Thursday, September 22, 2016

Get your sales team on target with teaming science

By: Ciaran Nagle, Global Marketing Manager, OND LLC

As Hewlett Packard Enterprise has discovered, hitting your numbers is all about having the right talent in the right roles. Traditional recruitment can't achieve this. But a new science can help.

The sales team is the most important team in any business. If new customers are not being approached and sold to, it doesn't matter how good the service delivery, call centre or finance teams are. The company will flatline and eventually die.

A sales team that's fired up, isn't afraid to sell high value products and services and whose reps know how to turn a buyer's 'no' to 'yes' is worth more than money. Literally, you can't just buy a team like that. You have to grow it. And even after a lot of time and effort, there are usually as many misses as there are hits.

Which is why a lot of companies struggle, year in and year out, to hit target. This is not due to a lack of commitment by the management team. It's because it's been almost impossible, until now, to tell a) whether a particular candidate is up to the task, and b) whether they are the right candidate for that gap in your team.

Performance Management

Now there's a new science, teaming science, which can accurately answer both of those questions. Teaming science has been proven in top companies over the last 10+ years. It can accurately identify the natural strengths and talents in any individual and predict with complete precision how they will perform in your team. At a stroke it eliminates all doubt about the recruitment outcome.
There's a second major benefit of teaming science when applied to a sales team. That's the bit about knowing how to turn a buyer's 'no' to 'yes'. But that will have to wait for the next post. For now I need to explain the importance of natural talent in a sales any team.

Natural Talent and Employee Engagement

Deep inside our minds there is a layer of our make-up which has lain hidden for a long time. It is more fundamental to our being than any learned skills or qualifications that we build on top. These latter accomplishments are purely cosmetic.

We use phrases like 'my purpose in life' or 'what I was born to do' or 'I want to make a difference with my life' when we refer to this layer. The layer is our natural talent and it can be likened to six wild horses that are pulling us to achieve…something. Often it's hard for us to work out which direction our talent is pulling us in. But what is absolutely clear is that if our job role does not align with our talent, we become unproductive, disengaged and dissatisfied.

Talent Management

In order to be a successful salesperson it is essential to have a particular set of talents. Many people are attracted to sales because of the potential rewards. But if they don't possess the right underlying talent set they will never achieve what their intelligence and energy suggests they should. They will be constantly swimming against the tide of their own talent.

Teaming science can accurately identify whether candidates and current reps possess the right natural talents. If not, it doesn't necessarily mean they should be let go. Rather, teaming science will highlight roles where they will thrive.

But if candidates do have the right talent set, managers can hire them in full confidence knowing that they will be successful. They will also know exactly where to put them (new business, account management, networking, business development, sales management etc). Risk is avoided. This ability of teaming science to accurately predict the success or failure of individual candidates is unique. It is also 99.7% accurate.

Strategic Tool

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is a Fortune 50 business with thousands of sales reps globally. After implementing a program of teaming science for more than 300 of these reps, Steve King, HPE's General Manager, Technology Services, Americas said in 2016, "Method Teaming ( a proprietary form of teaming science) has been the most strategic and foundational element of success on every business and team transformation effort I have led over the past decade. There is simply nothing more important than having the right people in the right roles interacting effectively with others in a purpose driven way.  Method Teaming works every time, and there is nothing else like it in the marketplace."

Also in 2016, the first of HPE's sales teams to undergo a teaming science program achieved full year quota in only six months. (To obtain the full case study email

Sales recruitment, engagement and retention are too important to be left to intuition. That's why companies like HPE have turned to teaming science to build their sales teams. How much do you enjoy taking risks when recruiting?

About the Author: Ciaran was introduced to Method Teaming, OND's ground-breaking science for effective business team formation four years ago. Realizing that his marketing skills, honed at GE over 10 years, could help OND break out of their narrow client set (HPE, Big Four Consultancies) into the wider corporate world he was excited to become their world marketing head. He is based in London and can be reached at 

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