What a Disengaged Sales Team Could Cost You and What to do About it

Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Business Management, Sales 2.0 [ 0 Comments ]

A disengaged sales team can hurt your business.Have your employees or colleagues seemed a little bit off their game recently? Do they come into the office missing that skip in their step? You’re not alone if you’ve noticed that your co-workers are less than thrilled about their jobs these days.

Related: Morale Booster: The Six R’s

What Are Your Employees Thinking?
According to the 2011 “What’s Working” survey conducted by international research firm Mercer, 32 percent of American employees are “seriously considering” leaving their current job. Sure, many people assume roles within an organization and find out they aren’t a great fit, so they begin looking for more plentiful fields. The shocking part is the 10 percent increase in dissatisfied employees compared to the corresponding survey performed in 2005. The younger the age group, the more likely they’re fed up with their current employer and are interested in moving on. Forty percent of workers between the ages of 25 – 34 have a strong inclination to find a new place of employment and 44 percent of those 24 years old and younger feel the same way.

Are you ready for the bomb to drop? As opposed to their younger counterparts, 56 percent of senior managers are thinking of moving on to greener pastures.

What’s more, nearly all metrics for engagement have dropped during the six years between the first survey and the most recent one. Commitment to the organizations? Down 4 percent. Proud to work for his or her employer? An equal drop. While these statistics are perhaps truly alarming for the human resources department, they should be even more staggering for the sales team.

Related: 4 Steps Towards Sales Optimization

What’s the Next Step?
Back in April 2013, Harvard Business Review asked whether we’re paying enough attention to our sales team. If we’re gauging our answer on the Mercer research, it appears not enough employers are looking into the well-being of any of their workers. But your sales force is an important group of employees to keep a close eye on. As HBR points out, sales teams and departments are expensive. If you’re pumping money into a group of disaffected individuals who are not engaged at work, you’re going to lose a significant chunk of your budget. In total, more than $800 billion is spent on the U.S. sales force, which is nearly five times as much as what’s invested in every form of media advertising in 2012. While the price tag of your sales team can seem disproportionate compared to other departments, the reality is most organizations depend on their sales teams to generate revenue for the entire company.

Consequently, your company should have a vested interest in giving its sales team the best opportunities to become engaged in their work. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Set benchmarks. Employees who have tangible, clearly delineated goals to aim for will likely respond more than if there’s a nebulous idea of how many leads they’re converting. For example, the healthcare enterprise Novartis used its top salespeople to establish a set of “success principles” that others could emulate to improve their performance. After integrating this strategy, the company has experienced double-digit growth for the past six years.
  2. Give your sales team the necessary resources. Technology is force for change in many departments, not only IT and marketing. Fostering inbound leads increasingly depends on smart search engine optimization tactics. There are a plethora of Web-based tools and services that give the sales the information necessary to improve their conversions.

Related: How to Motivate Your Sales Team in 9 Easy Steps

It’s not an option to stick your head in the sand when your sales team is struggling, taking away from your company’s revenue stream. Evaluate the problem and develop an action plan, or else you’ll lose a large number of eggs in your basket.

(Image: via dreamstime.com)

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