Expecting your sales team to be productive without an employee engagement strategy is like trying to order a beef burger at a vegan drive-through. It’s just not a realistic expectation.
Your sales team want more than incentives and a pay cheque, they want to be engaged.
By implementing an employee engagement strategy, your people will feel recognised and encouraged to deliver a superior customer experience.
An engagement strategy has the ability to drive performance and business growth. It’s that simple, and, it’s a whole lot easier than insisting on 21-day-matured, grass-fed beef at a veg-only establishment.
If you want your people to perform, you need to create a sense of purpose. Earning a pay cheque is great and all, but going home knowing that you contributed to something bigger than yourself can be the difference between an engaged and disengaged employee.
That’s why it’s imperative that you create a sense of purpose even in your sales team.
When setting your organisation’s objectives and vision don’t just create goals and tasks around your bottom line.
Employees, especially those Millennials, are desirous of working at organisations that care about more than just profit. They’re interested in collaborating with organisations that are socially responsible and that care about its people and the environment. And, with Millennials soon to make up more than 75% of the workforce by 2025, it’s definitely an approach worth consideration.
This statement really rings true if you want to attract and retain top talent of this generation cohort.
You can gain a competitive advantage by creating a working environment, for permanent, contract or remote employees, by instilling a company culture that resonate with Millennials’ desires. This doesn’t mean an endless supply of non-foam drip lattes with one shot of caramel syrup or gluten-free bread. It means that you need to work at establishing a company culture that fosters productivity, connectivity, efficiency and a sense of community.
Sales can be unforgiving, and, motivation can be challenging at times. Try to create more value for your employees within their roles. Help them to understand your organisation’s vision and mission. This will give them a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. When someone feels part of something, they are more likely to positively contribute.
Align your sales team’s goals and targets with their aspirations.
Let’s explain: Setting the goals and targets with a higher purpose makes it more meaningful. For example, if your team’s sales target is target x and they achieve it, the organisation will contribute in time or money to a charitable cause they support. Even better, give them time off in a ‘Do Good Day’ to support their charitable cause without it being deducted from their leave, when they reach their sales target.
In fact, employee engagement affects key business performance outcomes…
Companies with a mean of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee experienced 147% higher earnings per share compared with their competitors. That’s four times higher than their competitors! There is empirical evidence that employee engagement leads to an increased bottom line.
Engaged employees are effective employees, and wouldn’t you want this type of employee in your sales team?
Start seeing your employees as people. Empower your people to do a good job. Autonomy is a powerful method to get the best out of your sales team.
Consider this: When you’re busy with a task, would you like to be told how to do it and micro managed? Or, would you like the opportunity to do it in a way that you consider best?
For experienced employees, their answer would most likely be the latter. Simply share what outcomes you expect and, importantly, ensure that they have the tools and resources to perform the task. Your sales team will feel emboldened by the confidence you’ve shown them and they will take full accountability and ownership of their tasks. Bonus: You won’t have to send a trail of passive-aggressive ‘checking in’/ ‘following up’ emails. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Sales leaders, you can drive employee engagement
Yes, you can! Sales is a driven world of tasks, administration, follow ups, meetings, appointments and targets. Don’t let your sales people get lost in their busyness. Check in with your team often to ensure that they are doing okay. With the advent of social media and digitisation, there can sometimes be a disconnect between you and your people, so it’s important to maintain the human connection.
Strategic social recognition
One of the most powerful ways to drive employee engagement is through social recognition. This type of behaviour creates daily opportunities for employees and their managers to give each other meaningful high fives whenever they do good work.
Rewards and recognition create a positive workplace culture that could lead to a higher level of engagement. SHRM cited in a study that “employees see company culture and a sense of connection” as a big contributing factor to employee job satisfaction.
A research review published by Cornell University noted that: “41% of the variation in employee engagement can be attributed to the level of recognition that an employee receives…”
The importance of building strong relationships between sales reps and managers cannot be overstated. Help your sales team evolve new sales strategies and tactics. This will show them that you’re sincere in helping them work through their challenges. Design your meetings with empathy in mind and you could see a reduction in turnover and a far more engaged, productive sales team.
Employee engagement is a critical factor to your sales team’s success. Make it a priority and foster a culture of feedback and recognition in doing so. Through this, your team will be cohesive and engaged and you’ll more than likely experience an uptick in customer experience and hopefully sales.
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