HR and Sales: The New Dynamic Duo?

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Traditionally, the HR and Sales teams have always been like oil and water. They’re complete opposites, who take very different approaches to situations, often don’t see eye to eye, and can even clash at times. At least, that’s the way things used to be. As for today… could HR and Sales be at the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

Different Approaches for Different Goals

The reason HR and Sales are so different isn't because they’re necessarily at odds with each other, or can’t get along. It’s just that their teams work very differently, and their responsibilities require different personality traits. Sales reps tend to be more action-oriented, often taking risks to get the job done, and adopting a “do what it takes to get it done” attitude. But it’s HR’s job to "slow down and make sure we think of everything before we act". Therefore, they can be a bit more cautious when it comes to action. They need to make sure everything is going the way it should, that employees are doing as they’re supposed to and being handled appropriately. Their responsibilities are different, and their agendas are different. Therefore, their whole outlook ends up being different as well. Because of this difference, sales reps sometimes see HR as a necessary evil. But, in fact, their different approach and different agenda puts the HR department in an ideal place to help the sales team in a whole new way.

4 Ways HR Can Help Sales

Sales Mentorship ProgramsHR’s job is to make sure that employees are being used in the best, most efficient way possible. So for sales, they can put reps in a position to help one another out. They can establish a mentorship program for the team, pairing junior reps with more senior ones, or establish certain expert reps as coaches, who can show novices the ropes and help them improve their performance.Product Training ProgramsAn afternoon of training doesn’t prepare a sales rep for all the things they need to know on the job. It doesn’t give them the knowledge they need of a particular product to sell it effectively, or the expertise to figure out which product will suit a particular client best. It’s important to have someone on the team who knows how things are done and can be there to help newer reps as they go along and encounter different situations, rather than just throw them to the wolves. HR can make that happen.New Sales Hire Training ProgramsIn addition, HR can establish ongoing training programs to help sales reps as they start out, or even groom them for sales management positions. And for established sales reps who still aren’t where they need to be, or who have taken a downturn recently, HR can create performance improvement programs, finding people with a flair for teaching and training, and allowing them to work with employees who need improvement.Sales RecruitmentHR can even work with you to hire the top sales talent, finding those who excel in their field, and who will fit well with your company dynamic, and bring them aboard your team.  They can source promising candidates and pre-screen them, saving you valuable time and energy. HR and Sales are not natural enemies. They’re different, but that doesn’t mean they’re at odds. Their different approaches and different personality facets can be complementary, each fulfilling a need for the other. If everyone in your company was exactly the same, nothing would ever be able to get done, and things would be very boring. Remember that you’re all working together towards the same goal. So work together and help each other out, and things will be a lot better for everyone.  

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Lisa Rose

Lisa Rose is a Group Vice President of Sales at The Brooks Group. Lisa has passion for helping managers develop a unique, motivational sales culture in their organizations. She can drive sales managers who merely put out fires day to day to flourish as visionaries who can motivate their team and generate results for their sales organizations.

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