Many studies have shown that employee engagement drives productivity. For example, a 2014 survey by Gallup – which covered 1.4 million workers – showed that the organizations with the highest employee engagement benefited from:
- 21% better productivity
- 22% higher profitability
The same study also found that high levels of employee engagement lead to significantly lower employee turnover, absenteeism, and safety incidents, and higher-quality services and products.
Navigating the rapid evolution of the business environment is a challenge. Doing so while maintaining morale within sales teams takes this challenge to a new level. You will need to find creative ways to engage employees, and motivate them to become the cooperative, high-performing sales team promised by their potential. In this article, we outline three surefire strategies to achieve this.
Motivate your people with more than money
People need to be motivated to change behaviors. Without the motivation to change and adapt, people will continue to operate in their current comfort zone. There are several motivational strategies you might employ. These include bonuses, cash prizes, vacations, and other incentives. However, money often says little to an employee.
Any organization can throw money at their change efforts, but money says nothing about your organizational values and beliefs, and it is these that will be the guiding lights of change in forward-thinking companies.
Instead of monetary incentives, show your salespeople that you value their effort and ethics by offering personalized incentives. An afternoon off for the working parent to spend time with their family when the kids are off school. Flexible work schedules and state-of-the-art technology to work from home offers benefits to many employees.
You could consider offering training that enhances career prospects and improves sales techniques. These training sessions also afford you the opportunity to upskill your staff with new regulations, industry evolution, and organizational change.
Encourage cooperative competition
Salespeople are naturally competitive, and some will want to keep the ‘secrets of their success’ to themselves. Encourage a culture of cooperative competition by creating an environment in which knowledge sharing is rewarded. Task salespeople with leading team activities and challenges, participating in sales training events and team building exercises.
Use one-to-ones to identify individual concerns and needs
People respond better when they feel wanted. During a period of change, it is easy to neglect your people’s feelings. Change management often becomes concerned only with the process of change, neglecting people’s feelings and natural nervousness. When this happens, resistance to change increases.
A good strategy to avoid this is to increase the number of one-to-ones you have with your salespeople. These provide the opportunity to keep people regularly informed of the benefits of change, identify individual needs for training, and provide guidance on new behaviors required.
For this to be effective, leaders must learn the art of conscious communication. They will need to identify their own communication styles, and their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders can then use this knowledge to bridge the gap between their communication style and that of others. When your leaders have this increased level of human resource capability, they will become more effective at presentation and persuasion.
Contact us today, and discover how we could help your managers and leaders guide their sales team through the rapidly changing sales environment.