Blog | Employee Incentive Information | Performance Management | Divvy

How to hire and retain a sales champion

Behind every company’s increase in market share there is at least one sales champion. They’re people who understand human needs, communicate clearly, and know how to gain a buyer’s trust. Some sales champions have gone on to become very successful business owners and teachers. Great sales people are made. Anyone can become successful in selling. All it takes is the right training. Right? Maybe—but it’s not as simple as that. To make it in sales (or anything else), you must bring a big desire and a clear reason for wanting to become a salesperson.

Unfortunately, employers often overlook these inner ingredients during the hiring process. Many sales managers still make the mistake of hiring a salesperson because they were swayed largely by their resume, looks, dress, and talk. They believe this is all that is necessary to mold them into a grand producer. With just a little training, you can send them off to conquer the marketplace. When minimum emphasis is placed on what’s behind the nice suit and smooth talk, you will shoot yourself in the foot. The interview process should be your opportunity to get a holistic picture before signing them on.

How can you use the interviewing process to better know if the person sitting across from you has those inner traits necessary to make a good candidate? If great sales people are made, this does not override your responsibility as a manager to conduct a thorough and complete interview. Lacking certain basic intrinsic ingredients will guarantee that your potential sales rockstar will fail and quit soon after. And turnover is time-consuming and costly for your company.

Advances in communication and social media technology can give your sales team incredible access to analytics on your prospect’s behavior, interests, and needs. It’s useful information that can result in creating different sales strategies—strategies that can even produce higher conversion rates. However, relying mostly on analytics as your assurance to close a sale or keep a customer loyal is a trap.  

The art of selling is simple but demands superlative care and persistence. Selling is very rewarding and profitable but it’s hard work. Speak with any experienced, successful salesperson and they will tell you that without these “internal” qualities, disappointments and failures will end your career quickly. Sales success requires a deeper motivation. Sales training then becomes easier and more effective because your student brings the right stuff and willingly embraces knowledge and personal growth. Start with identifying your student’s desire level and go from there.

How can you find out if your applicant is the one you’re looking for? How can you save time during the interview process and make the right hiring decision? What are the best sales training methods? How can you retain your sales champion once you've found them?

Topics: Loyalty Employee Engagement Sales Performance Performance employee training Sales Recognition Reward Taico Incentive Services

Workplace conflict—where to find the silver lining

There are many reasons why conflicts occur in the workplace. Even the most enlightened among us might actually be the source of some of it. How do we start off our day? What outside influences do we allow to get into our psyche? We can, inadvertently, bring our morning edginess into the office along with our low tolerance for disagreement or opposition.

I remember one cold, rainy autumn morning last year—I hadn’t slept great the night before. The town had decided it would start a construction project outside my window at 6 am. Facing me at the office was a mountain of paper work that had to get done and a big meeting with a new client who promised to bring tons of demands. OK, client demands come with the territory. But then my electricity went out in the middle of a shower and my office manager called to let me know her daughter was very sick and she would be out for the rest of the week. My clock alarm wouldn’t shut up. By this time, I had amassed a nice headache. I was ready for a conflict—not good for anyone. (By the way, I don’t recommend checking emails first thing in the morning either. Spam will annoy you, urgent messages will stress you, and being reminded of something you didn’t finish yet will give you guilt.) In the end, everything worked out OK that day and I didn’t have to take an aspirin. Thank God for counting to ten and taking a deep breath! But a bad day is a common reality that we all have to deal with at some time—but how we choose to allow it to affect our work also affects everyone around us.

When conflict happens, morale gets lowered and absenteeism goes up—undermining your creativity and productivity. But all conflict is not destructive. Sometimes it can be a sign of commitment to a cause or a passion about something positive. There can be a silver lining around every conflict when we understand what it is and how to turn it around.

Topics: employees Workplace conflict Communication Loyalty Employee Retention Employee Recognition Recognition

Customer Loyalty. How to get some.

Losing a customer remains at the top of an organization's nemesis. Gaining a new customer on one hand but watching an existing customer leave you is like pouring fine wine in a glass with no bottom. Depending on the industry you are in, it takes big money and time to win a customer. Do you know what its costing you? Lets face it, keeping a customer is less expensive than finding one. Research by business consultants firm The Brookeside Group and the author of "Great or Poor" Guy Arnold, conclude that companies can boost profits by as much as 85 percent by focusing on why clients stay with you. Customer loyalty can also have the same impact as reducing operating costs by as much as 10 percent. American Express weighs in with their findings. "Consumers are willing to pay an average of 36 per cent more for a decent pub meal if the service, food and atmosphere are of a high standard." Unfortunately many larger organizations still put their bucks into huge sales and marketing initiatives but cut back, to their peril, on customer service analysis and training of employees.
When it comes to boosting customer loyalty, bigger companies don't always know better. 
The good news is that you can dramatically improve your own customer loyalty by understanding the impact your workplace culture has on customer retention.
Here we will map out some simple observations to put you on the right course toward employee engagement and customers remaining on board.

