Sales talent: the final profit frontier – part 2

28th January 2017 |   Nick de Cent

Managing sales talent effectively through robust hiring and development processes is only half the story; we need to align these daily processes with company strategy… and we should be developing sales talent far earlier.

Sales talent: the final profit frontier

Hiring and developing salespeople is costly – there is absolutely no doubt about that. According to a recent blog by Chally Group , while a low level of turnover may have a beneficial refresh effect, high levels of churn are negative, “costing the organization considerable time and money to hire and train new personnel”.

In the Unites States, Chally estimates the direct replacement costs for a telesales employee to be in the range $75,000-$90,000, while top sales positions can cost a company as much as $300,000. In addition, many sales positions are specifically compensated for sales results, which means that a company pays an opportunity cost (in terms of lost sales and lost customers) while the replacement is being trained.

This problem is compounded because, for sales positions, there is no easily identified resource pool. “Statistically, more than 50% of college graduates in the United States, regardless of their major, are likely to become salespeople. However, of the over 4,000 colleges in this country, only a few dozen have sales programmes or offer sales courses,” Chally reports.

Founder of the International Journal of Sales Transformation | + posts

Nick de Cent is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. A business journalist for over 35 years, he has been covering sales since the mid-1980s and has been a strong advocate of enhancing its professional status. He has freelanced for the Financial Times and edited the Sales Performance supplement in The Times. He also writes and edits extensively on behalf of corporate clients, including a Big 3 management consultancy and a top four global executive search firm.