Talent Development in a Sales Environment
Talent development is a strategy that, when properly implemented, can benefit both the employee and the business. When it comes to sales, it is an essential aspect of driving sales growth. The most suitable candidates are selected for sales roles, training is prioritised, and overall sales performance improves.
Aptitude first, then skills
Talent development focuses on talent or aptitude rather than skills and abilities. The first step is identifying those in the business with the aptitude for a particular role. These candidates can then learn the skills or attain the knowledge needed to fulfil the role.
This is a more efficient and cost-effective way of creating or managing a team. By looking within the available talent pool, there is a greater likelihood of correctly identifying the most suitable candidates.
Motivation, job satisfaction and empowerment
A carefully managed talent development strategy can increase motivation within the team by creating progression opportunities. The idea that talent is noticed and identified positively promotes personal development, loyalty, and business commitment.
Increased job satisfaction is another plus, as people are matched to roles they will enjoy and excel in. This, in turn, leads to improved staff retention. The employee will feel empowered to succeed in their new role with the appropriate training and support from management. Overall a more positive and progressive work environment is created.
Sales performance and sales targets
Importantly the needs of the business are also fulfilled as sales performance improves and sales targets are met or exceeded. To succeed, this culture of talent development must exist and be nurtured within the business. Time and resources must be provided, and training prioritised.
The role of the sales coach
A sales coach can have a pivotal role in the talent development process by helping to define the aptitude needed for success in sales and consequently identifying individuals that match this definition. They follow on by working with those selected, devising a pathway to the skills and knowledge required and becoming a mentor to the successful candidates as they take on their new roles.
The team members are the talent of the business as much as their aptitudes. A culture of talent development values both these streams of talent and using a sales coach further reinforces this. Talent development requires a structure and a plan with clearly defined goals and targets, and the sales coach is ideally placed to facilitate this.