What can Businesses Learn from the Transfer Window to Successfully Manage new Employees?

Tom Castley
Tom Castley
In Sales, Sales management
Tom Castley joined Xactly EMEA in July 2014 to lead the growth of the company in the region. He has over 15 years of sales and CRM experience across leading cloud organizations and is highly renowned in the industry as a true customer experience champion. Tom spent 7 years at Oracle to support the expansion of its Cloud CRM business, and managed a struggling sales team, which he successfully turned around in a year. Prior to Oracle, Tom worked in RightNow Technologies, where he was responsible for UK sales across a variety of industries.

In the UK, we’ve just reached the end of another exciting football transfer window in the English Premier League. For anyone unfamiliar with these key events in the football or “soccer” calendar, it’s a time when clubs rush to close deals to buy and sell players before the deadline. This year we’ve seen a historic transfer window, with a total spend of over £1 billion and the most expensive transfer ever taking place as footballer Paul Pogba returns to Manchester United for £90 million.

As well as being a great spectacle, the football transfer window is also possibly one of the most high profile movements of employees in the world, and as such offers some key business insights. There are strong parallels, for example, between footballers and top-performing salespeople moving to new companies. Like salespeople, footballers are employed on the basis of their past-performances, and are under pressure to maintain their winning ways. Despite the fact that they are now playing with a new manager, location, team, and club culture the same performance is still expected of them.

Sales Plans for New Employees

New recruits in the sales world also have all this to contend with, along with new systems, new procedures, and even new company priorities. It’s not surprising that dips in performance can happen: Fernando Torres, for example, suffered infamously poor play after his much lauded move from Liverpool to Chelsea. It’s crucial that businesses, and football clubs, actively address the issue of how best to engage their new players and ensure they maintain excellent performance.

Businesses must ensure that they engage employees both immediately and in the long run, using performance-related incentive compensation. Variable pay is an extremely powerful tool for encouraging great performance, with 27% of UK employees stating that a financial bonus is their main motivator, according to Xactly’s own Productivity Gap research. The power of bonuses is increasingly being recognized in the world of football, with England’s new football manager Sam Allardyce’s total pay packet dependent on the team’s performance. Businesses too should understand the power of incentives to bring new sales people into the fold and keep them engaged in the long term.

Moreover, tailored bonus plans can direct salespeople’s efforts towards particular areas. Tools like Xactly Incent Enterprise™ enables employers to track and incentivize certain areas, such as closing deals with companies in particular sectors, or filling the lead pipeline. This ensures that new employees can quickly become aligned with the overarching company objectives and strategy, and immediately add value.

Finally, it’s important that businesses, like football clubs, closely monitor the performance of their employees with empirical tools. Using data from Xactly Insights™, businesses can quickly spot gaps in performance, and ways to recruit top talent. Managers can then address any shortfalls with a tailored training plan, to help new recruits settle in and succeed at their top performance level as quickly as possible.

So, to ensure your new signings perform at their best both quickly and for the long term:

  • Put a bonus plan in place to engage employees from the outset and throughout their careers
  • Create a sophisticated compensation plan to encourage and reward specific parts of the performance
  • Monitor the performance of new employees and use tailored training plans to quickly address any gaps

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What can Businesses Learn from the Transfer Window to Successfully Manage new Employees?

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