Written by: Mark Hirschfeld, Vice President, Consulting Services, BI WORLDWIDE
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Sales teams everywhere are being challenged to realign themselves with changing market expectations brought on by the pandemic. This requires strong sales leaders who, according to our research, should be leading with compassion.Scroll Down
Over the past year, we have experienced the dramatic winds of the global pandemic and the associated changes in how we work and do business.
Those winds of change have impacted how buyers want to interact with our sellers and what they buy. Sales teams must be realigned to emerging market expectations and be trained and motivated to address those changes. These changes require strong leadership and, according to our research, the right kind of leadership.
This summer we conducted a study of the workplace perceptions of sales producers. We asked them how they felt about their work experience, focusing on several factors that align with a well-known compassionate leadership model developed by Brad Shuck, PhD, University of Louisville.
Sales reps rated survey items such as:
The results were clear: Sales employees who rate these parts of their work experience and sales leadership highly are, on average, more engaged and inspired than those who don't.
Sales representatives who indicated they had a compassionate sales leader:
We also asked our sales representative panellists about a time when they felt inspired at work. Some showed tremendous creativity and passion in helping customers and advancing the best interests of their employer:
These are outstanding examples of salespeople adjusting their sails to improve their sales.
Some panellists didn't feel as inspired and commented quite differently. Many couldn't identify a time when they were inspired by their work, sadly saying "I've never been inspired". Perhaps even worse, some sales reps reported that leaders were actually taking actions that demoralised them, including not trusting them and, in their view, micromanaging. It wasn't surprising that panellists who weren't inspired reported they were looking for a new job.
Compassionate leadership is the call for our challenging times. When sales employees are more inspired and engaged, they're more likely to produce better sales results.
There are brisk winds out there. Reset the sails of your sales leaders to lead with compassion to experience remarkable results.