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whitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talentstrategy with the Sales Talent Performance Matrixonline sales talent ass...
It explains that, if the three pillars for growth – structure,process and talent – work together as part of a holistic mod...
Introductiononline sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent...
The three pillars for growthMaximum revenue over the longer term can only be deliveredwhen the three key pillars for growt...
sophisticated. At the same time, they identified five levels ofrelationship: ‘approved vendor’ at the lowest level, throug...
advantage. Yet the astonishing reality is that most of themare as unprepared for the challenge of finding, motivating, and...
benchmarked and quick to implement – is the key that unlocksthe door to an organization’s understanding of role-fit. Itans...
salesassessment.com8 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance Matr...
Motivators – Identifying a person’s motivators enables anorganization to motivate them to perform to the best of theirabil...
Given the massive differential between a High-Performer andthe average, this is where the organization’s performanceimprov...
online sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance...
High behavior-fit and skills are broadly equivalent to the 80thpercentile across their respective ranges (and so in line w...
online sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance...
salesassessment.com14 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance Mat...
online sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance...
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Sales talent -performance-matrix white paper (1)

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  1. 1. whitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talentstrategy with the Sales Talent Performance Matrixonline sales talent assessment... hire the right personfor the right role...salesassessment.com
  2. 2. It explains that, if the three pillars for growth – structure,process and talent – work together as part of a holistic model,this combination delivers dramatically improved performance,ie when the right people in the right roles supported by theright processes are effectively aligned to the relevant marketsegments.It discusses how sales talent has always been the weak linkin this model and the consequent difficulty in identifyingtrue sales High-Performers, benchmarked globally andindependently of industry sector: High-Performers havingbeen identified as delivering 67% more revenue than averageperformers by McKinsey and Co, with our own data indicatingthat even greater performance improvements are possible.The paper stresses the importance of routine deploymentof accurate, predictive assessments tools and their role inidentifying sales High-Performers. It sets out the so-called‘High Five’ factors which enable an organization to assessindividuals and identify High-Performers, as well as those whohave the potential to become top sales talent.It also sets out a clear, forward-looking sales talentmanagement model – the Sales Talent Performance Matrix –which enables organizations to identify, hire, develop and retainthe right talent for their sales organization today while alsocontinually adapting to the evolving market.The paper explains how this new model offers a clearly definedroute to transforming an organization’s go-to-market strategy,and opens the way for impressive performance improvementsthat drive increased revenue, a leaner and more profitable salesorganization, and long-term, sustainable growth.Executive summaryThis paper focuses on an entirely new model for optimizing the salesorganization through sales talent management, by aligning talentwith process and with the needs and expectations of the market.salesassessment.com2 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance Matrix
  3. 3. Introductiononline sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance Matrix3 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixIn terms of individual and company performance there is nomore significant factor than role-fit – an individual’s suitabilityfor the specific role they are being asked to perform. Indeed, theimportance of role-fit cannot be overstated nor its ramificationsunderestimated for both the individual and the employer. It hasfar-reaching consequences across a number of areas including:hiring, retention and replacement costs; development strategy; thestructure, efficiency and profitability of the sales organization; and,of course, revenue performance, growth and company profitability.However, role-fit is not the whole picture in terms of organizationalperformance: the right mix of roles within the sales organization isjust as critical in terms of a company’s ability to respond to marketexpectations and drive revenue performance along with long-term,sustainable growth.Optimizing the sales organization through the right mix of people,doing the most appropriate jobs, in the right combination for themarketplace, in order to drive revenue and growth within a particularmarket is what we refer to as Right Person, Right Role.This paper emphasizes the importance of an effective sales talentmanagement strategy – in which both role-fit and the right role areequally important – and how it combines with a number of otherfactors to create a holistic model capable of delivering sustainedperformance and success.
