Want to Simplify the Road to Your 2016 Number? Check off These 5 Boxes. 


Often, though, if we step back just a bit, the focus sharpens. We see that just a few actions can make a tremendous difference. What if, instead of creating some highly detailed plan, we simplified? What if we wanted to keep it to just a handful of items? 


What would that mean for your hitting your 2016 goal? Let’s take a look at that in the context of talent strategy.


If your talent strategy isn’t ready, you’d better get moving. This discussion will help. Along the way are touchstones to tap on your way to the goal.


We’ll spotlight five of them. You may find a different five, and that’s fine. No two organizations are the same.


Knowledge is power, and it’s essential to reaching your goal.


Know Your Leaders

Talent strategy is a big concept and it shoulders a heavy load. This is where you identify the qualities you’re looking for in your team’s leaders. That applies to all your top performers in every functional area.


Use all the data you can get your hands on. Market research reveals the types of talent the market values. Management experience, properly applied, will be another driver. Corporate strategy defines the talent that fits the organization.


Talent strategy is good business. It’s a benchmarked process for getting and keeping A-players. These are the people who execute the functional strategies. These are your sales, marketing and product executives. These are the people who are going to get you to goal.


Seven Team-Building Steps

We’ve identified seven steps for bringing them in and ramping them up:


  • Profiling – clarifying what an A-player is
  • Assessment – evaluating everyone on your team against profile
  • Sourcing – taking an active approach to finding talent
  • Hiring – acquiring top talent
  • On-boarding – bringing talent up to speed and productivity
  • Talent development – nurturing growth via an individual development plan
  • Succession planning – readying candidates for future leadership roles


We cover these in greater depth here.


Five Boxes to Check to Hit Your Number

Follow this road map and build a strong staff. That’s the first order of business. Then it’s time to turn your team’s potential into revenue.


Start by drilling down deeper into the seven-step methodology. It’s about more than just hiring. Let it guide you as you chart the year ahead. Using it as a basis, we’ve selected five items to check off in Q4. They’ll factor strongly into making your number in 2016.


The First is Strategic Alignment.

Think about the other strategies that are part of your business operations. Corporate strategy creates the organization’s competitive differences. Product strategy includes knowing who’s developing the products.  Marketing is where the creatives are – you count on them for leads. And sales takes you to market. Talent strategy touches all of these. Get them in alignment and check the box.


Second, Build on Strengths, Ferret Out Weaknesses.

Develop a fully formed assessment process. Be prepared with plans for closing any gaps, and for reinforcing the positives. Take a clear-eyed look at your team. The assessment step will show you where your reps shine, and where they don’t. Knowledge is power, and it’s essential to reaching your goal. Check! 


Third, Take On-boarding Seriously.

Every day a new rep isn’t up to speed is a day of lost opportunity. They’re not earning, but you’re spending – and those training costs add up. Establish expectations for how long it takes to ramp up. Put a mentorship program in place so newcomers have that resource. Shorten the ramp-up time. This is an important checkmark. 


Fourth, Find Your Future A-players Now.

Source talent now, in quarter four, even if you’re at full strength. You can’t predict when you’ll have to fill an opening. You don’t want to have to find A-players in a hurry. Get proactive and find those talents ahead of time, inside and outside the organization. Put a checkmark in this box. 


Fifth, Make Talent Development a Fourth-Quarter Priority.

If you want a goal-achieving group, make the commitment to building it. Put an individual development plan in place for each revenue growth team member. Use it to correct problem areas and reinforce the positive behaviors. This is how you create a solid force. It’s also how you create the organization’s leadership for the years ahead. When you check this off in quarter four, you’re looking toward the 2016 number. You’re also looking well beyond it. 


Put the pieces together. Everything – and everyone – plays a part in getting to your 2016 number.


For help with this, or any other aspect of making your number, look to SBI. You can register here for a 90-minute workshop that we’ll bring to you. Your goal is out there. We can help you work toward it.


Aaron Bartels

Helps clients solve the most difficult challenges standing in the way of making their number.
Learn more about Aaron Bartels >

He founded Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) with Greg Alexander and Mike Drapeau to help business to business (B2B) leaders make the number. The world’s most respected companies have put their trust in and hired SBI. SBI uses the benchmarking method to accelerate their rate of revenue growth. As an execution based firm, SBI drives field adoption and business results.


His clients describe him as a consultant who:


“Makes transformational impacts on me, my people and my business”


“Solves my most difficult problems that to date we have been unable to solve ourselves”


“Brings clarity to an environment of chaos”


“Has real world sales operations experience making him qualified to advise us on a variety of sales and marketing challenges”


“Is able to spot proven best practices that once implemented will make a material impact on my business”


“Constantly challenges status quo and compels us to act”


“Focuses on execution and driving change to stick in our environment”


“Makes good on his promises while enabling our business to realize his projected results”

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