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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Patricia Seabright – The Issue with Sales Talent and How to Solve it


At the heart of what is being called now called “the great resignation” is a massive demand for talent (ONS reported that there were over a million vacancies in September 2021) and a talent pool that is open minded and motivated to look for other opportunities. 

A recent survey by Randstad UK of 6,000 workers found that 24% were explicitly saying they would plan to change their role in the next 3 to 6 months.  

Where in a normal year only 11% of the working population would move job. 

Oxford Economics found that a recently hired professional can take 28 weeks to achieve optimum productivity. 

For many sales roles this figure may be longer, as when a sales person of any level leaves they take with them not only their client knowledge but also their relationships with current and future customers. 

This means leaders of sales teams are having to work harder than ever to not only find talent and retain talent if they are to meet their sales goals in 2022 and beyond. 

In our recent interview with Steve Barnhurst from Access Group we discussed non-financial ways to motivate and retain sales staff

In this interview we want to encourage leaders to look more closely at their internal sales culture and the impact it may have on their ability to retain the best talent. 

The challenge with discussions that involve culture is that it requires leaders and businesses to take a hard look at their preconceptions or existing beliefs. 

One example could be that 50% of your entry level sales jobs are held by females,  yet females may only represent 30% of your sales leadership team.  (psst—sales industry average stats)

A traditional viewpoint would be “as long as we are hitting the target, I see no problem in these stats. If people want to leave it is up to them”.  

However, a more contemporary view would be to ask “what are we doing wrong to lose 40% of our female talent from entry into the organisation into leadership level roles?” or to extrapolate further ask “how is our ability to scale impacted by our inability to develop entry level sales staff into sales leaders”? 

The instinctual response of many sales leaders is to avoid these questions.  

However by asking and finding the answers to  these types of questions leaders can begin the process of changing their culture and in turn retain more of their talent and reduce the need to hire in new talent to fuel their growth.

Key Areas of Discussion with Patricia:

  • What are the “traditional” sales culture traits that impact a business’s ability to retain talent?
  • Why the search for the elusive “Alpha” 360 sales professional leaves businesses trapped in an “exclusive” sales culture that bleeds talent.
  • What role does the sales leadership play in changing and reinforcing the sales culture?
  • How can leaders approach challenging pre-existing biases or cultural assumptions?
  • Ways leaders can encourage a wider range of views and voices in their sales meetings.

About Patricia Seabright:

Patricia Seabright has spent over 20 years helping business leaders build successful sales teams and sales professionals communicate more effectively with their customers and colleagues. 

Alongside running her own business Archimedes Consulting she has spent over 19 years as an associate for Miller Heiman (now part of Korn Ferry).

In 2020 Patricia published her book titled “She Said!: A guide for millennial women to speaking and being heard

Patricia is happiest when helping people optimise how they speak, sell and influence both with clients and colleagues.

Patricia‘s Book of Choice:

Brave not perfect by Rashma Saujani is a book that empowers women and girls to embrace imperfection and bravery.    Patricia feels that its focus on taking chances and accepting the learning that comes from failure is a great message for women and men alike. It also aligns with Patricia’s own book “She Said!:  A guide for millennial women to speaking and being heard

Patricia‘s Boxset of Choice:

Whilst Patricia feels late to the game she has loved watching the Game of Thrones

Patricia Seabright – Author, Coach, Consultant @ Archimedes Consulting


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