Topics: Communication Loyalty Employee Engagement Loyalty Programs Sales Performance wellness programs Performance employee training Social Engagment Tools

Why employees join you in the first place!

"I have yet to understand the dynamic here. We followed best interview practices and went forward to hire a wonderful team of talented, enthusiastic software developers. We provided them with a flexible work environment and top pay. After 3 months, half of them decided to jump ship and go with a competitor. Finding quality technicians is not so easy. These kinds of experiences dumbfound me and threaten my client base."
Not an uncommon storyline for employers today. Of course I could easily pontificate and play sideline pundit. I could tell this employer the reason much of his tech team left him was because he did not adequately engage and motivate them. Maybe so, maybe not. Fact is that incenti-vizing your workforce is not a cut and dry process. There are no magic bullets or cookie cutter solutions or that perfect gift award that will guarantee you loyalty. You can, however strengthen your level of employee loyalty, performance and community by understanding an often overlooked truth.
The reasons why talent joins you in the first place?  Here are some answers.

I have always emphasized to clients how vital it is to ask good questions during the interview process to determine the quality of your hire. For certain there is much you can learn from a candidate. Will they be right for your organization?

Topics: retaining your valued employees Service Awards Communication Incentives Loyalty Employee Engagement Loyalty Programs Safety Employee Retention Sales Incentives

Why employees bail out. What you need to know about retention!

When a valued employee jumps your ship it can have disruptive consequences for your organization's direction and the moral of your workforce. Depending on the role of the employee, the difficulty of replacing them and the costs of retraining can be large.
Often the question from the top is: Why are my employees leaving?
Much has been written about this topic. Many employers still hold to the illusion that with unemployment figures so high, employees will stay on no matter what. If you have your finger on the pulse you know, employee turnover can be costly, time consuming and almost brutal. Almost a quarter of your employees will quit this year. You can greatly curtail employee turnover by understanding a few things now. If you want to improve retention and protect your most valuable asset, your workforce, here are some things you should take stock of immediately.

Topics: employee incentive program Communication Loyalty Loyalty Programs Employee Retention

FAQ#2 What is the best employee, incentive, engagement strategy?

Once you and your incentive planners have narrowed down the performance criteria areas you want to improve on, its time to strategize the implementation of your program.
Step 1: Recognize and reward your incentive planning team for having already identified the areas that need improvement, setting your incentive goals and establishing the gauges to measure your progress.

Next, why not announce a breakfast, lunch or dinner meeting with your planning team. At this meeting review all the ideas you have so far.  Begin talks on your strategy. How do we go about implementing our performance improvement program?

Underlining your strategy discussions should be some truths to keep in mind about you and the individuals you are engaging and motivating toward improved performance. As humans we all value our ability to make our own choices. We generally make those choices based on our feelings about things and not always based on logic. This shouldn’t represent a bad or good thing but a fact of the human condition. Why do we do what we do? What causes us to help someone out, or work at a particular place, or even get out of bed on a rainy Monday morning, go to work and do an awesome job that day? What motivates us is at the heart of our actions.
Yes, there are a plethora of things that work together to help us form the choices we make. Some are so ingrained that they no longer feel like choices. We roll out of bed without seriously considering the alternative of staying there. We skip breakfast because we're not hungry, or because the clock tells us that we are already running late. Perhaps unconscious choices but choices non-the less.

Topics: Communication Loyalty Employee Engagement Employee Recognition Sales Performance Performance Employee Incentive Programs

Success stories from the employee engagement, motivation archives!

Amazing how many wonderful success stories there are that illustrate the importance and effectiveness of employee engagement and recognition. Showing tangible appreciation can be a low cost or no cost initiative. Yet even today, many managers still do not understand the potential power they have in their hands that will improve performance in their workplace. Sadly, many business leaders still choose to remain blind to this fundamental principle of human behavior.

Topics: Loyalty Employee Retention Sales Performance wellness programs Performance employee training Employee Incentive Programs incentive program

"Implement employee incentives? Are you kidding? In this economy?"

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