  4. 4. The three pillars for growthMaximum revenue over the longer term can only be deliveredwhen the three key pillars for growth combine to form acoherent and cohesive strategy for engaging the market.These three pillars are:• process – the sales process needs to be appropriate andoptimized for each market segment, and supportive of theway sales talent addresses the market and interacts withcustomers;• talent – employers should seek to hire, develop and retainhigh-performing sales talent matched to every specific rolewithin the sales organization; and• structure – the structure of the sales organization mustbe aligned to the needs of customers and the marketto deliver the right mix of talent to address each marketsegment effectively at the appropriate level of relationship.From the mid-1980s onwards, much attention has beenfocused on sales process in order to drive performance; andyet there are still improvements to be made. In this year’s ‘KeyTrends Analysis’ from CSO Insights1, the authors emphasizedthe importance of ‘how a company’s level of sales processadoption can directly impact how they sell – positively ornegatively’.But, of course, process is not the whole story. Equally, thestructure of the organization – the way it is set up to interactwith different customer market segments is critical. Thus, theauthors also considered the importance of aligning the salesprocess to a structural element, the level of relationship that anorganization enjoys with its various customers.They divided the sales process into four types, from ‘random’,through ‘informal’ and ‘formal’ up to ‘dynamic’ at its mostsalesassessment.com4 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixFigure 1: the three pillars for growth.Strategic growth objectives can bestbe realized by optimizing the structureand role-mix of the sales organizationfor maximum market impact, with eachrole filled by high-achiever sales talentand supported by the appropriate salesprocess.Customer segmentsrelationshipProcessStructureTalent
  5. 5. sophisticated. At the same time, they identified five levels ofrelationship: ‘approved vendor’ at the lowest level, through‘preferred supplier’, ‘solutions consultant’ and ‘strategiccontributor’, up to ‘trusted partner, at the pinnacle.By mapping the process onto the relationship level, they foundthat where the process aligns well with the level of customerrelationship, this generally improves performance. For instance,at the top performance level, organizations had a higherpercentage of sales people making quota, a higher level ofcompany plan attainment, more wins, fewer losses, as well asreduced turnover of talent.Nevertheless, alignment of process and relationship canonly go so far. In fact, the authors identified only a 10%improvement – from 55% to 65% – in the percentage of salespeople making quota, even at the highest performance level,where type of process was closely aligned with the level ofcustomer relationship. The missing element, of course, is talent.Neither processes nor relationships can operate at their bestwithout the right sales talent in the right role. For instance,junior call center operatives may well feel out of their depthbeing asked to discuss future strategic change with a Fortune500 board, while a top-level strategic sales person will soonbecome frustrated, disillusioned and leave if the companyprocess fails to support that particular style of selling.The important point to take away is that an organization’ssales process needs to be linked to and supportive of thetalent it employs and aligned with the level and style ofrelationship it enjoys with its various customer segments:this drives performance. It is essential to note that thisstrategy – which combines process, talent and structure – is, bydefinition, holistic. Thus, while there are benefits of addressingprocess, talent or structure individually, the biggest gains areto be made when organizations implement a strategy thatrecognizes the interdependence of the three elements.Such a strategy is also aligned to individual market segments,such that the organization addresses the concerns and needsof those individual market segments in the most relevantway. Furthermore, the strategy is responsive to the needs ofcustomers in the marketplace and is, therefore, dynamic –evolution of the market will dictate changes in the structure ofthe organization, the talent it employs and the processes whichsupport that talent.Identifying and assessing salestalent – the limiting factorOrganizations have long recognized the importance ofhiring and retaining high-performing individuals within theorganization. Ever since McKinsey Co’s seminal 1997 work,we have talked about the so-called ‘War for Talent’2. In 2001,McKinsey reprised the research and this has helped shapecorporate thinking – if not action – into the current decade:organizations need to optimize the way they plan to attract,motivate, and retain employees.And yet, the message is not being followed through. Some 15years on from the original research, the authors of anotherMcKinsey report3had this to say: ‘Companies like to promotethe idea that employees are their biggest source of competitiveonline sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance Matrix5 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance Matrix...maximize sales ROI
