Blogs Business Consulting Human Resources Learning & Development Sales Development

How HR Can Influence Business Leaders To Develop Their People

Helping HR To Speak The Language Of Business

When we see HR leaders and Sales leaders together around the table it can be interesting to hear the different language being used.

HR professionals often talk in people terms such as ‘talent’ ‘personal development’ and ‘engagement’.  They often see the value of robust selection and development practices in terms such as ‘talent pipeline’, ‘succession planning’ and ‘future leaders’.

Sales leaders often talk in terms of ‘targets’, ‘revenue’ and ‘sales performance’.

But, these are essentially two sides of the same coin.  Drawing a line between the two will help you to make the business case for using robust assessments for selection and development.   Here are some ways to support your argument for more ‘people’ focused activities that all business leaders can buy into.

  1. Reduce the risks and costs of wrong decisions

A good assessment process tells you more information about an individual than you can ever get in an interview alone. For example, an expert-led discussion with them about psychometric survey results will give you an invaluable insight into a person’s strengths, preferences, values, drivers and areas for development.

Armed with this rich information, you can make informed decisions about whether a candidate will perform well against the critical job criteria, whether your employee is ready for the next level of role or how to best spend your training budget to meet the specific needs of a team or department.

  1. Show me the money

A powerful business case will demonstrate the return on investment based on identifying the costs associated with poor selection or promotion decisions.

Questions to consider include:

  • How much does the recruitment / selection process cost?
  • How much does it cost to train someone in the new role?
  • How much does it cost the business while they are getting up to speed?
  • How much does it cost in re-training or performance management if a team member is underperforming?
  • What impact does it have on others if someone is underperforming? E.g. colleagues “carrying” their work, re-training them or becoming demotivated themselves; managers demotivating their team; a leader getting the direction wrong for the whole business.

Based on the answers to these questions, you’ll find that the cost of a robust selection process is a drop in the ocean in comparison. Click here for a useful ROI calculator to get you started.

  1. Provide the evidence

If you want to add even more weight to your business case, a validation study will link the results of the assessment method to key performance indicators in the role.  Take the example of a sales team; if you can identify which elements of personality and behaviour will drive sales performance then you can show the associated increase in income to the business if everyone was recruited against this profile. To see an example of how this has been done click here for more information.

  1. Hone your training budget

Using personality questionnaires, 360 surveys and other tools shows that as a business you are willing to invest in your people and their professional development. Using these as part of a development process can create a culture of self-awareness and self-development that didn’t previously exist. It can also provide team, department and organisational level themes that need to be addressed, thereby enabling you to make the best use of the training budget rather than taking a more costly “sheep dip” approach. Providing cost saving figures for your business leaders will again support your argument and help you to achieve your people aims.

In summary, an objective business case outlining the costs of getting it wrong and the value of getting it right can speak the language of senior peers and the C-Suite, helping HR leaders reach their own objectives while bringing other business leaders with them.

Sarah is a Chartered Business Psychologist and a Director of Bloojam Consulting.  With 20 years’ experience working in selection and development, she is passionate about using evidence-based approaches to add demonstrable value to both the individual and the organisation.

Blogs Business Consulting Sales Development Sales Leadership

If Salespeople Now Need To Sell Remotely, Why Not Recruit And Develop Them Remotely Too?

Prior to this global pandemic, the steady beat of the climate change drum was already becoming more urgent. Greta Thunberg had, to some extent, succeeded in ensuring that the climate crisis was a regular feature in news bulletins. In news that already seems a long time ago, Heathrow’s plans for a third runway was ruled illegal because the government failed to factor in the impact it would have upon its commitments to tackle the climate crisis whilst HS2 was given the green light.

Blogs Consulting Professional Services Sales Development Sales Recruitment

The Case For Sales Skills In Professional Services

I have assessed hundreds of candidates who are up for promotion to more senior roles in professional service firms and I am yet to come across one whose burning desire is to become the top salesperson. Experts in their field, trusted partner to their clients, yes. But not a salesperson. The word ‘sales’ is rarely mentioned. Client management, business origination, occasionally business development, but sales? No, we’re a little more sophisticated here thank you!

Blogs Business Leadership Development Sales Development Sales Leadership

Bloojam Bookclub: Issue 3

Title: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Matters More Than IQ

Author: Daniel Goleman

Who is it aimed at? Business Leaders, Salespeople and anyone who wants more than a cursory understanding of emotional intelligence

What is it about?

Written from an organisational perspective, the author argues that EI has business implications for employees and leaders alike. Goleman’s key premise is that cognitive intelligence (IQ) is not the sole predictor of workplace success – Emotional Intelligence (EI) is an equally important non-cognitive skill. He defines EI as a set of skills that encompass self-motivation, social abilities, empathy, and impulse control, among others and argues that, with the right training and support, these can be developed and improved.

Why should I read it?

Whilst it is no longer a new topic, EI is a term that is bandied about with an expectation that we all know what it means. If you want a more in-depth understanding, this book is a great place to start.

Blogs Leadership Development Sales Development Sales Leadership

Bloojam Bookclub: Issue 2

In our second issue of Bloojam Bookclub we’re recommending a title that has something for both B2B salespeople and those in leadership roles:

Title: Stop Selling and Start Leading

Author: James Kouzes, Barry Posner, Deb Calvert

Who is it aimed at? Salespeople and Leaders

What is it about?

Research showing that at its core selling, like leading, is based on relationships. Written by highly respected experts in Leadership, this book describes their research into sales and the striking similarities between the behaviours that drive success in both sales and leadership roles. For each of the 10 behaviours described, there are practical activities that you can implement immediately.

Why should I read it?

This book combines our two favourite subjects- B2B sales and Leadership- and makes a great case for why both are important in business, and how both can learn from each other. For any aspiring leader or strategic salesperson the insights are invaluable.

Blogs Leadership Development Sales Development Sales Leadership

Bloojam Bookclub: Issue 1

If you’re looking to further your professional development during lockdown we’re launching Bloojam Bookclub offering our recommendations of key texts from the field of business psychology that are relevant for people in sales and leadership roles. Our first recommendation is below:

Title: To Sell Is Human

Author: Daniel Pink

Who is it aimed at? Everyone

What is it about?

His principal argument is that, as professionals, we are all in sales whether we are selling a product or service or simply an idea- in fact any situation in which we are trying to persuade others to part with their resources e.g. money, effort or attention. Drawing on research from a broad range of social sciences he skilfully pinpoints three key qualities that are most valuable in moving people from one position to another.

Why should I read it?

Packed with references, the author has done the research for you and as an ex-journalist, it is easy to read and written in a format that is both insightful and entertaining.

Blogs Sales Development

When Only The Best Is Good Enough

We’re all far too used to settling for a team that has a one or two sales superstars, an acceptable number of patchy performers (who somehow  pull something out of the bag on the last day of the month!), and a few people who used to show potential but have slightly lost the plot and failed to shine. We’ve all worked in these teams and you might even be at risk of putting together your own version of such a team right now.

Blogs Executive Assessment Leadership Development Sales Leadership

Klopp’s lessons on leadership

This reluctant football supporter has become just a little fascinated by the leadership phenomenon that is Jürgen Klopp. Surrounded by Liverpool FC supporters at home, I’ve begun to embrace the emotions of the club’s unbelievable fans and their seemingly impossible journey to the Champions League final. Klopp’s post-match interview after LFC’s amazing comeback in the second leg semi-final against Barcelona really brought to life some of the leadership theory that informs my work practice. Here are some musings: