Growth Dynamics provides proven sales performance solutions that help you select, develop and retain an effective sales organization that fits your company and customers.

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Aligning Your Sales Team for Success in 2020

Aligning Your Sales Team for Success in 2020

Sales Team Alignment for 2020

Economists are predicting the flattening of the economy through the middle of 2020. In response, leadership teams in proactive manufacturing companies have already been realigning their sales and redefining their go-to-market strategy to compete and grow in a challenging marketplace.

Those most impacted by these changes are the sales team members in the field.  What should they be doing differently and how do they need to adapt to engage and sell to customers today? More importantly, as the sales leader, how do you know what the team needs and how to help?

Based on their perception, Sales leadership usually has good intentions of helping the sales team perform at their best.  However, they may not be armed with the data and metrics to know what the role requires for top performance today and in the future, how the existing team FITS, what gaps need addressed with targeted training, and how to effectively coach, mentor, and support individual team members.

A Recommendation from GDI…

Stepping into 2020, is the optimum time to engage the sales team and gather their insights on their role, challenges they face, how they focus their efforts, as well as where they have individual strengths and skill gaps.  Armed with validated data and defined metrics of top performance, sales leadership will then know how and where to focus their efforts to effectively and successfully lead the sales organization through an ever-changing marketplace.

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Attracting, Selecting, and Retaining Top Sales Performers

Attracting, Selecting, and Retaining Top Sales Performers

A 2018 sales leadership study by Growth Dynamics revealed that 58% of companies were experiencing unique challenges with new business development, technology advances and long-standing sales teams... although 82% had one BIG common challenge... finding and keeping the right sales talent. In the March 2019 Industrial Distribution article, “Cutting Tools: From Auto to Oil to Aerospace, Disruption Lies Ahead,” by Contributing Editor, Mike Botta, he reviews challenges and disruption in the cutting tool industry. Not surprisingly, this includes, “Finding and Retaining Talent.” While every industry is facing similar challenges in attracting and retaining top talent in key production, engineering, operations, or leadership roles, having a top performing sales organization is most crucial for company growth and success.

With the disruptions occurring in the marketplace today, leadership of top performing companies recognize their competitive advantage lies in the strength of their sales organization...success is not optional; revenue must occur. Therefore, no longer can a company risk future business, profitability, or customer retention on a bad hire. So what is the solution?

 Solution for Success

The solution is to provide your leadership team and hiring managers with a targeted comprehensive methodology and process to attract, interview, qualify, select, develop, and retain the right sales professionals.  Attracting, selecting and retaining the right sales force is different from any other role in your company. When you consider that the sales professional will be representing your company in the marketplace, interacting with your customers AND will be responsible for driving revenue into your company, it is critical that the job ad effectively markets the role so you can attract and screen qualified sales candidates that FIT.

This is accomplished by helping your sales leadership team, not human resources, define the “picture” of top performance in the role (or roles) of sales for your company. The resulting picture (what GDI calls a sales benchmark) should clearly detail the experience, attributes, skills, motivation, and FIT required for top sales performance. Armed with this picture, or sales team benchmark, your leadership team can effectively attract, interview, and select the “right” candidates who fit the role criteria.

 Sales Force Performance and Retention

And…the same information can be used to lead, coach, and develop your existing sales team, helping them adapt to the complexities of selling today. Successful top performers will expect strong leadership that can help eliminate obstacles, will want to be held accountable and challenged to succeed, and will want to be armed with the tools, training, and support to develop new business and new customers for growth and success. Equally important, they seek compensation and rewards that fit the role expectations and performance accountability.

Given the complexities of the roles of sales in diverse selling environments today, defining the role of sales and establishing the metrics of top performance at your company is crucial to attracting and building a top performing sales organization. By building the right sales force, leadership can focus on advancing and retaining top performers to optimize sales efforts — resulting in increased revenue and customer retention.

Click here to read the full Industrial Distribution  article.



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Leading Your Sales Organization in 2019

Leading Your Sales Organization in 2019

First quarter is over…what are you doing differently in 2019?

So far in 2019, GDI customers are utilizing sales leadership solutions that include:

  • assessment tools
  • recruitment and interview methodologies
  • top performance benchmarks
  • team analysis and “voice” of the sales organization programs

These solutions allow them to successfully recruit, select, and develop sales leaders and sales team members who FIT, as well as, to transform the performance of their existing sales organizations.

Like your company, our customers are providing more complex, highly technical, engineered products and solutions…making their customer conversations more complex. As a result, how they engage, sell, service, and support their customers is constantly shifting.  This requires a sales organization that fits and adapts to the role (or roles) of sales at their company.

This trend will continue throughout 2019 and beyond. Now more than ever, it is critical to have processes and tools that are aligned with your company, culture, and customers to assure you build a top performing sales organization that can navigate a competitive, ever-changing marketplace.


