How does team well-being in sales compare to other areas of a business, and what tools are available to get feedback from a sales team? Let’s find out.Continue reading
Positive team well-being is often described as the atmosphere you experience when you walk into an office where you can feel that the employees truly enjoy their jobs and enjoy working alongside each other. More specifically, workplace well-being relates to how workers feel about their working environment, their work itself, the company culture, and their role within it.
No. But it may be more difficult to maintain well-being in a sales team.
Many people will use the terms motivation and well-being interchangeably. But the terms are not synonymous, and it’s important to know those differences may be more strongly evident in the unique environment of sales.
Sales is a high-pressure job, and it’s not uncommon for sales staff to experience burnout. In fact, 67% of respondents in a sales industry survey agree that they’re close to burnout. However, many of these respondents say they are still likely to feel good levels of motivation, highlighting the fact that it’s possible to have poor well-being and high motivation. Eventually, though, this motivation will likely waver.
This can be the case in other departments, too, of course, but sales is often one of the most goal-orientated and high-pressure environments in a business. Leaderboards, commission, and gamification all lead to a treadmill of target-hitting which can become a strain on employee well-being. A mixture of high expectations and little downtime can feel relentless for many, as well as the inevitable dips in performance and rejection knockdowns.
Boosting well-being can be done in many different ways, but the simplest first step is asking employees how they feel. Opening the conversation surrounding well-being can be a very quick and direct way of gauging if there’s an issue, and if so, what it is.
Each employee is unique, which is why it’s impossible to prescribe a fix for poor team well-being without dialogue. This is why Salessound includes many opportunities for conversation and feedback in the software, such as in weekly snapshot reports, monthly sales reports and idea boards, to encourage employees to discuss how they are feeling and suggest how things could be better.
It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that sales revenue is any business's lifeblood, so Salessound places equal emphasis on quantitative sales performance and qualitative or descriptive feedback.
Beyond simply asking and listening to the answers, there are some general ways in which sales team well-being specifically can usually be boosted. Here are some options to consider:
Burnout can often lead to resignation. Staff turnover is particularly high in sales, in recent years at around 34.7% per year in the US and similar in Europe. Beyond managers simply caring for their employees and generating a culture of positivity, there are some fundamental reasons why well-being is important.
Well-being is a huge factor in productivity, as it can be what causes a degradation in morale and motivation. So, improving well-being can lead not only to higher sales, but also to more consistent sales performance. Plus, some industries have long sales cycles, meaning that employees need to be reliable and committed to closing sales over extended periods.
It’s also a matter of costs. When staff turnover is high, recruiting consumes a lot of resources. Particularly for sales, where employees will have to learn about the product or service and learn the sales methodology, among other onboarding processes.
Generally, it’s a mixed bag as to whether senior leaders prioritise sales team well-being. But, given the high staff turnover figures, it’s clear to see that there are improvements to be made in the area of team well-being. However, there is also always a natural turnover rate of staff which differs depending on the industry and location.
Those managers who don’t recognise the importance of well-being are more likely to focus solely on short-term performance and leverage gamification to get there. They will use simple metrics as the barometer of employee worth and focus mostly on extrinsic incentives.
With well-being prioritisation, however, managers are more likely to focus on long-term performance, keeping staff retention high, and catering to both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational needs. To achieve this, communication will work both ways; some gamification may be used but with a sensitivity about which metrics are used to drive the competition.
Being in a high-pressure and metric-driven environment, special efforts need to be taken to balance motivation and well-being in a sales team. Those teams can often feel isolated from other departments and have repetitive, alienating jobs at times. The sales manager’s role is to use their skills and tools like those provided by Salessound to provide good 360-degree management, balancing an environment fostering well-being and the achievement of strong sales performance.
Research findings: Burnout in the sales industry uncrushed survey (Uncrushed.org (2019))
Why is turnover so high in B2B sales? (Anthony Chaine 2017)
Why well-being in the workplace has never been so important (Saira Khan, The Telegraph, 2020)