Thursday, 6 October 2011

HR Performance 2011 and Sales talent management, Sales coaching, Sales Recruitment and HR

Sport has a lot to teach us in selling with regard to how to strive for and achieve success . The new HR Performance show had a strap line - buidling a winning team fro your organisation which could well be the vision for many sales managers.
 The posters for the new HR Performance show displayed  relay runner about to receive the baton. Frontier the Integrated HR/Payroll and/or Outsource company  sponsored the keynote speakers for the show  from the world of sport  -Sir Clive Woodward OBE, Kris Akabusi MBE and Sally Gunnell OBE.
As the UK gears up to host the greatest sports show on earth, our minds are particularly attuned to those extraordinary elite sportspeople and their hard work in striving to achieve their targets of Gold, Silver and Bronze Olympic medals.

On the Wednesday afternoon of HR Performance 2011, the Keynote address  was given by Sally Gunnell who talked about her story and the key to success. Sally is the only woman in history to have ever concurrently held all four major championship gold medals – Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European, as well as the World record.

Sally Gunnell OBE Gold Medalist 400m Hurdles 1992 speaking on the "keys to success" at HR Performance 2011

Sally used her story to align what we could all achieve whether for our business, social or home but mostly for ourselves.
Part of her story that really resonated with me was what sales can learn from the elite Olympic champions like Sally when the bar is raised- increased targets, increased competition, technological change etc.

Having achieved considerable success in her athletic career with a silver at the Commonwealth Games  she was challenged by her coach.
 She was told she needed to change event or that she would never get that Gold medal at the Olympics she so desired. At this event 100 metres she was just 30th in world! 

The bar or hurdles had been raised higher!
Her reaction was amazing. Changing event to train for a different competition was a courageous thing to do. As with selling we need to stretch ourselves out of  comfort zone.
Much like the start of a new sales period with the uncertainties of the current economic climate, threats of Eurozone disintegration, another credit crunch, double dip recession how do we in sales respond?
Sally reckons that at the elite level of sport 70% is in the mind.

I think that could well be the case in selling as well. Sally's session was so good I'll write a more detailed post on it.
Suffice to say the audience enjoyed her talk and had plenty of questions for her. She generously passed her gold medal around the audience. It was heavy and an honour to hold something quite so precious.
Yet she still applies many of her disciplines and  approaches learnt as an Olympic champion to her family, social and business life. She still sets clear challenges, envisions success and builds a team to help her excel - and helps others
Despite her fantastic achievements she is a very approachable and genuine as a  presenter. She comes across as a very grounded person. Elite but not elitist. I found her talk most inspiring.

The exhibitors that caught my eye at HR Performance included:

Scott Bradley  specialise in management development learning resources on-line, on mobile and classroom. Topics they cover include unlimited online & video learning, workshops,DVD resources, Behaviour based interviews, Absenteeism, 
Agreeing development objectives, Coaching Fixing Performance , making change happen, using competencies successfully, getting the best from your team and inner confidence at work
Hugh Murray  of Scott Bradbury  

Corporate Rewards  the motivation agency have a package called MyRewards. MyRewards is a results driven incentive system that allows clients to create, implement and manage their incentive, recognition and reward needs with one portal.
Through a personalised website which encourages your audience, sales team , customer service teams etc with brand enforcement , updates 24/7.
The ability to recognise recognise participant's efforts online , users are rewarded in a variety of ways building loyalty, maintaining campaign momentum and keeping a  focus on the project.
Corporate Rewards
Institute of Recruiters include under their wings the society for talent Acquisition  and Retention (STAR) and HR Global hink-Tank. IOR brings together a new way of  connecting, learning and collaborating with their peers.

IOR partners include global  insurance broker Lockton, law firm clare willmott, CV-libray an independent job board whose database holds some 4 million CVs, Joberate social media job advertising specialists and workpass automate outgoing references.
Institute of Recruitment  
The TCM group
TCM specialises in mediation training.

Mediation is a process of dispute resolution whereby a neutral third party is invited to intervene to assist with a constructive resolution of a specific dispute.

 Although many HR specialists attend courses in mediation, other disciplines in business leadership such as sales`managers and directors may well find they encounter the costly area of conflict where mediation skills and service could be helpful.

Unresolved conflicts can :

  • undermine sales effectiveness and productivity 
  • destablise teams creating toxic workplaces 
  • waste time 
  • waste money 
  • waste energy
  •  and sap morale.

The CIPD have found that almost 60% of companies using mediation  see a significant reduction in formal grievances and a reduction of employmet tribunal claims by almost 50%.

Milkround's service enables their cleints to  find the students and graduates from a database of over 700,000able clients from blue chip to small businesses . Milkround enables clients to put their internships, placements and graduate job and schemes in front of their thousands of users with your company profile and page per vacancy.

They help to advertise gap year opportunities, student jobs, part time and seasonal work. Opportunities are also listed at

Milkround offer targeted emailing and their own Twitter jobs feed and facebook page,

In the search and engagement of talent in sales, whether for sales executives or managers some interesting data has been picked up in the latest Survey to be published by TACK International later this month.

As part of the research work on Buyers views of salespeople study ( 5 reports) over the last 13 years. TACK have also surveyed the views of Sales people and their managers from the Sales Engagement Index Study and Ideal Sales Manager Index.

The 2011 Sales leadership study consisted of two polls were conducted on line throughout August-September 2011 one of Salespeople (144)and the other of Sales managers (86) with direct reports. The sample of two hundred and thirty came from a range of blue chip and SMEs selling across a spectrum of industries including Private Individuals, Retailers, Distributor/Wholesaler, Manufacturer, service providers and Public sector.

The headline data was presented to an Executive forum of the Institute of Sales and marketing Management (ISMM) last week in Cheadle, UK.

Of interest to both the HR and Sales professions are the sections covering the current state recruitment, coaching and appraisal in the Sales and sales management discipline where HR has an increasing involvement.

68% of salespeople had been recruited where the process involved both the sales manager and sales department with HR only 26% were recruited by the Sales Department exclusively. The sales managers poll shows that 49% of salespeople that they recruited the process was handled exclusively by the sales department .Sales director and Sales Manager . 47% of Sales managers worked collaboratively with HR in the recruitment process.

Other areas of the TACK Sales leadership Survey 2011 covers issue of appraisals - and coaching  26% of Salespeople surveyed said they had only had one field accompaniment  day or none in the last twelve months. The implications on development , coaching and quality of appraisals may concern HR professionals.

HR Performance 2011 posters showed an athlete in motion. On the show guide you see the full visual of the point when a baton from one athlete is about to be handed over to the next athlete in a relay.

Let's hope that this lack of coaching and field accompaniment by some sales managers is not a harbinger of sales revenue batons being dropped due to lack of training and coaching.

HR Performance 2012 is set for 26/27 September at Olympia


  1. Hi

    Thanks for posting this article. Would it be possible to change Milkground to Milkround?


  2. Good post - totally agree about how sport coaching can lead us in HR and performance coaching. One thing sportspeople do better than anone else is focuse on recovery.

    1. Thanks
      Best wishes to the folk in Sydney and my friends in Aus.


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