Tag Archives: employee morale

How to Combat Disengagement

How to Combat Disengagement….to put power and passion back into your sales team…

The Brooks Group

You’ve probably trimmed all the fat out of your budget and let under-performers go.  You thought you were retaining the best and brightest, but now you’re fighting disengagement of even your (previously) most reliable employees.

Survey after survey describes an American workforce that’s disconnected and tuned out.  Consulting firm BlessingWhite found fewer than 1 in 3 employees (29%) are fully engaged and 19% are actually disengaged.  Gallup asserts that, “In average organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 1.5:1.”  And the Corporate Executive Board says disengaged employees are putting forth even less “discretionary effort” – at least 53% less – than they did a few years ago.

Just imagine if you could get your employees to start giving that 53% again…wouldn’t it transform your organization?

One area in which we see the serious consequences of disengagement is sales.  To achieve sales goals and keep steady revenues rolling into your organization requires commitment to the sales role; in contrast, a disengaged sales team can pull even a strong company down.  It’s up to you as a sales leader to tap into your team’s potential to get superior results.

The good news is that with a little dedication and creativity you can put the power and passion back into your team:  It’s about knowing the strengths of each individual on your team, determining what motivates them, communicating expectations, and being diligent about holding them accountable for meeting their goals.

Engagement Tip #1:  Communicate Expectations and Provide Support
For example, work with your salespeople to establish prospecting targets for the quarter.  (Make sure you have each salesperson’s complete buy in on targets set!)  Then, help them build prospecting plans and follow up regularly with them to provide resources and support.  If a salesperson lacks the sales skills to follow through, provide high-quality training and serve as a coach to help them use their new skills.

Engagement Tip #2:  Reconnect with Existing Customers
Encourage your salespeople to go on courtesy calls, survey customers and end-users of your products or services, or otherwise engage with their existing accounts.  It will give them real-time feedback about what’s working and what isn’t.  Time invested with customers – even if they’re not buying right now – serves to reconnect them with the products or services they sell and the people they sell them to.

Engagement Tip #3:  Put on the Positive Pressure
It’s a truism that “we rise to the level of expectation,” yet many managers fail to hold their salespeople accountable for results.  If you and your salesperson have agreed on targets for qualifying prospects, completed sales calls, closed business, etc., you should have a systematic method of holding them accountable for meeting those targets.

Engagement Tip #4:  Reward Initiative and Innovation
The strongest performers actively seek improvement, and they expect it of themselves, their managers, and their organizations. Help your salespeople set ambitious continuous improvement goals, and reward them for trying new approaches.  And remember, recognition for their ideas, being treated as experts at what they do, winning intra-office sales competitions, and even serving as mentors for others can be powerful motivators…money isn’t the only potential reward.

A warning:  It really is virtually impossible to win back truly disengaged employees.  Unfortunately, if your efforts yield nothing with a particular employee, it’s not worth throwing your energy away and it’s likely time to let them go.   They key is to be alert for signs of disengagement so you can get the affected employee re-engaged and re-energized.



Key Business Success Factors

By Lisa Nielsen, Demand Media

Key Business Success FactorsSmall business owners and managers need a way of gauging their success, but the benchmarks for one business type may be different from another type of business. Still, critical success factors are common to most businesses that assist management in measuring whether they are on track toward reaching profit and market share goals.

Employee Attitudes Drive Growth And Change

Attitudes drive behaviors that result in change. If your employees do not take initiative, make suggestions, happily stay late when necessary and strive to do their best work all the time, your business will certainly stagnate. A key business success factor is a motivated and committed workforce. Without that, no amount of vision and planning will provide the framework for growth and prosperity.

Technology Utilization

Avoid keeping up-to-date with technology at your own peril. The company that utilizes technology to open up new markets, serve customers, increase efficiency and new product and service development has the better chance of besting competition. This success factor, along with your motivated workforce, can also help you weather business downturns.

Financial Success Factors

Most business owners will first measure success in terms of financial factors. But, while a business needs to make a profit to survive, if the right technology and workforce are not in place, profits will be more elusive. Profits, though, are a key measure of success along with positive cash flow, a manageable debt load and a drive toward efficiency in holding down variable costs, among others. Financial success indicators may also be different from one industry to the next.

Global Footprint

Even if your business is strictly local, the size of your global footprint is important to your future and is a measure of your success. In today’s world of instant communication, you have the ability to share information, develop new products and open new markets more easily than ever before. Examine ways to expand globally and make it a part of your plan that is continually reviewed and graded.

Marketing Consistency

Many firms make the mistake of not carefully overseeing their marketing message. They have different messages going out to the same audience at the same time which confuses potential and current prospects. Companies with a consistent message across all media platforms, such as websites, paid media and other forms of marketing collateral, are the more successful marketers. Marketing consistency is a success factor that any company should not overlook.

Lisa Nielsen is a marketing consultant for small businesses and start-ups. As part of her consultancy, she writes advertising copy, newsletters, speeches, website content and marketing collateral for small and medium-sized businesses. She has been writing for more than 20 years. She is also a business strategist, trainer and executive coach. Nielsen holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami.