It’s not often that you see managers and business leaders investing time or other resources trying to find innovative ways to bring HR and sales together. And why would they, each department has its job and they don’t seem to be directly connected in any way, nor does it seem that HR can boost sales directly. But of course, that assumption would be wrong. In fact, HR has the power and potential to completely revolutionize your sales process, and help you create highly-skilled salespeople to boot.
By utilizing the skills and expertise of your HR staff, you can transform the department from “those people that keep files on us” to a powerful sales tool that drives the sales process forward through better personalization, higher EVP, education, diversity, and more. Here’s how you can achieve all of this.
1) Leverage HR to educate and train sales agents
The first and obvious benefit to leveraging the skills and expertise of your HR staff to improve sales lies in better employee training and education. For this to work, though, you will need to bring aboard a crack team of professionals who not only know your industry, but know how to teach your sales agents the crucial soft skills needed to pitch a proposal, nurture a lead, and close a customer or client. Usually, this task falls on the senior sales staff, but it’s important to note how your HR can help them improve the training process.
Remember, these are the people who specialize in interpersonal communication. And unlike your veteran salespeople, they are not solely interested in landing the sale. They prioritize interpersonal relationships and personalized approach to every customer and every client. This makes the person feel valued, appreciated, and ultimately more inclined to do business with you. Use this to complement your sales tactics.
2) Improve EVP through Human Resources
Employee Value Proposition, this is basically the “package” you offer to your potential employees in order to adequately compensate them for their work. It doesn’t just include their salary and benefits. It’s a complete set of perks that aim to attract the top sales talent in your industry, incentivize them to take the job, and most importantly, keep them from hopping over to your competitor’s brand when a better opportunity rolls along.
If you are to perfect your recruitment game and bring the best salespeople into your team, you will need to seek help and guidance from your HR specialists. When HR understands the needs of modern sales employees and weighs them against the perks your company offers, they can work closely with management to adapt and improve the EVP to deliver better results in terms of talent sourcing, recruitment, and retention. The ultimate result is, of course, improved sales through quality employees.
3) Push HR to develop a stronger D&I program for your sales team
One way you can leverage your HR’s skills and experience is by asking them to create a sales team map that identifies the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to your sales department. Most importantly, these insights will help you create a stronger D&I program. Working closely with your HR experts will allow you to craft the perfect plan for talent acquisition, diversification, and the inclusion of special employee groups, which will lead to increased sales over time.
Particularly, this will allow you to find and tap into the most lucrative talent pools, and reach prospective employees through disability employment services that educate, train, and prepare talented individuals with disabilities to take on the role of your next top-performing salesperson. Remember, the best sales talent in the industry can come from many places, so use your HR team to discover these communities, select the best candidates, and improve your sales process as a whole through smart employee diversification and inclusion.
4) Make sure HR and Sales are completely aligned, esp in screening candidates for every sales role
It used to be that HR was only concerned with employee-related issues, such as resolving office disputes, monitoring performance, and addressing behavioral problems in the workplace. In recent years, though, HR has evolved into so much more. If you want your HR department to influence your sales in a positive way as well, you will need to let them in on the process.
This will allow them to learn about all of the specialized sales roles in your company, and then compare the requirements of the roles with the skills, practical knowledge, and experience of your sales agents. It will also allow them to provide qualitative support to the individual. In doing this, they will effectively match the person to the role by discovering their unique traits and preferences, and selecting the right candidate for every sales position, which will ultimately result in better sales performance. After all, an employee who is happier at their job will feel motivated to achieve grander goals.
5) Work with HR to develop a better career development plan for your sales team
And lastly, consider how your HR team can help your sales agents move up the corporate ladder. While your senior sales agents and team leaders should still be instrumental in recognizing top talent and acknowledging their aspirations, it’s important to keep in mind that HR specialists can recognize those hidden traits that make excellent employees, minus the possible bias and envy that might come with a higher position in the same department.
This will ensure objectivity during the selection process, and a seamless way to monitor employee performance over time in order to verify the long-term potential of every individual. Then, your HR experts can conduct a series of interviews and workshops with your sales agents in order to nurture their talents, or inspire them to come to life. Before long, you will have yourself a comprehensive career development plan that will select the most talented professionals bound for the top of your sales structure.
Human Resources is a department with a lot of potential, and therefore shouldn’t be kept out of the crucial processes in your company. If your priority is to increase sales at the moment, then be sure to use your HR team to optimize recruiting, retention, education, and every other element of a thriving sales team.