  6. 6. advantage. Yet the astonishing reality is that most of themare as unprepared for the challenge of finding, motivating, andretaining capable workers as they were a decade ago.’So what has gone wrong? For the typical organization, theday-to-day talent management tasks of identifying, hiring,developing and retaining the right people in order to maximizeperformance in each role is a complex, daunting task –particularly in sales – and, therefore, almost certainly a limitingfactor given the fierce competition for high-performing salestalent, a finite talent pool, and the typically rapid turnover oftalent within the sales world.Why might this be? The answer lies in an organization’s abilityto define exactly what good looks like. In sales – traditionallyviewed as part science, part dark-art – our understandinghas been hampered by poor or incomplete assessmentmethodologies on the one hand, and cost on the other. Manyassessment tools and methodologies at the cheaper end ofthe scale have been found to be limited and unreliable, whilein-depth assessments conducted by the large consultanciesare invariably cumbersome, time-consuming exercises, andessentially only affordable by those organizations with thedeepest pockets.Aberdeen Group has recently highlighted the use ofassessments, as organizations seek to improve their talentmanagement strategies. According to a May 2011 paper4,‘organizational growth goals requiring better talent’ along with‘business change demanding new skills’ are the two majorimperatives driving the use of assessments. Companies areseeking to improve business results through better qualitycandidates, deliver leaders to drive innovation and growth, andimprove organizational fit among new hires.In the paper, author Mollie Lombardi supports the use ofassessments but urges organizations to be selective abouttheir choice: ‘Assessments are an incredibly valuable tool inthe hiring, development and future planning process in anorganization. These tools can help uncover individuals with theright skills, behaviors and attitudes to move an organizationforward. The case to use assessments or not has been made.But uncovering the right types of assessments to be used forspecific decision points, and understanding what to do with theoutput of those assessments is the next piece of the puzzle.’Uncovering the right type of assessment to deploy in thesales function has indeed been extremely problematic untilnow: most approaches lack certain key elements which, ifpresent, would dramatically improve their functionality andshelf-life. Aberdeen cites the most prevalent assessmentactivity amongst the firms surveyed as building a competencyframework to serve as a basis for assessments. However,herein lies a problem, in that such projects take time tocomplete and may easily become redundant before they arefinished. What’s more, unless competency frameworks aredynamic and frequently updated to the needs of an evolvingmarket, they struggle to be forward-looking. Finally, the typicalcompetency framework tends to be inward-looking or confinedto a specific industry sector rather than globally benchmarked.How much better then to choose a tool that is built arounda wide range of sales roles with pre-defined but frequentlyupdated competency frameworks?An effective assessment tool – one that is accurate and highlypredictive, while also being forward-looking, affordable, globallysalesassessment.com6 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance Matrix...maximize sales revenue...
  7. 7. benchmarked and quick to implement – is the key that unlocksthe door to an organization’s understanding of role-fit. Itanswers various questions in a consistent and objective way:• which talent is suitable;• which talent to hire;• which needs to be redeployed;• where you’re headed in terms of development;• whether there’s room for personal growth;• which talent you want to retain; and• what will motivate an individual to perform and feelcomfortable in a role.Answering these questions goes a long way towardsaddressing an organization’s talent management problems.This is for a number of reasons:• the right assessment technique which probes an individual’sskills, behaviors and underlying competencies enablesan organization to recruit from beyond its traditionaltalent pool;• assessing an employee for role-fit to a specific salesrole (rather than a more generic one) means that, onceappointed, that individual is likely to perform better andremain longer in a position to which they are well-suitedcompared with the average;• a company’s sales organization can typically run leaner withfewer, high-performing individuals once they are matchedto roles and the roles aligned to customer and marketexpectations; and• it helps identify and position talent with the potential todevelop and grow in step with their employer and evolvingcustomer requirements.What then is the right assessment approach for organizationswishing to identify the most suitable talent for any specificsales role?It will inevitably involve a forward-looking tool that canaccurately assess an individual’s fit with a specific sales role(not just a generalized sales role) and compare them withthe best-in-class – what we term a global High-Performer.It should look in detail at the underlying competencies(behavioral, motivational, intellectual and skills-based) thatdrive performance in that specific role. Finally, the tool mustaccurately highlight any gaps that will limit performance whilealso assessing growth potential for the current andfuture roles.online sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance Matrix7 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance Matrix... hire the right personfor the right role...
