Earlier posts talked about how HR Business Partners can provide value to Sales. Consider this post as the ultimate résumé of an HR Business Partner to Sales. HR business partners for sales organizations have a certain make up. They should have certain skills and have sales knowledge. Their scorecard has targets and activities distinct from other HR business partners. Sales leaders can use this post to hire their HR business partner. HR business partners can use this post to become attractive to the sales organization.
Competencies to Support the Sales Organization
We find there are four key competencies an HR business partner to sales should have. The downloadable tool contains more competencies to consider.
- Customer focus – This refers also to the end customer, not just sales as an HR customer. The effective HR business partner maintains a customer perspective. This means that communications, discussions and other behaviors have the customer in mind. It is an outward-in mentality balanced with the company position. Through this, he/she can better understand the context of the sales reps role. This helps them align with top sales reps. For sales reps not yet using customer focus, appropriate training can be developed.
- Drive for results – Top Sales Reps normally have a keen drive for results. HR business partners with the same competency better understand sales Rep motivation. By contrast, lacking this competency could cause bewilderment – the HR business partner doesn’t understand some Rep behaviors.
- Discovery/problem definition – Sales Reps and HR business partners frequently need to discover issues. Sales reps uncover customer issues and HR business partners work force or developmental issues. If both roles have strong skills here, solutions come easier and with higher quality.
- Social networking – Sales has definitely become more social. In fact all roles have become more social. HR business partners with advanced social agility understand how the sales organization must evolve. Appropriate initiatives can be introduced to make the Sales Reps more social.
Responsibilities in Supporting the Sales Organization
Again the downloadable tool has a list with more responsibilities. However, here are three critical responsibilities in supporting sales.
- Stay on top of talent needs – One of the worst things for a sales leader is an open territory. Be proactive in working with sales to keep territories filled. Since buyers and Sellers are changing so quickly, keep the Rep role profile updated. This will help both sales and HR in recruiting candidates. Also stay in the loop with product and sales to know strategic changes. Changes in strategy could require more or different talent in sales. As well, understand through assessment the skill gaps that exist in the sales force.
- Keep Learning and Development materials current – This requires a constant scan of sales and industry trends. When you detect trends the same as skill gaps, ensure development of appropriate training. You also have to stay abreast of new, applicable learning methods. Leverage what works for your sales organization.
- Own the sales onboarding program – This is critical for maintaining momentum if Sales Reps leave. After initial implementation, ensure continuous improvement of the activities and learning content. Even more importantly, continue to monitor Sales Manager use of the Onboarding program.
Sample Scorecard for the HR Business Partner to Sales
Here’s a sample scorecard to draw ideas from. Use these activities and objectives to augment or replace existing scorecards. Of course, the values you use should be appropriate for your company. The downloadable tool has more line item ideas.
Call to action
HR Leaders/HR Business Partners should download this HR business partner profile and scorecard. Do this before the sales leader downloads the profile. That way, the HR Business Partner can prepare an improvement plan (or ask to be assigned to a different department!)
Sales Leaders: download this HR business partner profile. Then check your HR business partner to see about improving or replacing him/her.
Photo from Freedigitalphotos.net -> Stuart Miles.