In my last Performance Perspective, I advised that a sales rep’s intellectual and emotional commitment was just as important and any other workers’ and that ignoring sale people in your engagement planning could have negative consequences to the business. I made the case that ignoring them can not only cost big dollars (in the form of lost revenue) but that it can harm your brand’s standing inside and outside the organization.
The phrase “employee engagement” has captured the attention of businesses executives for some time now. Rightly so. Workers who are engaged are worth more to the companies that employ them. They drive better business results, are more productive, please customers more often and they tend to stay with their employers longer. That stability and loyalty cements company-to-customer relationships, secures organizational knowledge and provides a sustainable source for long-term leadership. Engagement’s byproducts produce growth year-over-year; and it’s what helps companies outperform rivals—existing or emerging—across every conceivable financial metric.
Successful salespeople use every phase of the sales process to distinguish themselves. They are laser-focused in the way they seek out potential buyers and equally skilled in how they inject themselves into their evaluations. Their lines of questioning probe deeper. They work to identify and involve other decision makers and they position their product’s benefits beyond the spoken needs of all concerned. Their well-orchestrated activities allow them to maximize the value they bring to the table while minimizing the range of risks a buyer deals with.
In a demanding economy, where all spending decisions are under increased scrutiny and where shifting buying behaviors, competitive products offerings and a universal tightening of budgets have reduced the odds of winning, why are some salespeople more successful than others? How do some manage to close more deals and do so more often sometimes at price points that are well above other options? How? By adding value and reducing risk. In other words, they don’t discount their offerings; they distinguish them through value-building selling behaviors.
When it comes to maximizing the impact of their employee recognition programs, HR leaders are always looking for ideas that are not just new but more efficient as well. That desire to do more with less would explain why the uses of badges—symbols that highlight a worker’s competencies and accomplishments—are growing in utilization.
We have all strived to earn badges since we were children—as girl scouts working toward the next merit badge or as high school athletes striving for that cherished varsity letter. These valued symbols have always conveyed achievement, but in today’s corporate world, badges have taken on a wider motivational meaning.
Are companies using every tool at their disposal to retain their best employees? It’s a question that’s on the mind of CEOs everywhere. Why now? While “net new job creation” has been stubbornly soft, the actual number of monthly “hiring events” has been up significantly. That means that companies on growth trajectories are going out and poaching top talent from competitors.
In the coming months it will be increasingly difficult to hold on to good people. Faced with the possibility of losing them, business leaders are raising wages. According to CareerBuilder’s 2013 hiring forecast, 72% percent of employers plan to increase compensation for their existing employees in the upcoming year. The need to retain talent is the main driver.