This blog post is the third in a series on employee engagement and motivation.
In earlier posts, we discussed how to survey your sales force, how to analyze the results in the context of ZS’s iCARE framework and how to decide what to act on. Now comes the hard part—how to keep your sales force engaged by putting this plan into action.
In his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari proposes that the advent of written language helped humans expand the size and complexity of their communities: over time, small groups of close-knit people became empires of millions. Before then, communities were limited in size because our brains were simply not capable of processing the quantity of information required to run a large community; we needed a way to organize, track and share information. Similarly for sales forces, we can’t assume engagement will increase on its own. Using an Energy program will help you organize, track and share progress on engagement initiatives.
A programmatic approach will also help you avoid common problems such as loss of momentum or failure to measure the outcome. We recommend keeping three things in mind as you create your Energy program:
- Establish ownership. Although the program won’t be carried out by one person, establishing a single point of ownership is still necessary. An owner who sees the full picture can synthesize and address concerns coming from upstream stakeholders and downstream participants. Centralizing ownership also ensures accountability and standardized execution.
- Consider timing. Delivering “energy boosts,” for example, video messages from senior leaders or feedback from your manager, on an ongoing basis is necessary for sustained motivation. Re-evaluating salespeople’s energy through an annual survey will help you adjust boosts to address new and changing areas of opportunity.
- Document it. Keeping records of what goes well (and what doesn’t) can help build a template that’s specific to your company’s culture, scale up the plan in future iterations and reduce the time and effort required to run it.
While creating an Energy program requires significant up-front effort, following a programmatic approach will make your initial program more successful and subsequent runs easier.
In our next blog post, we’ll discuss strategies to get senior management buy-in to implement your program with minimal disruption and have the best chance at long-lasting impact.
BLOG POST: How Do You Energize Your Sales Force?