Photo by Hattie Kingsley Photography
What creates a culture of engagement? What drives organizational loyalty? How do you foster an environment or culture within your organization that not only makes people happy in their jobs, but drives performance?
High performing sales organizations know how to create a work culture that not only fosters growth, but motivates beyond just your routine efforts. Employees who are highly engaged in their work are more innovative, more productive, develop into better problem solvers as well as innovate at a higher level than average organizations.
Some interesting facts about engagement:
- 88% polled don't have a passion for their work.
- 86% believe that they don't have a good leadership development path in place.
- 79% believe that they have a serious employee retention issue.
- 75% are struggling to attract and recruit the talent that they need.
- Only 6% believe that their current process for managing performance is worth the time.
- Employee disengagement costs the US $500 billion per year in lost revenue.
How do you create or enhance your culture within in organization? It's as simple and effective as creating meaningful coaching relationships. Research has proved time and time again that the most effective way to drive motivation to sell is the sales rep's relationship with their manager--it all starts there. The following are some tips and trends in sales coaching that will allow you to move the performance needle within your team starting as soon as today! First and foremost:
Have a Positive Outlook
- Regularly communicate your organization's vision and plans for the future.
- Include employees in goal-setting process and communicate when those goals are achieved.
- Help employees understand industry trends.
- Share competitor intelligence with your team members.
Instill Confidence Through your Role as Coach
- Maintain open communication with your sales reps.
- Make sure you follow through on what you say you will do.
- Demonstrate leaderships' commitment to the success of the organization through your own actions.
- Spend time cultivating a workplace that colleagues enjoy working within.
- Make sure you have plenty of face time with your sales reps as a sales leader.
Value Your Sales Reps
- Set your team up with success with access to resources and give them the power to make decisions.
- Include both individual and company-wide recognition when goals are achieved by a team or individual team member.
- Give sales reps a good way to meaningfully recognize one another internally and externally for their accomplishments.
- Be sure to discuss and foster professional development opportunities.
Implement a Methodology for Your Sales Managers to Learn How to Become Better Coaches
- Use 1-to-1 Meetings to Foster Increased Engagement: One-to-one meetings as a coaching activity have a high correlation with motivation to sell. Research proves that when managers schedule one-to-one meetings with each of their team members at a frequency of at least bi-monthly...performance goes up.
- Schedule Regular Joint Sales Calls & Sales Call Evaluations: Scheduling joint calls and evaluations with your reps at least once a quarter is vital in order to assess each team member's sales skills while working with prospects or customers. Having reps submit call plans to you prior to your trip helps the trip flow smoothly and give you important information as to their communication and organizational skills in the field.
- Hold Monthly Team Meetings: This scheduled time together is imperative in order to create a space and time for team members to share 'wins' as well as challenges experienced, best practices, offer topics for development as well as share team progress to goal. Team meeting time can quickly be one of the most looked-forward to hours of a team member's month. Engaging your team in healthy discussions all the while promoting best practices and professional development is one of the most important meetings in your month as coach.
- Sales Skills Reviews: Yearly sales skills review help track progress to sales goals in relation to their current skill set. Sales skill reviews work best when the rep has an opportunity to perform a self assessment and then compare with you to better align their skills and areas to identify for professional skill development.
- Facilitate Yearly Career Development Discussions: An engaging work culture is not only good for the employee, it is good for the organization's bottom line. From 2011-2014, in organizations where profits increased, 70.3% of their employees were identified as engaged (as opposed to an average of 62.4% of employees that were identified as not engaged from organizations where profits decreased.) Scheduling yearly career development discussions is highly valuable in the effort to increase employee retention, engagement and development in both the long and short term. Make sure to provide your sales reps with an outline of the discussion or worksheet prior to the discussion so that they have an opportunity to consider discussion point such as:
- What are your passions and motivations? What personal goals do you wish to share?
- List your greatest talents and skills that should be utilized in your role
- What is the most effective way for you to set goals?
- What is your personal production goal this year? And, what obstacles could prevent you from achieving your goal?What do you get paid to do?
- What areas of interest should we consider as we watch your career develop?
- Define "success" within your current role
Fostering a culture of engagement is easily the most cost effective, efficient best practice that we can invest our time in as sales leaders. It promotes loyalty, enhances retention and very simply drives performance each and every day in the workplace. Effective sales coaching helps sales leaders gain insight into their workplace as well as their customers, they are able to help solve problems as well as apply their knowledge in order to increase the skill set and performance of their sales reps. Ultimately, the role of sales coach equates in to a team that is more adaptable to change and growth within the organization. An engaged coach equals an engaged team, equals engaged customers. It's a win, win, win situation!