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Accountability, Technology

Increase Employee Engagement in Sales Representatives Using Data

Studies have shown that salespeople are most engaged and motivated when they are conducting core activities, such as talking to prospects or working towards closing a deal. Ambition Marketing Director Jeremy Boudinet writes in his article “3 Data-Driven Ways to Increase Salesforce Engagement” that feelings of annoyance and deflation can develop within salespeople when they are doing administrative tasks. To prevent these negative feelings, managers should keep employee engagement levels high by giving their salespeople access to relevant data.

Individual Data Visualization

Boudinet suggests that salespeople work their best when they are able to independently compare their past performances against their current performance. He writes that salespeople are competitive by nature, and that they compete against each other on the basis of quota, their peers, and themselves. He goes on to explain that low engagement becomes prominent when employees are only trying to meet quota, as their primary aim is to stay afloat rather than to become better salespeople. Engagement is slightly increased when employees are contending against each other, but Boudinet warns that this tactic has a “shelf life.” In other words, employees will be engaged when they are trying to outdo their peers, but they will have no intrinsic desire to improve as sales professionals. The highest levels of engagement are achieved when employees are competing against themselves; instead of attempting to measure up to others or make quota, employees’ chief concern is to do better than they did in the past.

In order for salespeople to challenge themselves to do better, they should be able to access data about their own performances whenever they please. Employees are likely to be more engaged in their work if they feel a sense of accountability for it. This is because employees feel more connected to their work, and thus more engaged, if they have the ability to monitor their own performance instead of being told how they’re doing by management. For this reason, organizational leaders should make the effort to implement a software solution that allows employees to track their own progress.

big data for employee engagement

Team Data Visualization

Another way to increase engagement is by making team performance data visible to the entire salesforce, ideally in a digital format. Boudinet points out that doing so aids in providing recognition to top-performers, encouraging collaboration on projects, and promoting healthy competition within teams, all of which boost engagement. Additionally, making performance data publicly known sets the bar for future sales representatives. This practice is especially helpful for remote teams, as it fosters a sense of community and reminds employees of how their individual roles impact the larger organization.

In a separate article, Boudinet describes why employees would rather receive their performance data digitally as opposed to during a face-to-face meeting with management. He discloses that such meetings are cognitively taxing and that employees can interpret managers’ analysis of their work as biased. Therefore, making performance data available online promotes engagement, as employees won’t have to deal with the stress of performance reviews and can cultivate self-accountability.

Advanced Metrics

A third way to enhance engagement is through advanced metrics that recognize employee performance instead of employee productivity. Productivity metrics measure output whereas performance metrics evaluate professional skill. Boudinet notes that both types of metrics complement each other when used together. However, the latter is a better indicator of employees’ abilities, and therefore keeps them more engaged and makes them feel valued. Advanced metrics can include average sales cycle length or lead-to-close ratio. To get started with creating effective performance metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs), download this free KPI Template Toolkit.

Data is a powerful resource that shouldn’t be underestimated. Making performance data accessible to individual representatives enables them to audit their own progress, which promotes accountability. When performance data is visible the whole salesforce, employees are motivated to help the team advance. Finally, advanced metrics let representatives know how valuable their contributions are. When leveraged properly, data can be a great tool for strengthening salesforce engagement.



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Victoria Vessella

Victoria is a Marketing Associate at Repsly, where she leads the company's P.R. and social media efforts. You can also catch her prepping for slew of exciting industry events. A New England native, Victoria has spent time living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe before settling back in Boston. When she's not planning her next trip, V is probably tasting wine or brushing up on her Italian.

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