Why Talent Strategy Cannot Be Ignored


The success equation states that making your number is 50% performance conditions and 50% talent. Performance conditions are the environments you put your people in. It’s the tools you equip them with and the processes you develop to help them do their job. Talent is defined as the people you hire, train and develop to execute your strategy. Both are vital. You can only succeed in the marketplace if the right talent is put in the right performance conditions. Missing one of these is a recipe for disaster.


Performance Conditions


The key to success is a well-defined talent strategy. This gives a CEO and his executive team the confidence that their teams can execute and deliver on the business objectives. It addresses both performance conditions and talent.


The foundation for a great talent strategy starts with profiles. It is about developing the profile of an A player in each revenue growth role. In this first step, you define the profile of a top performer. The problem is that in many organizations, rarely do functional leaders agree on the definition of an A player. Therefore, HR tries to satisfy each open position with the unique needs of the hiring manager. This process is not sustainable or scalable, and it leads to larger variations in performance.


The second step is assessments. You should assess each member of the corporate, product, marketing and sales team against their profile to identify the talent strengths and the talent gaps. You need both. If you fail to complete the assessment step, you will not understand the current state of the talent of your team.


The third step is sourcing. This means proactively sourcing talent, capable of filling current or future corporate, product, marketing, and sales positions. You need a constant supply of top, new talent for your team. Oftentimes, sourcing is a neglected process until there is an open position. Then it becomes important. Instead, sourcing should be thought of as a pipeline, filled with potential candidates. Then, and only then can you hire top talent to actually execute your strategy.


Once you’ve hired the talent, you must onboard them. Onboarding addresses the need to shorten the road to connectivity by providing new hires the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to perform the job. The lack of an optimized onboarding process costs organizations as new hires struggle to ramp up to full productivity. In tough competitive environments, companies cannot wait for a new hire to become productive.


To take it even a step further, you must have individual development plans for each member of the revenue growth team that’s going to correct or reinforce the necessary behaviors. If you want to keep pace with the market and stay ahead of the competition, you need to constantly develop your talent. This commonly shows up as an annual review. The problem is that’s an event, when instead the talent development process should be agile.


Another key step is identifying and developing candidates with the potential to fill key leadership positions in the future. You need to build a team of future leaders. You never know when one of your key leaders is going to leave the organization. This open position can cripple your ability to achieve your revenue objective. Therefore, you need a way to proactively identify who will backfill a critical role should there be an opening.


It all comes back to the success equation: 50% performance conditions and 50% talent. If you’re an HR leader, you must support the functional leaders. The key is to drive and execute your talent strategy.


If you want to make sure your talent strategy is aligned for 2016 revenue growth, Register for our How to Make Your Number in 2016 workshop. An SBI consultant will help you improve your talent strategy and plan for success.



Matt Sharrers

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by embracing emerging best practices to grow revenue faster than the industry and competitors. 

Matt Sharrers is the CEO of SBI, a management consulting firm specialized in sales and marketing that is dedicated to helping you Make Your Number. Forbes recognizes SBI as one of The Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017.


Over the course of nearly a decade at SBI, Matt Sharrers was an instrumental early partner guiding SBI as the Senior Partner. Matt’s functional responsibilities included acting as the head of sales where he led SBI’s double-digit revenue growth, and was responsible for the hiring function to build SBI’s team of revenue generation experts.


Prior to joining SBI in 2009, Matt spent eleven years leading sales and marketing teams as a Vice President of Sales. Matt has “lived in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. CEOs and Private equity investors turn to Matt’s team at SBI when they need to unlock trapped growth inside of their companies.



Read full bio >