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INSIGHTS

Transforming Sales Through Talent Retention

by Ben Barton / November 24, 2021

As with any complex process, there will be a number of different factors and moving parts that will determine the success or failure of a sales transformation project.

Unfortunately, most sales transformation initiatives miss the forest for the trees, focusing too granularly on specific issues and overlooking the more holistic nature of sales transformation. This excerpt from one of our recent blogs explains this phenomena well:

But, as with every good thing, the devil is very much in the detail. We view sales transformation as a holistic approach to driving revenue growth, touching every area of your sales engine.

Traditional approaches to sales transformation tend to try and focus on specific issues, and address those issues independently of the sales process as a whole.

We understand that your sales engine is a multifaceted system, with each individual facet being intrinsically linked to the wider system. That’s why we look at sales transformation holistically; we have found that by zooming out and addressing each element as part of the wider whole, we can drive truly exponential revenue growth – the real goal of sales transformation.

Juggling all the different factors can be a difficult process, and it's easy to overlook certain areas. One of the areas that most frequently gets overlooked is the retention of high-performing talent.

Employee retention is fast becoming a key competitive differentiator. A company’s ability to hold on to its talent — especially in tight hiring markets — has profound ramifications for its ability to operate at a high level, without the disruptions that employee turnover bring.

With the talent shortage in key areas like tech and IT expected to grow, it's imperative that organisations focus as much on retaining their own employees as they are on hiring new ones if they want to have the talent they need. But is this what organisations are doing?

 

Retaining through retraining

The unfortunate reality is that a lot of businesses go to personnel changes as their first port of call when trying to drive transformation. This mentality is generally driven by the idea that finding someone with the “right” skills to come in and be productive from day one is easier or faster than training existing employees.

Whilst this might be true in some circumstances, the reality is that in the long run, the benefits of retraining existing members of your workforce will vastly outweigh the short-term benefits of a quick hiring process.

The retraining process naturally necessitates a level of buy-in from the people you’re training, so if you have employees that are willing to retrain or upskill, you are already operating with people that are willing to learn and are engaged and invested in their role and your business.

Perhaps most importantly, you are filling key roles and skills gaps with people who already understand your business, from the practicalities all the way down to the culture. This culture or mentality fit is just as important, if not more so, than the immediate productivity you’d receive from a new hire.

There is an inherent trust that gets built when businesses are intentional in developing and growing their people. Employees feel both recognised and valued, and are far more likely to repay that recognition and value with effort, buy-in and – ultimately – productivity.

That development is not always about developing skills, however – it is just as often about training your people in specific processes to keep everyone on the same page and drive best practice behaviours and mindsets. 

This is more important now than it has ever been, especially when it comes to attracting and developing the next generation of talent. Though newcomers to the professional world—the oldest Gen-Zer today is just pushing 24—Gen-Z is highly motivated to grow their careers, with 76% seeing learning as the key to their advancement.

Perhaps more importantly, 83% of Gen-Zers want to learn skills to perform better in their current role. Not only do they recognise the value of development, they want to engage in consistent learning and training to develop their careers.

Organisations that don't offer clear pathways for skill development, and in turn opportunities to advance and climb the ladder, will be left in the cold as the emerging workforce shifts further away from more "traditional" approaches. 

The implications when it comes to sales transformation and sales enablement are clear. Consistent growth hinges on your organisation's ability to attract and retain high-performing talent, which in turn will attract and retain high-value clients and customers. 

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Ben Barton

Ben Barton

Using words to inform, persuade and entertain. From Travel Safety to the NFL, I write about anything and everything. Except for golf.