  8. 8. salesassessment.com8 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixThe High Five – thefive key factors thatdeterminehigh-performancein a sales roleWith that in mind, there are essentially five key factors thatdetermine an individual’s suitability for and performance inany specific sales role. Some of these factors are intrinsicto the individual – ie they are part of the ‘make-up’ of thatperson, in contrast to extrinsic factors – such as cashincentives or recognition awards – which are often applied byan organization to boost the performance of the individuals itemploys.These five factors are:1. Behavior – an individual’s behavioral preference determinestheir comfort in performing a specific sales role.2. Skills – functional skills determine how well an individualcan perform a role.3. Critical reasoning – an individual’s intelligence and abilityto analyze data, evaluate evidence, question methods andreach meaningful conclusions.4. Motivators – motivation drives an individual’s desire toperform in a role; in turn, desire drives results.5. Cultural fit – the extent to which an individual identifieswith the style, values and culture of the employingorganization and its customers. Cultural fit – Of these fivefactors which determine an individual’s suitability for aspecific sales role, four can be assessed using a variety oftechniques including questionnaires and tests. Elements ofthe fifth factor – cultural fit between an individual and thehiring organization – can be assessed through the use of‘personality tests’ but this is best done in conjunction withan effective interview process.
  9. 9. Motivators – Identifying a person’s motivators enables anorganization to motivate them to perform to the best of theirability. However, motivators are not only pertinent to theirperformance level but are also highly specific to the individual:applying the right sort of motivation can raise performance;conversely, the wrong sort of motivation tends to be extremelycounter-productive. It is up to the employing organization toassess which motivators are relevant to any particular individualand then apply appropriate interventions.Identifying High-Performers – Measuring a combination ofthe remaining three factors – critical reasoning, behaviorand skills – attuned to a specific sales role, allows us to assesshow an individual is likely to perform in that role. How then doonline sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance Matrix9 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixFigure 2: The High Five Of the five, behavior and skills are theintrinsic factors which are independent of product, organizationand market while being responsive to coachingand development.The High Five: the five key factors whichdetermine high-performance in a sales roleCultural fitBehaviorMotivatorsCriticalreasoningSkillsthese three factors map onto a typical organization’s talentmanagement program?Critical reasoning – There’s no doubt that critical reasoningis fundamental to an individual’s ability to perform successfullyin any number of sales roles in today’s complex businessenvironment. However, this intrinsic performance factor is‘not trainable’ in the real world – individuals either have thenecessary critical reasoning ability for a specific role... or theydon’t. Candidates who are assessed not to have the level ofcritical reasoning ability required for a specific role are best notemployed for that particular job, as they are unlikely to be aHigh-Performer in that role.The ‘trainable’ intrinsic factors – So, this leaves us withthe two factors over which an employing organization canexert some influence: behavior and skills. Both are eminentlyassessable and both respond to development, albeit in slightlydifferent ways; certainly both are key to the way a person willperform in any particular role. By identifying, hiring, developingand retaining High-Performers, an organization has mostopportunity to maximize the performance of its employees andits own returns.About ‘High-Performers’As part of McKinsey’s 2001 research into the influence of talenton performance, the team conducted a survey of 410 corporateofficers at 35 large US companies. They asked the question:‘How much more does a High-Performer generate annually thanan average performer?’The answer varied according to the particular discipline involved,but was always substantial: operations High-Performersdelivered 40% more, management 49% more, while sales High-Performers generated an impressive 67% increased revenuecompared with the average. (Our own research amongst clientsindicates that even greater sales performance differentialsbetween average and High-Performers may be possible.)
