Talent: Sales Transformation’s Missing Element

Sales talent, the people resources within a sales organization as characterized by their aptitudes and abilities, is increasingly a pain point for sales leaders. As such we recently worked with over 300 sales leaders around the world to better understand why talent is so challenging, the impact that good, or lacking, talent has on the organization, and what is being done about it in the sales industry. We are pleased today to launch the 2018 Sales Talent Report based on survey responses from sales executives, sales enablement leaders, sales operations leaders and sales managers from 321 organizations from around the world.

What we found is that not only is sales talent a painful issue, it is crippling many sales organizations’ ability to transform themselves to meet modern selling challenges. In fact, only 16% of sales leaders said that they were confident that they have the talent they need to succeed in the future. Sales organizations are struggling with who to hire, how to find them and how to develop and support them.

While attrition rates historically low they remain costly. Hiring is, on average, ineffective, and onboarding is a long and mixed value process. Even more costly are the underperformers allowed to stay in role. Yet, at the same time, talent changes represent an opportunity. Between net growth and attrition, most organizations have the opportunity to substantially change the potential of their organization in a short period of time. But to do so requires a formal talent strategy owned by the CSO, rather than a set of practices managed disparately by HR, L&D, manager level, etc.

In the 2018 Sales Talent Report, you can learn:

  • 2018 operational metrics for attrition, hiring time, onboarding time and more.
  • Why organizations are over-reliant on top-performing talent and the challenges involved in trying to replicate their success.
  • Most common hiring profiles for new sellers and how those profiles are changing over time.
  • Best practices for using predictive assessments within a talent management system.
  • How organizations are connecting hiring to onboarding, engagement and off-boarding.

In our forthcoming, 2018-19 Sales Performance Study, we asked sales leaders the one thing they would do if they could rebuild their sales organization from a blank slate. The number one answer was to replace or upgrade their sales talent. That doesn’t have to be wishful thinking. Sales organizations can impact talent without a complete rebuild. But it won’t happen without a dedicated strategy. Sales leaders have go-to-market strategies, coverage strategies, pricing strategies and more. They need a talent strategy for any of the rest to work as they envision.

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