Updated: Mar 21
HR has always had a role to play in ensuring productivity in both sales and marketing. Unfortunately, it’s very often left out of that process for both departments.
This is partly because of the misconception that this should be left entirely to those departments’ leaders instead. In truth, increasing HR’s involvement here can actually lead to a tonne of benefits for a business.
Today, we’ll break down the ways smart HR strategy can support your sales and marketing teams, giving you more productive teams and a better-functioning organisation.
HR and Sales Team Recruitment
First of all, HR can do much to support sales in particular by ensuring that they recruit the right talent for the salesforce.
To do that, they need to invest time in understanding the company’s strategies and products. They need to know what sales expects or intends for its people, what market conditions affect the sales process, and more.
If they know that, they have a better understanding of the sales team’s pain points and resource gaps. That helps them better identify the type of talent needed to address those pain points and bridge those gaps.
To that end, HR and sales need to have regular conversations on their expectations in recruitment. They can start by identifying the sales strategies and products or services, the company’s customer segmentation, etc.
After that, they can hash out the number and types of sales resources they project to need in order to achieve a set level of productivity. Among other things, they can also discuss the sorts of sales compensation plans that drive the best results for the team.
Clarifying Brand Messaging for Candidates
In line with their role in building more productive sales teams, HR personnel should also think about building the right brand message for recruitment purposes.
Here, they can collaborate with your marketing team to put out a consistent, representative, and attractive brand message for future employees, not just consumers. That message needs to resonate with the types of candidates the organisation can benefit from.
In the same vein, it should be shaped to ensure that it attracts talent who would thrive in the company’s culture. This can contribute to team stability and thus, productivity.
HR’s Role in Motivation
HR can also play a big part in sustaining and nurturing productivity once it’s already achieved. To be precise, it should strive to come up with solutions that support and reward high-performers in the ranks.
A key technique here is to measure employee engagement regularly, often through surveys. It can help HR figure out what motivates the best performers in the organisation.
For salespeople in particular, common sources of motivation are product and service quality as well as marketing influence. Many also point to having reasonable goals as sources of encouragement (because it sets an achievable objective, as opposed to an impossible one that makes them give up in advance).
That’s interesting because it means they’re probably less motivated by performance and equity rewards than most business owners assume. Oh, those rewards undoubtedly still rank high - but the suggestion here is that just paying a member of your salesforce doesn’t instantly guarantee great performance.
That’s why HR teams need to work with managers to understand how to use compensation plans and motivators. They can work together to find the winning combination of career opportunities, equity rewards, culture, and more.
Moving the Middle
The fact is that most organisations’ leaders spent most of their time managing their top and bottom performers. Unfortunately, this leaves out most of their employees in many departments, as most are actually in the middle.
This is where HR can step in and lend department leaders a hand, whether in sales or marketing. They can work with leadership to determine how to improve performance for all those employees, even if only by incremental gains at first.
What really matters here is that there’s a gain. After all, given that most employees actually belong to that section of the spectrum, even tiny gains accrue into significant ones.
That middle portion of a business’s workforce even brings in the lion’s share of income for many companies, in fact. Hence, having HR work on motivating and developing them can lead to a wealth of benefits.
A Last Word on HR and How It Can Help Sales and Marketing
As you can see, there’s quite a bit involved in the role of HR in sales and marketing.
HR can support your sales and marketing teams to better do their jobs in all the ways we described. From building stronger teams to allocating resources to the management of “middling” performers, HR has a bevy of strategies that can have a serious impact on organisational productivity.
One of the requirements for this to happen, though, is that HR and the other departments have clearer conversations with each other. It would also be ideal for HR to simplify and streamline its simpler or everyday processes, so that strategising on matters like these can be given more time.
As far as the latter is concerned, it’s fortunate that there are solutions designed to help HR departments automate and simplify most of their work now through tech. For instance, HR software can free up a lot of time that your HR personnel would otherwise have spent on largely record-keeping and administrative tasks.
If you want to try such software, try our all-in-one solution, Adaptive Pay. It can be a great first step to getting your HR department to shift more of its resources to tasks that actually have a direct impact on productivity and measurable gains for your business!