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Sales Leadership & Human Resources - Hiring Top Performers in Sales

Today, Human Resource Departments are under attack to be highly strategic in recruiting, selecting, retaining and developing top performing sales professionals.  This is in addition to their responsibilities for overall company hiring and retention, as well as the administration, dissemination, and education of operational information and company benefits programs. 

However, as the role of sales has increased in complexity, so has the complexity of attracting and hiring sales professionals who can be successful at your company.  Changes in customer expectations, buying decisions, e-commerce, and technological advances have changed the role of sales for today and the future. And often-times, even sales leadership is unsure how to define the role and what is required for top performance.  Consequently, sales leaders are unsure how to guide human resources to effectively recruit the “right” sales professionals, so they can spend their time interviewing better qualified candidates. 

Adding to the challenges sales leaders face is the pressure to just hire someone, “a warm body,” which outweighs taking the time to establish a strategic recruitment, interviewing and hiring process.  While there is no silver bullet, following are 4 things you can do to more effectively recruit, interview, and select the right top performers who fit the role of sales at your company. 

  1. Start with defining the standard or metrics of TOP Performance in sales for your company. This is a company-specific, accurate “picture” of top performance in sales that defines the skills, behaviors, attributes, motivation and experience required for top performance.
  2. Utilize specific information from the benchmark about the role and requirements to create a targeted, compelling job advertisement to market the role and attract the “right” sales professionals. 
  3. Develop a strategic interview process that links role-specific, measurable questions to guide hiring managers to ask targeted questions and listen to the responses in order to hire only the best sales talent. Having a consistent, defined process will alleviate the tendency for hiring managers to be unprepared or be swayed by a candidate’s friendliness, industry experience, book of business, etc.
  4. Utilize a pre-selection assessment tool to validate a person’s FIT to the established benchmark or top performance standard for the role. The most effective selection assessment tool is one that is BOTH a pre-selection and a post-hire developmental tool to help a manager select, lead, manage and develop a new employee.  This provides the employee and manager with information to define strengths and areas of challenges to support performance, and retention after the hire. 

Top performing organizations integrate human resources with sales leadership to facilitate recruitment, selection, development and retention of the “right” sales team members.

Commit to hiring the best…Effective employee selection is no longer a human resources issue… it is a strategic leadership challenge that impacts the bottom-line.  Poor hires impact a company’s sales, profitability, shareholder value, and customer retention.  As companies today struggle to compete in an ever-changing and competitive marketplace, knowing you have a team of people who exhibit the rights skills, characteristics and abilities is crucial for success.

At Growth Dynamics, our research has proven that sales professionals who “fit” the role, “fit” your company, and “fit” the customer, will stay longer, be more effective and offer a sustained competitive advantage to your company and your customers.  


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Improving ramp-up times is a top goal for sales leaders.

Improving ramp-up times is a top goal for sales leaders.

According to a recent 2016 Sales Enablement Survey, one of the top goals of sales leadership today is to decrease new salesperson ramp-up time to full productivity by implementing methods and processes that eliminate wasted time and assure the proper leadership engagement early on to support training and development.

Many of today’s sales managers bring on a new sales professional and then become too busy or get sidelined with other priorities... dropping the ball on the new hire’s on-boarding, orientation, and training. Overlooking the opportunity to decrease the “ramp-up” time of the new sales professional is a massive miss... does this happen to your organization?

At GDI, our research shows there are 3 critical steps to assure the best on-boarding process. These are:

1. Accurately define the sales role so the “right” people are hired and developed for the position.

2. Structure the on-boarding program to target the most important metrics that allow for early sales performance and success.

3. Require sales leadership involvement to monitor, coach, and lead the on-boarding plan and process.

As today’s sales arena becomes more competitive and complex, the “right” sales professional wants to get up-to-speed quickly to perform for the company and for their own benefit. If a company can define Top Performance sales and also develop an effective, process-oriented on-boarding and orientation program, a sales professional can be performing in the role within 60-90 days. Even in the most complex roles where high-tech equipment or solutions are required, arming a sales professional with the metrics for success, product/service support & training, internal experts and resources, and providing them with the tools and leadership to get started are advantages that should not be delayed.

In addition, require their direct manager to spend time focused on their development, support and engagement needed to move ahead. Once a solid foundation is in place, the “right” top performers will do what they do best…get out and start making introductions, learning and moving toward new business development with confidence and success.

As a side, as leadership of high performing companies are defining top performance standards, the technology, tools, and solutions to attract, select, and hire better sales professionals who FIT will decrease this ramp-up time. At GDI, we are seeing that many VP’s of Sales, Presidents, and CEOs are modifying the sales recruitment process to be more sales-leadership centric to recruit the right people who bring the skills, characteristics, motivators, and attributes needed to FIT the role.

Having Top Performance defined with a targeted process to hire the right people is #1. Having an effective on-boarding model that supports the position promotes on-going success, optimizes leadership efforts and will assure retention of your most valued asset... the sales professional.

How does your company hire Top Performers? How do they on-board and lead the team? Please leave a comment with how you are decreasing your ramp up times and what changes you have noticed.

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