Here’s What a Successful Talent Initiative Looks Like

8 Mar 24

Learn how SBI helped a business services client improve their sales talent and managers through talent assessment and role alignment.

If you have been following our podcast and latest blogs, you would have heard many of our experts talk about how talent initiatives are the quickest way to drive growth. This is a particularly good strategy to turn to in situations where a company needs fast returns and cannot afford to wait for longer-term strategies to take effect—for example, with companies that need to manage EBITDA or in companies that are struggling to meet the growth objectives set by their private equity owners.

Regardless of the challenges a company faces, talent initiatives create value by improving the commercial productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency of their sales talent, which can lead to increased revenue. But how does the execution of talent initiatives look like for companies that work with SBI? While SBI takes a tailored approach depending on the unique talent-related challenges faced by each company, our recommended strategies usually start with our Talent Assessment solution.

Case study on a successful role alignment initiative

One of SBI’s clients, a provider of digital supply chain management solutions, sought our help to sharpen their sales talent during their annual planning project. They needed role optimizations as part of their organizational design workstream, so they wanted a solution to identify the best-fit roles for their current sellers.

At the same time, as they continued to expand their talent pool, they also needed to define their external hiring criteria to recruit the right talent for the organization. Leadership in the sales organization was relatively new—having been in their roles for less than six months—so the company also wanted to assess their managers as well as their sellers to identify key areas to focus on in sales enablement.

How SBI and the client collaborated to achieve success

Based on SBI’s initial assessment, we determined that the client had two opportunities where they could drive improvement. Firstly, the organization needed an additional sales role. To fill that role, a comprehensive evaluation framework would need to be developed so they could identify competent candidates for the new role.

Secondly, language barriers were detected during scenario-based interviews with non-native English speakers and American sellers. This posed obstacles to assessing candidates on an equal basis, which affected the fairness and accuracy of the assessment process.

SBI’s engagement with the client started with the rollout of the Talent Assessment, with the objective of optimizing the sales organization. Using data from the surveys and sales metrics, we worked together to determine the best fit for their existing sellers by aligning individual competencies with the requirements of their new roles.

After the roles were clearly defined, the client then used individual scorecards to help them identify and highlight key competencies that would enable their sellers and sales managers to be more effective. This method ensured that participants could be compared with their peers in an objective and fair manner and enabled the organization to outline areas for improvement and development.

In just three months, the company managed to assess 150 people within their sales organization and successfully addressed their challenges in role changes and talent alignment. The findings of the Talent Assessment exercise confirmed the accuracy of their internal analyses and helped them identify the key competencies that defined their most successful sellers and managers. This laid the foundation for the company to upskill all their talent through enablement and equip them with the competencies they needed to reach their full potential.

Satisfied with the results, a key stakeholder from the client had this to say: “This proves out what we expected from a seller distribution, and the analysis really matches where we thought out salesforce was skilled or lack thereof.”

This customer success story was originally published on our website. Learn more about how SBI can help your organization's commercial talent by getting in touch with our consultants today.


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