article | August 2, 2012
Can Your Sales Talent Execute Like Olympic Athletes?
Somewhere an executive just read the title of this article on his smartphone. Now he is shaking his head in frustration. How should he even begin to think about his Sales Talent and how it relates to his overall Talent Management strategy? Learn more about how to frame the discussion and ask the right questions by contacting us about our newly-released research report. It’s called Make The Number: How Your Peers Are Allocating People, Money, and Time in 2013. You can learn more right now by clicking here.
The executive closes his web browser and puts the phone away. He wonders if he has a problem. The sales managers tell him the team is improving, and he still has a shot at making this year’s revenue goal (if the forecast is correct). But he still wonders “are we good enough?” The comparison to Olympic athletes leaves him worried and slightly insecure. He knows he has “C” players in the organization. Where are the “C” players at the Olympics?
If this story sounds familiar, you are not alone. Savvy executives are well aware that their real competitor is the status quo. Worse, most don’t know where to even begin the task of evaluating their athletes. They worry how disruptive it will be. Will evaluating existing Sales Talent cause the team to lose focus on making the number? What about the hiring process? Should they start there and hold off on improving the existing team for later? Are there weaknesses in the current hiring process? It sure seems like some rotten eggs are getting through…
Let’s return to the Olympians. What if we could select Sales Talent who were more like them? Olympians are the output of a perfectly executed training regimen, full of drive, discipline, and the will to win. Meanwhile, your performance-based turnover is 30%. Here are three reasons executives fail at the task:
What can you do right now?
The best Sales Talent are individuals selected from the masses, just like Olympians. They possess a combination of innate ability and learned competencies. They compete with focus and discipline. They want to win. There is no reason your Sales Talent can’t be as good as Olympic athletes.
If you still have a question about how to take action, or how to understand the opportunity cost, please comment below. You can also sign up to learn more about the output of our Sales Talent research at www.MakingTheNumber.com.