Posted by October 21, 2015.on
When we talk about big data, we often refer to science, finance, and consumer business. But big data can be much more useful when it comes to HR (Bersin calls it People Analytics) and talent management. Think about it: there are about 160 million workers in the US—how much can HR really know about what drives performance in the workforce? Without big data, the answer is “not very much.” For a specific example, let’s apply big data to managing sales talent, as in a case study presented by Josh Bersin for Forbes.
A large financial services company assumed that employees with good grades from top universities would make the highest-performing sales talent. Thus, their HR department recruited, selected, and promoted their sales talent under this premise. The company decided to use big data to help analyze their sales talent and turnover, while comparing the fiscal performance of sales talent one or two years in, versus the total performance and retention across a variety of demographics in the company.
The company discovered that what really drives sales talent and performance had nothing to do with GPA, education, or the quality of their references. Instead, what really mattered as far as sales talent and performance was an accurate and grammatically correct resume, having completed some education from start to finish, having previous sales talent and experience with success in a prior job, and the ability to work under unstructured conditions. Many of the overlooked, seemingly mundane skills sales talent has are more important than the fancy superlatives and references in resumes.
The conclusion of this story is, “despite a 30 year belief system which made this company successful, data showed a different story. Once this data was put back into the recruiting process, the company saw more than $4 million improvement in revenues in the next fiscal period.”
When HR applied big data to assess sales talent, and used that information for sales talent selection and recruiting, and the company experienced tremendous returns. Sales assessments like the Profiles Sales AssessmentTM can help collect data, and translate it into actionable information to find the most sales success from your sales talent. When utilizing any sales assessment, it’s important to:
- Evaluate an individual based on the qualities required to perform successfully
- Predict on-the-job performance in seven critical sales behaviors: prospecting, call reluctance, closing the sale, self-starting, working with a team, building and maintaining relationships, and compensation preference.
A global insurance agency that used the Profiles Sales AssessmentTM said, “Our client wanted a better way to select highly productive sales personnel. Our assessments helped them to improve rep productivity by 15 percent, and reduce overall attrition by 33 percent.”
Ultimately, what HR doesn’t know about big data metrics, especially when it comes to sales talent, can actually hurt the company. Big data can bring to light commonly held internal assumptions that are wrong. Link to original blog.