primary industries covered as part of this research. This research was structured around what profitable growth leaders are doing differently compared to the rest of their peer group. They outperformed their peers in terms of both profitability and revenue growth overall. However, there were some interesting data points that came out of that. One is the fact that a dramatically higher percentage of sellers were achieving quota. They also had a much higher likelihood or forecasted likelihood to achieve their goals for 2023. They reported higher overall net revenue retention and also reported a lower cost of turnover, which is obviously a critical statistic from a sales and training and development standpoint.

Now, those profitable growth leaders, we were able to highlight five areas that we think they truly differentiate themselves compared to their peers. First is their focus on employee experience. Recognizing that employee experience can have a dramatic impact ultimately on financial performance due to improvements in terms of how they interact with customers. Second, they had slightly different points of view in terms of how they were thinking about acquiring talent. What are some of the practices that we see those organizations doing differently? Third, and this is a big area of focus was they are way more strategic and thoughtful around how they structure their commercial talent architecture, looking at things like competencies and skills to help define really progression paths for folks within those positions. We looked at compensation and rewards, total rewards as we realized that there’s more effort and attention that they’re putting into those programs compared to peers. Lastly, we also tried to highlight some areas of differences from a coaching and recognition standpoint. Dave is going to walk through and double click into a few of these areas, employee experience and compensation and total rewards.

Dave Eddleman: Hey everybody. Dave Eddleman, thanks for joining. Companies with strong employee engagement really do have more satisfied customers. And in terms of an employee experience, six things sort of came up and we divided into two categories workplace, workplace flexibility and culture and cohesion. On the left-hand side, you can see flexible working hours, leave of absence policy, and hybrid work environment. I’d say the one that sticks out is the hybrid work environment, because we really do see that employers have to provide clarity on how much time that workers need to spend in the home office and how much time do they spend in the corporate office. So that balance and clarity are very important also in the selling environment. How much time do I have to spend onsite with customers influencing them to buy something versus on the camera in a virtual environment with that same level of influence? On the right-hand side, Culture and Cohesion 360 feedback, well-defined career progression, and initiatives. The one that sticks out here again is this well-defined career progression, making sure that selling roles are clear and the progression, the progression to the next level is also very clear, very important to employees.

If you do all of those six things correctly, it can lead to higher CSAT or customer satisfaction scores in terms of interaction with sales reps 14% and in terms of service quality, 12%. Next up is compensation and total rewards. The big finding here is when we look at candidates of why they accept offers and why employees leave, what are the main drivers? So, on the left-hand side, you can see there is pay is still a main driver at 58%, but there’s also some close seconds that are quite important company reputation. There’s the growth and promotion opportunities. Again, back to the career path, clarity and company culture.

On the right-hand side, Why Employees Leave. A lot of our clients are saying, well, our pay is not right, the pay levels are not right, mix, etcetera. But a close second to that is flexibility, which is part of employee experience as well as the career passing and lack of appreciation. So, the takeaway here is that pay is important, but there are other factors that really are in play on why there’s a churn in retention and also why candidates accept offers.

Mike Burnett: Thanks, Dave. If you’re interested in receiving a more detailed readout or briefing of this study, please feel free to reach out to us at or you can download this content and future insights and studies at our mobile app. Thanks again for joining and hope to hear from you soon.

Learn how Alexander Group can help your organization

Back to Top