Employee engagement is a key focus area in almost every industry and discipline, but it’s especially important when it comes to sales teams.
Highly engaged sales employees drive better business results and are more motivated to stay at your company, reducing turnover rate and bolstering your wider team. It’s an appealing proposition, but one which requires time and effort. Especially when managing a dispersed workforce, maintaining engagement and productivity among your sales team can be a challenge to say the least.
Here’s why it’s worth investing in employee engagement, and where to focus your efforts when crafting a productivity-boosting strategy for your sales force.
Why engaging your sales team is so important
Despite this, research shows that 85% of people aren’t engaged in their jobs, which costs the economy around $450-550 billion per year.
From a sales perspective, having a team of highly engaged and motivated reps is essential to business success. 79% of companies with high employee engagement provide a significantly better customer experience, which is even more beneficial for companies managing the transition to hybrid retail and omnichannel models.
Employees who are more engaged with their work are also more likely to contribute to its success and show stronger alignment with your brand, a factor which is crucial to staying competitive in today’s ever-evolving market.
How to make your sales force more productive: 6 key areas to focus on
1. Make information accessible
It’s essential that your sales people are kept up to speed on your suite of products. Whether it’s new features, seasonal campaigns or pricing changes, your dispersed workforce will need a way to access key information in order to do their jobs.
By leveraging mobile training, you can ensure that your sales reps have 24/7 access to relevant product information and USPs through their personal devices. Microlearning makes learning on the job even easier with bite size courses designed to get right to the point, giving sales teams exactly what they need to close a sale without disrupting their workflow.
The more knowledgeable your workforce is, the more likely they are to satisfy customers, with 73% of store-goers reporting that product knowledge is what they seek most from a sales person.
2. Leverage sales training
Providing ongoing training on pitching techniques, customer experience and aftercare not only strengthens the performance of your sales team, it also shows that you are invested in their long term development and career goals.
Opportunities to upskill and progress are essential to maintaining engagement among your employees and preventing turnover, with 87% of millennials citing professional development as a very important factor when considering whether to leave a company.
By administering regular sales training, employers demonstrate a commitment to their sales force’s success and will benefit from a more engaged team that is motivated to continue improving and performing at their best. Salespeople who have access to and engage with training actually sell up to 163% more than those who don’t.
3. Improve communication
Knowing where and how to get support is essential, especially for a dispersed network of sales people who might not have regular contact with HQ. Onboarding will be crucial here, but it’s also important to ensure that your teams are constantly reminded of the communication channels available to them and that there are as few barriers to support as possible.
Workforce communication tools such as our partners Braze and Iterable enable employers to send out regular and triggered notifications straight to workers’ mobile devices, keeping sales reps up to date on company news and taking them directly to training, support articles or contact information.
Effective internal communications are central to motivating and empowering your sales employees, with 85% of workers reporting higher engagement when they have access to the right support.
4. Maintain motivation
Engagement and motivation are intrinsically linked. Disengaged employees are unmotivated and unproductive, whereas engaged employees are willing to go the extra mile and are invested in your company’s success.
But what can you do to keep motivation among your sales force high, especially when you don’t have regular face-to-face contact
The answer lies in recognizing a job well done, and promoting a healthy bit of competition. Whether it’s sharing success stories in company-wide updates, strengthening your commission structure or simply giving verbal praise, making an effort to recognize and reward sales reps’ hard work will go a long way in motivating them to continue performing and engaging them in your cause.
5. Collect (and implement) feedback
Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. That’s why providing regular opportunities for feedback on how your sales force can be better supported is essential to maintaining engagement and preventing turnover.
Pulse surveys are a great way to collect feedback from remote, on-the-go teams - a brief set of questions sent out to employees on a regular basis, designed to be specific and contextual. Employers are able to keep their finger on the ‘pulse’ of how their teams are doing, and the use of digital technology such as cloud systems makes their administration even smoother.
Once you’ve collected feedback, it’s also important to act on it. Share the results of your pulse surveys with the wider team and communicate how you plan to incorporate their suggestions.
The key takeaway: sales forces that are highly engaged produce better results for your company, are more productive and likely to stick around. Businesses must leverage the right technology to ensure that dispersed teams have constant access to the right information and training, and feel supported and recognised throughout their employee lifecycle.
eduMe’s mobile learning platform provides companies with a way to seamlessly deliver bite size training on relevant topics, keeping your employees engaged and empowering them with timely information that helps them perform better at their jobs. Telecommunications company Tigo saw a 66% increase in sales after just three months of using eduMe, saving 5,000 hours of training annually and vastly improving time-to-productivity.
Book a demo with us now to find out how we can help engage your sales team 👇