“Actions speak louder than words” is a sentiment we’re all familiar with. If you are a CEO or in another position of sales leadership, your words and actions have a big impact on the people who work beside and beneath you. Today’s blog is about saying what you’ll do and doing what you say to build a high-engagement sales organization under your leadership.
First of all, let’s define engagement. Engagement means that the people that make up an organization feel they play an active role in the organization’s value. According to Wikipedia, "an engaged employee is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work, and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.”
A recent Gallup analysis of 50,000 companies showed that high-engagement organizations have more than 20% profitability and higher levels of productivity than their low-engagement counterparts. Clearly, higher employee engagement leads to higher profits.
Many sales leaders struggle with employee engagement. This shows up in many ways: they may not have a strong relationship with their sales reps, may struggle to get buy-in from reps on new initiatives or processes, may have limited visibility of the sales funnel and what reps are doing on a regular basis...the list goes on.
So, how does this apply to actions and words? As a CEO or sales leader, you can be a direct catalyst for employee engagement and thus, higher sales productivity, by being a proactive and supportive leader. Below are five actions you should take if you want to a increase employee engagement and increase sales.
1. Deliver What You Promise:
- Don’t make empty promises, and don’t promise something that you can’t follow through on, big or small.
- Your staff listens to your every word and they will notice if you don’t follow through. Let them down enough and you will lose their trust, respect, and attention.
2. Communicate Clearly:
- Be transparent about your expectations of your team and what is needed to meet sales goals.
- Be approachable so your staff feel comfortable talking to you and coming to you if they are struggling to meet goals.
- Properly praise and incentivize those who meet and those who exceed your expectations, and share their success with the rest of the team.
3. Be Strategic:
- Find balance; you don't want to get caught in the weeds doing work meant for your reps, and you don't want to have such a high-level view of the sales organization that you don't know what's going on.
- Have a vision and be able to execute on it.
- Understand the culture of your unique sales organization when creating approach strategies, sales processes, tactics, etc.
- Be inclusive of everyone on your team; don’t practice favoritism.
- Encourage and appreciate alternative views to your own because they may lead to brighter ideas.
- Support and empower your team by providing proper sales training and showing a vested interest in reps' personal success; in turn they will want to follow you and they will believe in your vision.
5. Be Your Best Self
- Show a commitment to your own growth and becoming a better leader; this will inspire your team to work on themselves, too.
- Always maintain a positive attitude. Again, like it or not, as a leader you are under scrutiny from your staff and your attitude and approach strategies will have a direct impact on everyone you work with.
Are you fostering employee engagement in your sales team or are you struggling to be an effective leader? Contact us for a complimentary consultation to find out how Sales Result can help you reach your leadership potential.