Engagement is a tricky concept. Difficult to understand. Even more difficult to instill.
According to a recent Gallup poll, only 13% of employees are ‘engaged’; 49.5% are ‘not engaged’; and 16.6% are ‘actively disengaged’. Disengagement affects businesses in huge numbers. According to Bloomberg BNA, companies lose some US$11 billion annually thanks to employee turnover. Disengagement helps drive that phenomenon. Companies would want their employees to be engaged and motivated, so as to increase team productivity. Even the statistics show that engagement improves productivity – Gallup tells us companies that double the rate of engaged employees, among other factors, win an average of 147% higher earnings per share.
As for the members of your sales team (who sell for a living!), they might be losing their grip on their weekly goals, trying their best to keep their valuable clients happy. Some might be doing it wrong; some might be doing it right, but their team doesn’t know; and yet others might not be doing anything at all. It’s important to keep your sales team rolling, and back them to fight for a purchase in the market.
Here are five ways to keep them in check, and keep selling!
“We know you can do it. Come on!”
Instill confidence in them. Let them know the team values them and their work is counted in every win. Keep boosting their morale. Let them know how their contribution is meaningful. Remind them of their strengths. For when you let them know you respect them, they’ll fight tooth and nail to retain that respect. And you get to be the supportive boss, so it’s a win-win!
“3 clients in 3 weeks. You are just amazing!”
Recognise them in public, on social platforms or through your team’s communication channel. Around 78% of employees say they’ll work harder if they get appreciated. Commissions and incentives are periodic – given at the end of a month or year, or after closing a deal. Making small wins public and appreciating the work of team members more often will boost their morale. Share positive emails from customers and good news about your company. These little things make big differences.
Keep them motivated
Make sure their goals align with your company’s. Motivate them to work in that direction constantly. Have a ‘Monday Motivation’ quote, or a monthly ‘most deals closed’ award, or small confidence-boosting games that inspire them to work productively. You need to push them every time they slow down, directly or indirectly.
“People say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”
– Zig Ziglar
Give them honest feedback
Schedule weekly or monthly one-to-one meetings to give each employee regular and honest feedback. It has been observed that roughly 65% of employees say they want effective feedback that can help them to know where they are going wrong and how to change course, and thereby increase their productivity. Praise them for their wins, but also let them know what more they could have achieved and how. Be honest and frank with them, and that’s when they’ll know you actually care about them. Keep communications open – let them know you’re a phone call away. Remember also that transparency is the key to develop strong employee engagement; and for that to happen, there should be clear communication with your team members. They’ll respect you more if they know you value them.
Make team integrations clear
No sales team works on its own. Marketing, development and several other teams often accompany the sales team to close a deal successfully. Make these integrations between sales and other teams crystal clear, so that there is no barrier in communications between them. The sales team will work with full dedication to maintain the respect that other teams have for them. These seamless integrations also speed them up, so they close deals faster than before, thus increasing team productivity, which in turn makes them more engaged.
With the right planning, you get to be the perfect manager and, also, have a top-class sales team. Be with them on every move. Guide them towards success and build a healthy relationship with them. This bond between boss and employee drives engagement more than anything else. What are you waiting for? Start engaging your sales team today!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)