Unless you put a team of superstars in the field, it’ll be tough to make your number. Nobody knows this better than Dave Moore, vice president of North American sales at Businessolver. His company provides a SaaS solution that allows employees and employers to get the most out of their benefits program.
He says you’d better know your ABCs if you want to develop a talent strategy. “We build A-player profiles for each of the key roles in the sales organization,” says Moore. “Then we perform talent assessments against them.” It must be working. Businessolver doubled the sales force of its quota carriers in the last six months.
How does the company find the talent it needs? By identifying key markets it wants to compete in and the talent needed to win, every year. “We constantly look at our networks so we can always tap into those A players,” Moore says.
But it doesn’t happen overnight. Hiring begins with assessments via phone screens. Then the process moves to an internal recruiter, other sales leaders, and finally to Moore. Along the path, they calibrate. If everyone’s aligned, they bring in the candidate to meet with key stakeholders for tryouts. “SBI helped us implement a work tryout to have them perform tasks and behaviors we expect from our sales consultants,” Moore says.
Once they find keepers, onboarding begins. “It’s not just about assimilating them into the company. It’s about deploying them quickly, getting them comfortable with Businessolver, and having them be productive out in the field,” says Moore.
Further, Moore says he has individual development plans to help each employee gain the skills needed to succeed. To that end, the company uses a tool called Small Improvements that allows Businessolver to engage with consultants on a quarterly basis to get input. “We’re in a very agile and fast-paced industry, so we need more real-time feedback.”
Once all of these elements are in place, the company builds a bench of future leaders. “For us, it’s a math equation,” Moore says. “We look at the span of control of our leadership team to see where we might need additional leadership and for how long.”
How it Feels to Make Your Number
It has never been more important for the product team, marketing department, and the sales organization to work together, but it’s easier said than done. Turn to page 46 to learn the prescription for developing your 2016 sales strategy, with critical inputs from product management and marketing.