Tag Archives: how to engage a workforce

Engaging Your Sales Team?

engagementroiSpring-boarding off of last week’s post from “Engagement World,” we might ask ourselves how (or if) we are engaging our sales team.

Regrettably, the data shows that only 25% of the workforce trusts organizational leadership!  Fortunately the trust level in direct supervisors is higher.

This is critically-important for sales leaders or small business owners because buying decisions are significantly impacted by the engagement level and attitude exemplified by the sales team. In fact, the data shows that well over half of all buying decisions are driven by the emotional part of the brain!

Based on findings shared by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA), three best practices for engaging your team are:

  1. Invest your time in one-on-one sessions with each sales team member – preferably done on a weekly basis at a consistently-scheduled time (i.e, “same time each week). The agenda for these one-on-one sessions should include an activity review, opportunity or pipeline discussion, strategy and planning session. The tone should be supportive.
  2. Collaboration – invest your time by making joint sales calls, both in the field and via conference calls. By “working deals” with the sales team you will not only show support, but you will also learn about marketplace preferences while adding an important layer to customer and prospect relationships
  3. Provide the team with professional development opportunities. Training and development are inextricably tied to engagement, and higher engagement levels are inextricably tied to attitude and discretionary effort.

Author Timothy R. Clark summed-it-up nicely when he said, “Highly engaged employees MAKE the customer experience. Disengaged employees BREAK it.”

Team & Customer Engagement: The ROI?

engagementroiWould you like to increase sales revenue, customer loyalty, and referrals?

How about motivating your channel partners so that they place added focus on your organization?

Would you like to implement and sustain a culture of continuous improvement? Or possibly increase the team’s focus on quality or safety, enhance overall wellness, or help them to work more productively?

All of the above-listed objectives are among the reasons organizations have chosen to proactively focus on engaging people; and all of the above-listed objectives can generate a measureable return on investment!

In fact, research from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance indicates that organizations will get the best results when they systematically:

  •  Develop realistic, achievable, and measurable goals and objectives
  • Create a formal Engagement business plan outlining the desired outcomes, behaviors that lead to outcomes, key program components, roles and responsibilities, timeline, and return on investment.
  • Effectively assess the people and the playing field to identify opportunities and obstacles to success
  • Make sure people have the knowledge or skills needed to succeed
  • Implement an integrated communication plan
  • Foster an atmosphere of collaboration, innovation, and fun
  • Reward and recognize so that people feel supported in their efforts
  • Measure return on investment

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Workforce Engagement & the Benefit of Hope

hope2Selling takes place at many levels.

To quote colleague and friend Jack Falvey, “All great leaders were great sales people!”

While many of us sell products and services to our customers or clients, others who are business owners, managers or leaders must also “sell” important concepts, policies and procedures to team members every day; as noted in our previous post, they must “sell” change… they must “sell” the future…

They must “sell” and promote a culture of engagement.

If this rings true to you, then it might also be worth noting that regardless of the venue, the most successful sellers are those who are able to identify, promote, and reinforce the right benefits. So when interacting with our employees − often referred to as internal customers − maybe a good portion of our leadership mission this coming year should be to promote the benefit of hope.

Hope for a secure future; hope and belief in their ability to achieve success despite the day-to-day challenges we all might face, despite the competition, and despite the “FUD” factor described in our previous post.

If engagement is, at least to some degree, a function of confidence and attitude, then strong leaders might do well to become the catalysts for continually increasing a hopeful perspective.

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