  10. 10. Given the massive differential between a High-Performer andthe average, this is where the organization’s performanceimprovements are likely to come from.For the purposes of the exercise, McKinsey defined High-Performers as being amongst the top 20% of performers in theorganization.That said, looking at the High-Performers within anorganization is only part of the picture, because such anexercise is, by definition, introspective: you may be looking atthe best you’ve got but are they the best there is?An effective assessment tool not only compares sales talentwith their peers in an organization or even across an industry,but against an objective global benchmark. What is the bestthere could be? This is the path to identifying the true High-Performers.Essentially, a global High-Performer will be placed around the80thpercentile on a scale which measures the three factorshighlighted previously – critical reasoning, behavior and skills– at a level optimized for a specific sales role. For instance,the critical reasoning ability required for a retail role is entirelydifferent from that needed by someone engaging in high-levelsolution selling. What’s more, this methodology means theassessment becomes entirely independent of geography andindustry sector.The importance of roledefinitionWe have already alluded to the importance of assessmentsbeing role-specific. This is because it is important tounderstand the complexity and breadth of this word ‘sales’,and to recognize that not all sales roles are the same: a High-Performer in one role is by no means certain to be as successfulin another.For instance, it has long been acknowledged that top-performing sales people do not necessarily make the best salesmanagers – the roles are quite different. As discussed earlier,it is hard to envisage a call center operative at the start oftheir sales career having the necessary skills, experience andgravitas to discuss strategic business issues in any meaningfulway with the C-suite of a major corporate entity.Therefore, it is essential to define the exact mix of skills,behaviors and competencies appropriate to any specific salesrole for an assessment tool to operate at anything more than abroad-brush level: top performance depends on role fit, ie rightperson, right role. The better the role definitions and the moreselective and highly tuned the assessment criteria, the moreaccurate any tool will be.What’s more, it’s vital that these role definitions are regularlyand frequently updated to keep them in tune with theevolving requirements of customers and the market. Ideally,each definition will sit slightly ahead of the market curveto enable it to be forward-looking, and it will be validatedin a number of ways – by customers, practitionersand analysts.Once you have the ability to identify a truly global High-Performer for any defined sales role, the route opens up to acomprehensive, objective and genuinely performance-orientedsales talent management strategy. It’s a tremendouslypowerful tool.How then can we best use effective assessment tools todrive our hiring, development and sales talent managementstrategies to maximize the performance and efficiency of thesales organization?salesassessment.com10 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance Matrix
  11. 11. online sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance Matrix11 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixAssuming a level playing field in terms of motivators (theorganization is applying the appropriate ones), critical reasoning(the individual has the requisite ability) and cultural fit (theorganization and employee have similar values and have sharedindustry knowledge), behavior and skills are the two variablewhich affect an individual’s performance in a role and overwhich an organization can exert most influence.This interaction between behavior and skills is what we referto as the Sales Talent Performance Matrix (see Figure 3)for that specific role: where an individual falls within the chartis highly predictive of their performance. High-Performers(the upper right quadrant) are the ideal for that specific role,while those in the bottom left quadrant are the individuals anorganization should avoid hiring or redeploy (where possible) ifalready in post.Introducing the SalesTalent PerformanceMatrixHigh skills, behaviordoesn’t fit roleSkillsHighHighLowBehaviorFitFigure 3: Sales Talent PerformanceMatrix – the importance ofassessing sales people for thecorrect role-fit in terms of thetrainable intrinsic factors. Whenhiring or positioning an individualfor a specific sales role, high role-fitindicates potential for High-Performance in the role. Subject toappropriate motivation and criticalreasoning ability, individuals withhigh role-fit plus high skills arethe High-Performers. Conversely,an individual with low role fitand low skills should not be hiredfor that specific role. Individualsalready in the role should ideally beredeployed.High skills, behavior fits role= High-PerformerLow skills, behavior fits roleLow skills, behaviordoesn’t fit role
