As a manager, you’ve probably spent a lot of your time working to guarantee that your team is well equipped to handle everything the sales process throws at them. From providing the right tools and training to personal mentorships, you’ve invested a lot in your team to ensure that they’re successful. But what about other factors seemingly outside of your control?
The ADP Research Institute recently found that 84 percent of workers are just “coming to work,” compared to the 16 percent of workers who said they are “fully engaged.”
What’s more—we know the implications of these abysmal numbers. With company success (including better financial performance, productivity, lower turnover, and greater customer satisfaction) all linked to higher employee engagement, how can you make sure your sales team is fully engaged and performing at the level you expect them to?
The biggest driver of engagement is whether an employee works on a team. With members of teams are 2.3 times more likely to be fully engaged, the concept of “every salesperson for themselves” couldn’t be further from the truth. While a little competition is good, a collaborative sales-team culture that utilizes the strengths and interests of each person helps hold people accountable and further drives individual engagement.
At one point or another, we’ve all had a boss or worked for someone we didn’t think had our best interest at heart. Given employees who trust their team leaders are 12 times more likely to be fully engaged, showing your team that you can be depended on not only in their day-to-day work tasks, but long-term needs as people and employees, is likely to stimulate and maintain engagement long-term.
Given trust is a two-way street, a little goes a long way with employees when it comes to the freedom their employer gives them. As reported, nearly a third (29 percent) of virtual workers are fully engaged, versus 18 percent who work in an office.
What’s more, employees who work from home are free from typical in-office distractions, including noise from open workspaces and interruptions from other coworkers, and aren’t tied to a daily commute that eats into prime productivity hours.
The same study found that nearly one quarter (24 percent) of C-suite/VP-level workers are fully engaged, compared to 14 percent of mid-level and first-level team leaders, and 8 percent of individual contributors. Given people at the top of the business food chain have more to gain and more at stake when it comes to the success of an organization, this finding isn’t too surprising.
However, it does show that there might be a direct correlation between the investment of the company in an individual and their output. For those employees who are lower on the sales-team totem pole, providing them with opportunities to lead or own certain projects and processes can not only serve to enhance day-to-day engagement via accountability, but also gives them a sense of purpose in your organization’s overall success.
So what are you doing to make sure your sales team is engaged? While there are definitely outliers in every scenario, it’s clear by the startling majority of self-reported, unengaged employees that employers need to change their strategies and approaches in ways that account for the betterment of the individual (be it via reliable leadership and members to rely on, understanding of work-life balance needs, career aspirations, etc.) to foster stronger engagement, and ensure success for all.