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HR Team Meets Sales Team – Part 1

By Jack Hawkes 

There are many sales teams that are really frustrated by HR Teams and their need to follow some overly complicated process to get anything done.

In a parallel universe, there are HR teams which would tell anyone prepared to listen about their frustrations with sales teams inability to follow even the simplest process as documented in the employee handbook or similar. 

I am fortunate enough to play in both sandpits – Sales and HR – and I thought it may be opportune to call out some of the points of tension to get it out in the open.


Why Sales are frustrated by the HR Team…

1. Always a process, never a result!

The world of HR can rely very heavily on a clearly documented process which steps through all the actions from start to finish. In the mind of the HR Professional this makes perfect sense because it is clear, it is low risk and it is consistent.

2. Never supply enough great candidates

The sales leader wants a deep and rich pool of great candidates and really is less concerned about the exact costs involved in getting the best one into the business.

3. HR timelines are just not quick enough

Although it is hard to accept, HR is generally protected from the harsh realities of sales targets, so can operate on at a very different timeline.

Why HR are frustrated by the Sales Team…

1. Never follow processes

If HR need a good, documented process, then the Sales team can appear to wantonly disregard the beginning, middle and end of any HR process.

2. Speaking to “random” agencies about candidates

On the subject of never following a process, in a situation where preferred suppliers are in place, it is always amazing and frustrating when the Sales Team come back with a candidate from a “random” agency off the list.

3. Predictable people problems

There are times when the HR professional would love to scream “I told you so” as the Sales Leader is explaining why the gun new hire is failing to deliver or the sales training did not work as well as expected.

What is required is a focus on why these two apparently diverse teams have much in common and then to work towards a common goal of success.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I will go there and explain what can bring that success.