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HR Team Meets Sales Team – Part 2

By Jack Hawkes 

In my last blog, I identified why the HR and Sales Teams can get frustrated with one another which invariably leads to tension and a focus on problems, not solutions.

Part two of this blog will focus on why these two apparently diverse teams have much in common and then what can be done differently to work towards a common goal of success.

Starting with the common areas between HR and Sales Teams, here’s my top three:

1. Value Proposition

Both teams are out in their respective markets selling a value proposition up against the competitors.  

2. Reputation is everything

In both these worlds an individual’s reputation to deliver to their customers and respect their suppliers is the basis of success.

3. Emotions are never far from the surface

A sales person’s day can be filled with negative emotions - dealing with angry customers, being told “no, not interested” multiple times and experiencing doubts around achieving targets.

A HR Team members' day can likewise be tough – dealing with disgruntled employees, being rejected by great candidates and experiencing doubts around achieving targets.

What can you do differently?

HR Team members should get out and spend a day in the world of your Sales Team.

This will enable you to exercise your empathy muscles to appreciate that at the pointy front end of the business where the revenue is won, it’s not all long lunches and dreaming of how to spend the next bonus.

You will come to appreciate that the better you understand this essential team by “walking a mile in their shoes”, the better you can support this team for mutual success.

It is incumbent on the Sales Team to do all they can to ensure the experience the HR Team has in the field with customers is ‘risk free’. No one will come back if they are subject to ridicule or worse. The HR Team can really add value to the world of Sales if they feel like they are respected and given support in what will potentially be quite unnerving.

Ultimately there can be polar opposite ways of thinking and acting according to the following adage:

"It is better to seek permission rather than forgiveness."

One team is more likely to live by it, one team chases everyone to adhere to the opposite. I will leave it to you to determine who is more likely to own which.  Learn more here.