  12. 12. High behavior-fit and skills are broadly equivalent to the 80thpercentile across their respective ranges (and so in line withthe McKinsey definition of a High-Performer), although thisvaries slightly from role to role: conversely, low behavior-fit andskills are broadly equivalent to the 20thpercentile. In terms ofnormal distribution, the mode falls at approximately the 50thpercentile but does vary from role to role.Figure 3 underlines the fundamental importanceof matching the right person to the right role and implementingappropriate career development and talent managementstrategies within an organization. It clarifies and definesstrategy with regard to hiring, development, promotionand internal appointments, succession planning and evencompany structure.It is essential to understand that performance in one salesrole is not necessarily a good indicator of performance inanother; indeed, this is something we keep coming back to. Thishighlights the significance of regular assessments, particularlyin advance of a proposed role change for any individual: regularassessment is also vital to ensure continued fit to any specificrole, because every role adapts to evolving market conditions.Figure 4 sets out the coaching and development optionsfor individuals who have been assessed for their suitabilityfor a specific role and fall into the top-left or bottom-rightquadrants. The assessment might have taken place prior tohiring, as a guide to development or as part of a restructuringinitiative for the sales organization.salesassessment.com12 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixFocus on coachingSkills1 month1 month(with nodevelopment)1 yearHighLowBehaviorFitFocus on retentionHigh-PerformerFocus on developmentFocus on redeploymentAbove the line = hireFigure 4: Development issues following assessment. Where an individual is positioned on the Talent Performance Matrix has importantimplications for their development and management, and for their potential performance in this role. Typically, an organization wouldchoose to appoint a candidate in either of the top quadrants of the matrix for this role.Talent management using the Sales Talent Performance Matrix
  13. 13. online sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance Matrix13 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixFigure 5: Right person, right role – consequences of role fit for talent management. Our research shows that a significant number of peopleassessed fall into the bottom two quadrants, and are poorly positioned for their current role. Often the result of poor hiring practice orunsuitable promotion from a previous role in which they were performing well, this can lead to individuals becoming disillusioned with theirnew role and leaving, adversely affecting talent retention for both the current and previous roles.Reducing risk with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixPromotion to the wrong role can turna High-Performer into a poor-performerHigh-PerformersThose in the top right quadrant are the High-Performers withgood role fit and a high level of skills. This is the ideal employersare aiming for.SkillsThose in the top left quadrant have good role fit but arelacking in skills. Appropriate learning and development can beginto move them into a position to be a potential High-Performerwithin a short a timescale as 1 month. NB One-size-fits-all,so called ‘sheep-dip’ training is not usually effective in thissituation as specific skills need to be addressed.Conversely, an individual in the top left quadrant can easilyslip down into the bottom left quadrant in an equally shorttimescale. Left without appropriate skills development, suchindividuals repeatedly fail to perform with a consequent effecton their motivation and confidence. Evidence of this is seenthroughout the sales world with many salespeople ‘hopping’from job to job on a six-month cycle, with the last three monthsin each job spent looking for the next one.BehaviorsIndividuals in the bottom right quadrant have good skills buttheir behaviors are not suited to this role. This situation can beaddressed by intensive coaching: typically this takes at least ayear to bear fruit. Because of this lengthy timescale, employerstend to look long and hard at the cost versus the benefit of thisapproach as well as the risks involved.
