3 Keys for a Future of Work Sales Team

Today, only 15% of global workers wake up and are excited to go to work. What is the impact? Lost sales, poor customer service and high employee turnover.

Reversing this trend of poor employee engagement requires a change of focus. A shift from a focus on workers to a different a group. Managers.

You want to win in the future of work? Then your organization must invest (seriously) in coaching development programs to level-up your managers.

The future of work and future of sales are here. Unfortunately, most sales leaders are struggling to create an environment that sets up each salesperson for success. This training and development problem goes beyond sales teams and impacts workers across all roles and sectors.

A quick history lesson. America’s recent lack of job growth can be tied to workforce issues that have been worsening for years. Today, the US is ranked second to last among 29 developed nations in investing in taxpayer-funded training programs. That number has been falling year-over-year for the last 30 years.

Employers have clocked out on advancing workforce investment by continuing to invest in outdated methods and tools for a workforce that has been changing rapidly. It is wild to think that with all of the technology available today, we are still printing manuals and forcing workers to watch learning modules as if they are back in school. In fact, 91% of all training dollars still only go towards classroom instruction or desktop-only based learning, in spite of research that proves its effectiveness is poor.

So, what do we do?

Leaders need to step up. This means investing in a recruiting, training and development infrastructure that finds great workers, develops great workers, and keeps great workers. This will also result in them selling more and servicing better. Here are a few tips:

  1. Recruit Like Coach Saban – Nick Saban is the head football coach at the University of Alabama. After a long recruiting trip, Coach Saban realized he wasted too much time driving from school to school, so he got Alabama to buy him a helicopter. Now he avoids traffic, navigates big cities, and goes wherever he needs to in order to recruit more players with a personal touch. It obviously has worked. Saban has won seven national championships. You may not be able to afford a helicopter, but seeking out ways to cut time and impress recruits will ensure you get top talent on the bus.
  2. Make Training Mobile-First – Companies need to invest in better technology. Today, most job training is clunky and research shows workers forget 87% of what they learn during online training in just 30 days. More shocking is that only 1% of all training is available mobile-first. A quick fix is to invest in training programs that meet workers where they are (with what they are already good at!) and allow workers to voluntarily explore new learning opportunities instead of just being force fed a series of modules that they can only access on a desktop.
  3. Level Up Your Managers – A recent Gallup study found the leading driver of employee engagement is not pay, it is a very specific kind of manager that leads like a “coach.”

Unfortunately, too often sales managers are just the best sellers and not the ones best equipped to lead a team. It’s for this reason that we must equally invest in coaching development programs to level-up your managers and give them the tools to grow and win. That is if you want your sellers to win.

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