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What’s the impact of an elevated employee experience for a sales team?

August 25, 2021

Everyone focuses on how poor customer experience can jeopardise a company’s success, but a bad employee experience can be just as detrimental.

If your B2B sales team has a poor employee experience, they will feel disengaged and unmotivated, leading to reduced customer satisfaction and sales.

According to a recent report, disengaged employees cost UK companies around £340 billion each year. If you want better sales numbers and faster revenue growth, you need to provide an employee experience that makes your sales team feel valued, driven, and engaged.

Organisational responsibility 

Employee experience is how workers feel about working at your company – from onboarding until the end of employment.

Modern companies are prioritising building a people-focused workplace culture that celebrates and cares for its employees. Switching to an employee-centric culture has helped several companies, including SAP and HP, boost their performance and value.

A traditional and outdated sales team employee experience leads to employees underperforming because the job is:

Extremely transactional

A transactional workplace uses rewards and punishment to motivate SaaS sales teams to deliver results. It’s strict, and employees must follow specified processes or risk punishment.

High pressure

Some employees flourish in a high-pressure work environment because it creates a sense of urgency and helps them meet deadlines and targets. That said, a high-pressure workplace may work for an employee today, but eventually, the constant pressure will gradually lead to employee disengagement and low productivity.

Lack of recognition

A common complaint about the traditional sales team employee experience is workers get no recognition for contributions to company success. According to data gathered by GoRemotely, a simple “thank you” is sufficient recognition for 85% of employees, and 40% of US employees are more productive when they receive recognition.

Even better, recognising your sales team’s efforts can reduce employee turnover and help you avoid the high cost of frequently recruiting and training new staff.

What responsibility does an organisation have toward its workers?

Improving employee experience is not a one-off thing. As long as a worker is in your employ, you must ensure that each phase of employee experience is satisfying.

Even if your outbound sales team telecommutes, it is still the organisation’s responsibility to make sure that employees retain their enthusiasm and motivation for work.

Here are efficient ways to ensure a positive employee experience for your remote and office sales teams.

Adopt an employee-focused culture

Your company culture guides everything that happens within your organisation. If your company culture prioritises treating employees with compassion and respect, it lays a strong foundation for a great employee experience.

Continuous employee feedback

If a company really cares about how its employee’s feel, it asks them. By frequently gathering employee feedback, you can learn how your company’s employee experience falls short and how your workers would like you to improve.

If you implement the suggestions made by your sales team, your workers will feel valued, leading to improved employee engagement and retention.

What happens when a company neglects its employee experience responsibilities?

Companies that fail to improve employee experience eventually have to face the high cost of having an unhappy sales team. Here are some of the ways a poor employee experience might cost your company:

Reduced employee efficiency and productivity

Your sales team can’t do its best without an enabling work environment. Also, a sales team that feels underappreciated or unfairly treated will feel unmotivated to achieve company goals. Even though the sales team’s productivity is minimal, you still have to pay salaries, meaning profit drops, but expenditure remains.

Low customer satisfaction

A disgruntled employee serving a customer is a recipe for disaster. Such an employee won’t care about customer satisfaction. If your company has a reputation for poor customer experience, attracting new customers or retaining old ones becomes difficult.

Trust issues

Bad employee experience causes workers to distrust management. If your sales team does not trust you, they are less likely to follow instructions. Also, your sales team’s distrust will likely surface during interactions with customers and lead to customers doubting your brand.

The impact of an elevated employee experience on a sales team

Investing in improving your company’s employee experience can yield a huge return on investment in several ways, including:

Increased retention – and the battle for retention is coming

Most companies don’t realise this yet, but a battle for employee retention is brewing and will soon boil over. Large US companies are struggling with retaining employees  for various reasons tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. 76% of employees in the affected companies claim they are leaving due to burnout, while 55% point to reduced work-life balance.

Forward-thinking companies are lowering churn by optimising the work-life balance and employee experience of workers. Improving work experience by properly recognizing employees for their contributions can also increase morale, motivation, and retention.

Engaged with company culture

Elevating your sales team’s employee experience will help them engage better with the company culture. High engagement with the company culture will help employees align their goals with that of the company, leading to greater productivity and better relationships with colleagues.

It will also make your sales team more proactive about learning skills and offering solutions to company problems. Lastly, your engaged employees will have a more positive mindset about their work and be more enthusiastic about helping your company achieve its short and long-term goals.

Improved performance 

Disengaged sales teams are less productive and profitable. You can avoid such problems by creating a work experience that keeps your sales team engaged and excited about work.

The work of an engaged employee is higher quality and consistent, leading to better results and profits for your company. Even better, an engaged sales team delivers superior customer services, which boosts your brand image and attracts new customers.

Key characteristics of an elevated experience

Regular employee performance feedback

Your employees need regular feedback about their performance. Without it, they won’t know how to improve and serve your company better.

Engaging with your employees through regular feedback can also motivate them, boost team morale, and strengthen your employer-employee relationship. For the best results, provide employee feedback as frequently as possible (weekly or monthly).

Creating time and structures for bottom-up communication

Instead of just telling your employees what to do, create avenues for them to suggest ways to improve your company. Your sales team is on the frontline and know things that you don’t, putting them in a unique position to provide you with valuable insights and creative solutions.

Set up online and offline options for employees to submit suggestions at their convenience. It also helps if you create time for in-person meetings where employees can socialise and brainstorm ideas. Allowing employees to contribute to your company’s success and recognising them for their efforts will significantly boost employee engagement.

Asking for feedback

Another way to get valuable insights from your sales team is through surveys. Use surveys to ask specific questions about employee experience and how your company can improve.

Taking such surveys during onboarding until the day an employee leaves will create an employee experience that attracts and retains the best talent.

Transparency in communication

Transparent communication ensures that employees and employers have matching expectations. When there are clearly defined expectations, both parties can work towards achieving mutually beneficial goals.

Open communication also eliminates false assumptions and builds trust between employees and employers. A well-informed employee is better equipped to solve problems quickly. Plus, open and frequent communication prevents surprises that may derail productivity.

Grassroot communication

Grassroot communication ensures that information reaches everyone in a company, regardless of their rank or location. It also facilitates open discourse so all employees can contribute ideas and opinions to drive the company forward.

Carrying everyone along through grassroots communication engages workers, strengthens morale, and contributes to a desirable employee experience.

Don’t delay elevating your sales team’s employee experience

Working in sales is already tough. There’s no need to make it tougher by frustrating the employee experience of your sales team.

By keeping the employee experience at the forefront of your mind as you make decisions impacting the sales team you can increase retention, increase engagement with the organisation and improve performance.

This was a guest article by Harry Deane, Digital Workplace Specialist at Workvivo.

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