Feb 16, 2021
Today’s conversation offers three sets of ideas about
sales culture, and specifically about how to attract, develop, and
retain talent. Luke Allen is the CEO of OHD, an international
company with inside sales, outside sales, and sales reps as
Building a great sales culture:
- Proactive attraction of talent is key. It may seem
easy but most companies don’t do it. Even if you have a sales force
in place right now, it’s a future fire. What if you lose someone
who is a key player on your team right now? How do you replace that
person without it impacting your business?
- Particularly for sales teams, if one of your
members has deep expertise in a subject matter, that person’s
departure can create a single point of failure.
- Single points of failure are a massive risk. Even
if you have a team in place, take a second to identify where your
single point of failure exists.
- Assess your team to determine the different roles
and then proactively build a network of other key people that fit
your culture and your expectations.
- Begin the work of courting those people even when
you don’t have openings.
- The conversation can sound like this: “Sean, you
seem to be very engaged in this work and you really fit what we
value in our company. What is your vision for your career and how
do you want it to be developed? Where do you see yourself
- Most companies wait until they have an opening to
begin the search, and it’s a terrible way to hire really good
- Consider, too, staying in touch with people you
interviewed but couldn’t hire. Court them and develop
- Find out what is important to that person. For some
people, money is important, but they might be able to demand money
at a variety of companies. Culture is a major part of this. How can
you help this person develop and grow? You can set yourself apart
for those A players.
- Identify the financial, personal, and strategic
pains that people have and use those in your hiring. Focusing so
much on financial pain can be a mistake.
- People want to know before they sign on how you’re
going to develop them, so you have to communicate that
- If your people don’t talk to you about what’s going
on in their lives, you have a blind spot that you can’t protect
your business from. That is a huge weakness.
- When you anticipate these changes, you can avoid
significant hiring costs, consultancies, and downtime as a result
- Develop your direct-reports to do this with their
people, and it will strengthen your organization.
- This process will never be perfect, but we’re
trying to limit last-minute scenarios.
“Proactively Seek Great Talent” episode
- Aligned is a podcast for executives of
emerging middle-market companies; executives who are pursuing
growth and looking for new levers to pull.
- To connect with Sean Doyle, find him on LinkedIn, or learn more about FitzMartin on the
- You can also connect with Luke Allen on LinkedIn.