Promises of better pay and stronger workplace cultures can be a huge draw. With great sales people being increasingly hard to come by, businesses need to develop their organisational cultures in order to keep their sales teams engaged and happy. Otherwise they won't stay in your business for long.
We caught up with Sandy Hall, Group People Enablement Manager at Leading Edge, to find out her approach to creating the best workplace sales culture.
How does culture help businesses retail sales talent?
Sales people who operate in happy cultures have a much stronger bond with the company they work for.
"A strong workplace culture is about creating an environment where people are enabled to do their job really well," says Sandy.
This involves simple things like ensuring they have the tools they need to perform everyday tasks, but there are also more subtle elements. Employees need to feel engaged at work, and the workplace culture you create has to enable that to happen.
Sales people who operate in happy cultures have a much stronger bond with the company they work for, and this inspires loyalty as a result. In fact, Virgin Pulse research indicates that a company is four times more likely to experience a loss in talented workers in the next year when employees aren't satisfied with wellbeing promotion.
A strong culture has also been shown to improve productivity, with two thirds of respondents to the same Virgin Pulse study saying their colleagues positively impact their focus and productivity.
You'll find you have lots of empty seats in the office if you don't create a strong sales culture.
So how do you improve sales culture?
The environment has to be one in which employees can talk openly with their managers and peers.
For Sandy, there are two elements of workplace culture that sales teams should focus on. "It's about developing a fun, creative environment, and it's also about ensuring there are opportunities to learn and grow."
The environment has to be one in which employees can talk openly with their managers and peers. "The skills required for sales are mainly learnt on the job. This means managers must be easily approachable because they have to have such a strong mentoring role," says Sandy.
If a staff member has a problem and doesn't feel they are able to go to anyone for help, the issue will only get worse and it won't be long before they decide to leave.
That's why mentoring opportunities have to be embedded in the culture. There should be regular one on ones to discuss progress, and morning meetings to talk about targets and the previous day's achievements.
You should try to create an environment where sales people feel happy and engaged.
"Positivity is so important within sales, and finding ways to create that fun, upbeat environment is critical," says Sandy. Celebrating achievement should be at the top of the to-do list, as should helping someone out who's struggling.
"The absolute number one thing that destroys workplace culture more than anything else is allowing someone to start performing poorly and then not addressing it," says Sandy. Strategies to avoid this must involve monitoring performance and identifying the early signs that someone is struggling. Managers must then intervene straight away while also helping the employee in question to feel supported and safe.
The Leading Edge approach
Here at Leading Edge, we focus on on-the-job coaching to ensure our sales people are the best they can be. "We know the pressure is on and we don't pretend otherwise, but with the right training and development, coupled with a sense of fun and achievement, we create cultures that sales people can thrive in," says Sandy.
Have you got a high turnover? Are your sales results not quite up to scratch? Leading Edge can help. We've got years of experience producing great workplace cultures and driving strong sales results. Contact the team today to find out what we can do for you.