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Financial Services

The Secret to Keeping Top Talent and Driving Commercial Excellence

Excel in Talent Management

Talent management, particularly the attraction, growth and retention of top performers, is one of the most crucial aspects of any successful business strategy and is key to achieving organizational goals. Top financial services organizations approach talent management with acute attention, allowing it to mature and adapt to the evolving needs of the business and its employees. In this article, we will explore current talent trends and best practices that drive profitable growth for commercial organizations.

To gain a deeper understanding of the talent management strategies that yield the highest ROI, Alexander Group conducted a survey of more than 250 companies across six industries, including financial services. The survey identified best practices in two critical talent components:

  • Talent Brand
  • Commercial Execution

The leading organizations from our research – financial services companies with above-average revenue growth (>10%) and EBITDA margin (>50%) – excel in five key talent management areas:

  • Employee Experience
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Strategic Talent Architecture
  • Compensation & Total Rewards
  • Coaching & Recognition

Enhancing Talent Brand

Employee Experience

Employee engagement is a considerable predictor of motivated employees, and keeping employees engaged requires dedicated effort by companies. Workplace flexibility, defined culture and cohesion improve employee experience and customer outcomes.


Financial institutions with engaged employees concurrently reduce bottom-line costs and enhance the customer experience to drive margin growth – reporting a +20% increase in customer satisfaction ratings for interactions with sales reps and a +23% increase for service quality.

Talent Acquisition

Impactful talent acquisition is both a part of and the result of a strong talent brand. Profitable growth leaders leverage their existing talent brand and positive employee experiences to attract top talent, who then continue to enhance the talent brand once onboarded.

To be impactful, talent acquisition should be efficient and effective. Profitable growth leaders utilize dedicated resources to spot and fill vacancies quickly and pursue candidates with unconventional, value-added skills. Organizations with established programs to advertise advancement opportunities can fill open positions up to two weeks earlier and fully operationalize sellers up to two months faster.

Building Strategic Talent Architecture

When laid out correctly, Strategic Talent Architecture bridges the gap between Talent Brand and Commercial Execution, which in turn improves both employee and customer experience. Top financial services firms are more likely to document core role elements formally and clearly:

  • Jobs designed around the skills required to be successful
  • Documented Rules of Engagement (ROE) between other roles
  • More frequent skill assessments to drive career advancement

These leaders are less likely to lose sellers due to a lack of well-defined jobs and career paths, and they can also fully ramp up field sellers +30% faster.

Driving Commercial Excellence

Compensation & Total Rewards

Once high performers have been identified and onboarded, organizations require successful programs to retain them. Compensation plans remain a key decision factor for employees looking to leave current positions and accept new ones.

Profitable growth leaders source market data at a minimum on an annual basis, which ensures compensation plans are competitive, delineated, easily communicated and effective. Organizations that formally reviewed compensation plans for clarity saw the number of sellers achieving quota grow by +8%.

While pay levels and incentive plan structure are important, there are also several other Talent Brand factors that cause employees to leave. Workplace flexibility, such as offering a hybrid work environment or flexible hours, and other employee experience factors weigh heavily on the decision to leave. Lack of clarity around job roles and career paths are also drivers that cause departures.

Coaching and Recognition

Performance evaluation programs are another tool profitable growth leaders use to ensure they are keeping top talent. Like compensation plans, effective performance plans should be formally documented, tangibly assessable and clearly communicated on a regular basis.

Profitable growth leaders are more likely to evaluate beyond standard seller quotas, including:

  • Share of Wallet
  • Customer-Facing Skills and Competencies
  • Cultural Fit
  • Manager Assessments

Leaders who analyze these additional KPIs are more informed about the overall performance of their team and organization, making it easier for them to recognize and resolve issues. Firms must frequently review their programs to ensure that managers are prepared to coach teams, identify leading performance metrics and properly coach out low performers.

Our research indicates that effective talent management can drive profitable growth and set organizations apart from their competitors. By enhancing their talent brand and building a strong talent architecture to drive commercial excellence, firms can increase revenue and EBITDA margins without paying higher shares above-market costs.

Why Alexander Group?

Alexander Group can help financial services companies identify and adopt these best practices, and keep you informed about the trends, insights and frameworks of the industry. Contact a Financial Services practice lead to receive a briefing on our latest report, Talent Management Trends for the Commercial Organization.

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