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well or not. It is important to create actionable, sustainable goals
for each of your salespeople, and hold them accountable. The best
way to engage a salesperson is to include them in strategic planning
— and to share the rewards of any successes.
Engaged Salespeople, Successful Company
“To be truly effective, there has to be a congruence between the
way the company operates and the way the salesperson operates,
otherwise there will be feelings of frustration and that salesperson
will not be there too long,” says Athan.
Salespeople need to be engaged in order to invest their time
and energy in a company. Offering them the chance to buy in –
either with employee ownership plans or even just through input
and brainstorming – allows them to feel like they are part of the
organization and part of its success.
“Salespeople want to be recognized for their contribution
to the company. To encourage loyalty and longevity, make the
salesman feel a true sense of ownership and desire to continue the
company’s mission,” says Athan.
We often view the longevity of our employees as a cornerstone
piece of data that our organization is succeeding. Beveridge chal-
lenges us to flip the issue on its head. If your organization has a
loyal staff but is still not successful, maybe longevity is not a good
thing for your company. “Longevity and stability can be a good
thing or a bad thing. There are some distributors out there who
have embraced longevity and stability to the point where it is a
negative in their organization. While the business has changed
and the market has changed, they have individuals in their organi-
zation that have refused to grow,” says Beveridge.
Creating a company culture and educating and engaging your
salespeople are just three ways that you can show your employ-
ees that you really and truly care. In fact, making sure that they
know you care can be the key to building a successful business and
keeping customers happy. “People appreciate the fact that we
care. We care about them throughout the interview process and
the on-boarding process because we want them to succeed,” says
Abbot. “Successful employees equals happy customers.”
Of course, in the case of Earnest Machine, it could also be the breakfast
cereal. “The morning of a new hire’s first day, we hold a welcome break-
fast for them in our break room, featuring their favorite cereal as a child,”
says Abbott. Now that is a unique welcome, and something employees
are sure to remember well into their careers. ID