It is an annual sales conference and sales leaders, at various levels, from length and breadth of the country have arrived. The atmosphere is staid and all the participants look serious. Sergio, the business head plans to do 360-degree assessment of past year and chart out a robust future direction to meet the business environment challenges. He has met the HR and Sales head few weeks back to map engagement levels and sales performance of the sales leaders and their team. So, what is the verdict?
The sales team is engaged but their performance enablement scores are low
The sales team is engaged but their performance enablement scores are low as per the recent Organization Employee Engagement Surveys. Performance Engagement Index (PEI) showed low levels of customer service and product quality. The sales team’s capability to close a business opportunity right in the moment was poor due to low involvement and varied collaboration efforts. Further even Sr. sales Leadership team’s PEI was found abysmal. A correlation was established between the sales team and their sales leader’s low PEI.
Empower sales leaders to empower sales team
As the top level results were shared, Sergio knew that if the senior sales leadership challenges could be understood and addressed then the entire sales team could be aligned and business be led on to the growth trajectory.
Sergio wanted to find out if the organization structure was empowering the sales leaders.
The EES results showed low PEI for Sr. Leadership team because they were not empowered sufficiently to lead their teams. They were operating at a managerial role rather than assuming a more leadership role. Instead of focusing on the bigger picture and accordingly taking decisions, they were occupied with executing activities. What could have been the reason(s)? Was there a training gap? Or was it the old organizational structure which no longer supported the dynamic business environment?
As per IBM’s research on Leadership and engagement in tomorrow’s organization the old leadership behaviors, once rewarded are no longer relevant. To improve the organization’s bottom – line business results, specific new leadership behaviors are required. One needs to learn from the high performing leaders and understand how to be effective in the dynamic business environment.
What skills and behaviors will the sales leaders need to meet the Business results in the dynamic environment?
In today’s modern Business world, having a culture that is customer-centric is essential. To ensure the right service skills in the business, the business needs to be structured in a way that enables great service experiences, and the right systems and processes support it.
To Sergio it was clear that Sales Leadership was not able to leverage an engaged Salesforce due to their inability to share the right signals (TMI 5 box Model) – alignment between aspiration to be customer-focused and ability to deliver it. The ‘Big Picture’ of the organization was not percolated well amongst the sales teams, if at all done.
The service culture can only flourish if leaders display the right service behaviors – and so signal the genuine intent. It is estimated that about 40% of the success of an organization is due to the capabilities of its leaders.
Becoming inspiring Sales Leaders to inspire Performance
Sales leaders needed to move away from operational role to a leadership role. Sergio knew this would involve setting up processes and structures which will finally drive the various PEI factors, and in turn drive business results. An organization’s success depends upon motivated sales team who achieve their goals driven by inspiring sales leadership at all levels.
Creating inspiring Sales leaders
Sergio with the help of his HR leader reviewed the sales leaders and put in place programs to develop the necessary skills and behaviors. To evaluate the sales leaders three metrics of – team engagement / motivation, customer satisfaction and financial business performance – were put in place. Finally, through sales leader’s own walk–the-talk attitude, the entire sales team was transformed. This lead to monumental and encouraging business results.
Next year during the Annual Sales conference, the year was declared the best business growth year of the decade with the highest sales employee engagement rate ever.
Create your organization’s success story through inspiring sales leadership
All businesses depend upon their leaders. This is especially true for the sales team, who rely upon their sales leader to be the harbinger for finding the vision, valuing their contribution and providing them the right support. To perform in the modern business world means to strengthen your sales team through inspiring sales leadership. Sergio created a success story for his organization through sales leadership. Are you ready to create yours?