On this week’s SBI Insider Podcast we discuss placing the right talent in the right performance conditions. This is the number one risk to executing the sales strategy. Joining me in this discussion is my colleague Kevin Avery, Senior Consultant from SBI. Together we debate the approach to hiring the best talent to execute your sales strategy in the pursuit of revenue growth.


Tolerating under-performers, hiring mistakes, and very long new hire productivity cycles all lead to missed revenue targets — and job loss for the head of sales. “A” players generate 5x more revenue than “B” players and 10x more than “C” players. Listen here as we explain how to best execute your sales strategy with the right sales talent


Go deeper into your people strategy by downloading our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Open the workbook to the sales strategy section and turn to the people strategy discussion on pages 285 – 294 of the PDF. 


talent strategyThe talent problem faced by sales leaders is best described as relying on the heroic efforts of a few.  This approach eventually catches up with you and explains why making the number year after year is so difficult. When 20% of the sales team produces 80% of the revenue, something is wrong. The labor expense associated with the sales team incurred by the company has to be justified, or a head count reduction is warranted.


We begin the show by asking a key question that plagues many sales leaders – are ‘A’ players a result of nature or nurture? We discuss why it’s critical for your sales strategy to be aligned with the corporate strategy in order to know what kind of talent is required to be successful.


Next, we address talent development and sales training. Talent assessments, competencies, and individual development plans are described. Mike will also explain what an effective onboarding process looks like. We challenge conventional thinking that onboarding programs are fluff, and don’t make a difference to your sales reps. Furthermore, we’ll explain how HR can partner with sales in order to create a program that best identifies and fills the needs of the revenue-generating functions.


We’ll wrap up the show by exploring performance conditions in more detail. Can sales leaders overcome shortcomings in performance conditions with the right talent and leadership? Or is it necessary for both good performance conditions and good talent?


If after watching, you need more help in the area of People Planning, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. It will be your guide to finding great talent to build a team to execute your sales plan.



Mike Drapeau

Makes data and analysis come alive so clients can understand the “what” and “why” and design solutions that fit the environment.

Once the leader of SBI Delivery, Mike is now head of the firm’s internal talent development, so he has had the fortune to help some amazing sales and marketing leaders. He starts by earning their trust. Much of this comes from his deep base of experience. With more than 25 years in sales, sales management, pre-sales and sales operations, he’s never met a challenge he didn’t like. And with backgrounds in sales leadership, marketing, and sales operations, he shuns the idea of being a desk jockey and relishes the idea of living in the field.


Mike maintains, develops, and leverages SBI’s library of emerging best practices for sales and marketing, which leads to evidence-based solutions, custom-fit to each client. Maniacally focused on execution, Mike does not believe in giving clients fancy deliverables with no operational details. He knows that field adoption is key. After all, if behavior doesn’t change, the lift doesn’t come. Likewise, if those closest to the field adopt the solution, the client wins.

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