  14. 14. salesassessment.com14 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixIn terms of cost/benefit, many organizations would re-deployor not hire individuals assessed to be in the red or orange(bottom half) of the Skills/Role-fit matrix.Role-fit has profoundimplications for an organization in terms of improving talentmanagement, not least in terms of reducing risk. Accurateassessment significantly mitigates the risk of making thewrong appointment, whether this be in terms of hiring newtalent or appointing an existing employee to a new role withinthe organization.We have all come across instances of people being appointedto the wrong role based on their performance in a previous role:for example, sales High-Performers are routinely promoted intosales management, although this involves a broadly differentset of competencies. This can have disastrous consequencesacross a whole sales organization and not simply for theemployee concerned. And for that individual, such failures arevery difficult to come back from.In contrast, effective assessment tools used routinely toinform hiring and development decisions all but eliminate thisrisk. Assessment is beneficial to both the individual and theorganization because it informs both the decision to offerand to accept a new role. Assessment empowers talent byencouraging both employer and employee to participate in ashared development journey as part of the organization.Beyond this, assessment also has far-reaching implicationsfor company structure in that it highlights the need for anorganization to acknowledge the aspirations and ambitionsof its High-Performers... but not in a hierarchical way. Instead,effective assessment points the way towards a meritocraticapproach which can drive organizational performanceand growth....drive strategic sales change...
  15. 15. online sales talent assessmentwhitepaper:Driving a high-performance sales talent strategywith the Sales Talent Performance Matrix15 | whitepaper: Driving a high-performance sales talent strategy with the Sales Talent Performance MatrixConclusionWhile the past search for sales performance improvement hasbeen centered around sales process and, latterly, structureand style of customer relationships, these areas deliver limited(albeit valuable) incremental performance improvements of afew percentage points.Numerous commentators have emphasized that the really bigwins come when an organization is able to focus on talent andalign it with structure and process.Unfortunately, until now, there has been no effective methodof assessing sales talent that is at the same time:• forward-looking;• globally rather than internally benchmarked;• accurately focused on specific (rather than generic) salesroles; and• affordable.Our new assessment methodology transforms sales talentmanagement and provides a clear model for organizations toidentify, hire, develop and retain High-Performers.Being able to identify High-Performers and understandinghow to manage them is, in turn, the key to transformingan organization’s go-to-market strategies. It enables anorganization to optimize its customer relationships by havingthe right talent in the right roles, aligned to the right salesprocesses for those roles.References1 Sales Performance Optimization: 2011 Key Trends Analysisby Jim Dickie and Barry Trailer, CSO Insights.2 ‘The War for Talent’, by Elizabeth G Chambers, Mark Foulon,Helen Handfield-Jones, Steven M Hankin and Edward GMichaels III, McKinsey Quarterly August 1998 and ‘War forTalent: part two’ by Elizabeth L Axelrod, Helen Handfield-Jones and Timothy A Welsh, McKinsey Quarterly May 2001.3 ‘Making talent a strategic priority’ by Matt Guthridge,Emily Lawson and Asmus Komm. McKinsey Quarterly,January 2008.4 Assessments 2011 – Selecting and Developing for theFuture by Mollie Lombardi, Aberdeen Group, May 2011.
  16. 16. Whitepaper V11.1online sales talent assessmentSalesAssessment.com LimitedamericasSalesAssessment.com Limited, 1800 JFK Boulevard,Suite 300,Philadelphia, PA, 19103, USAt: (888) 991–9891e: inquiries@salesassessment.comwww.salesassessment.comemeaSalesAssessment.com Limited, Longcroft,Church Lane, Arborfield, RG2 9JA, UKt: +44 (0)207 078 8818e: enquiries@salesassessment.comwww.salesassessment.comRussiaSalesAssessment.com, Office 4, 7 MaliyKharitonievskiy pereulok Mocow RussiaZip Code 107078t: + 7 495 6430911e: enquiries@salesassessment.comsalesassessment.comBrochure design byBreathe Marketing Limitedwww.breathe4u.com

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