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sales employee experience programs
December 14, 2021

Why You Have to Level Up Your Sales Employee Experience During The Great Resignation

sales employee experience programs

You’ve heard of The Great Resignation. With more open positions and options to work where and when they like, employees are leaving companies in record numbers. In August 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs.

In these turbulent times, organizations must focus on retaining employees by helping each person do and be their best. That focus is what employee experience (EX) is all about.

At a recent Allego webinar, Josh Bersin, global HR industry analyst, and Kathi Enderes, Vice President Research at The Josh Bersin Company, and I discussed the findings from a recent report: The Sales Employee Experience: Driving Collaboration, Community, and Outcomes.

Bersin and Enderes shared the challenges organizations face right now, what successful companies are doing to improve sales employee experience, and the impact of sales enablement on employee experience.

Salespeople Are Facing Greater Stressors

Employees in many organizations are experiencing higher levels of stress. While the changes brought about by the pandemic are a big part of this, other stressors have been brewing for years, particularly in sales.

It’s a tough climate for sellers. Digital transformation, shifting markets, slimmer budgets, changing business priorities, and growing customer expectations are changing the game for sales organizations everywhere.

B2B buyers are harder to reach and B2B sales are more complex than ever, often taking months (even years) and numerous touchpoints to close.

In the past three years, there’s been an explosion of digital tools to support sales. While these technologies intend to help salespeople sell better, managing the sheer number of applications is often overwhelming.

The advent of the “creator economy” also adds to the stress. Content is only a click away, yet it may not be the right content for the salesperson to use in that sales moment.

Overshadowing all these stressors is the recent job market. In the wake of the pandemic, the job market has changed. With many companies working in hybrid situations, sellers are navigating new territory when it comes to prospecting and buyer engagement.

6 Elements of Employee Experience

The Bersin Company’s VP of Research Kathi Enderes surveyed 1,000 companies to measure the impact that employee experience has on an organization. This survey analyzed the impact of the six elements of successful EX:

  1. meaningful work
  2. strong management
  3. positive workplace
  4. health and wellbeing
  5. growth opportunity
  6. trust in the organization

The survey showed that EX programs create a “very high” impact on culture, trust, and a sense of belonging. Employees understand the mission of the organization and the leadership behind it. They are part of a team and have supportive coworkers.

The next level of “high” impact occurred in growth, the opportunity to learn, and personal recognition. Also included in this level are supportive coworkers and a focus on management development.

Further down the impact scale—but still significant—are areas that include goals, time to focus and renew, and security in all aspects of work.

Compensation, while important, has less return than many expect. Fair and equitable pay was rated very high, but salary was further down on the impact scale.

How Employee Experience Programs Impact Business Performance

“One of the most important changes that has happened in business—and this is a massively transformational thing—is that companies are not trying to design the perfect solution,” says Bersin. “Instead, they are designing programs that can be iteratively improved over time.”

Enderes agrees, noting that once a company starts an EX program, it’s most important to keep at it. Consistency is key. She measured the maturity levels of employee experience programs and the results associated with each level. As a program matures, it has a greater impact on business performance.

  • Transactional Efficiency: Most companies start their EX program here, focusing on tactical areas with employees and making things as easy as possible. Companies that have focused on this level see small improvements in business, people, and innovation outcomes.
  • Supportive Environment: A more mature program creates trust in leaders and creates an environment that supports collaboration among the entire organization. Companies that had reached this level of EX maturity saw a 65% improvement in business outcomes.
  • Purpose-Driven Business: This next level builds on the previous two, adding a focus on mission and purpose in all interactions and a value-based leadership model. Organizations at this level of EX maturity report a 76% improvement in business outcomes and a 70% improvement in people outcomes.
  • Equitable Growth: Companies at the equitable growth level of EX experience a sense of growth and authenticity in employees and the company. Teams can learn from mistakes—companies at this level report an 85% improvement in people outcomes and 81% improvement in innovation.

The Power of Sales Enablement in Employee Experience

Bersin surveyed our customers about their use of Allego’s all-in-one sales enablement platform to create successful EX programs with the flexibility and consistency needed to ensure success. Although these organizations face different business challenges, all share three common goals: building knowledge, growing skills, and motivating sales teams.

Bersin found that without a sales enablement platform, it’s challenging to create an effective employee experience program. Here are Bersin’s tips for getting started:

  1. Start with a needs assessment to determine the most significant experience gaps in your sales teams.
  2. Enroll sales leaders in the process early on and incentivize them to use the tool and stay engaged. They will be an integral part of making your sales enablement solution a success.
  3. Research companies like yours that face similar challenges. Talk to users about their experience using the solution and bring that feedback into your implementation.
  4. Determine how to measure success and what sort of analytics you’ll need to demonstrate that success. To make the process iterative, consider adding satisfaction surveys to understand what’s working and needs improvement.

Allego Allows Access to Knowledge in the Flow of Work

Bersin’s research shows how essential knowledge is to EX. But today, knowledge management is not just about databases and searching for information.

“We’re moving from a database approach to a human-centered approach. It’s a pull but also about push and not just about content, but also about experts,” says Enderes.

Allego customer CloudHealth at VMware created sales consistency by categorizing and housing all its information within the Allego sales enablement platform. “Our sellers know that if they want something, it’s in there,” says Susie Mayshar, Senior Sales Enablement Manager at CloudHealth by VMware. “Additionally, managers request content they can post and share within a week’s time.”

Another knowledge-sharing example comes from a large investment firm. This organization had “tribal knowledge” that was inaccessible because it lived in people’s heads. Using Allego’s platform, the sales enablement team empowered their sellers to create bite-sized videos of their knowledge and share it widely with other salespeople. The knowledge is now at the seller’s fingertips whenever they need it.

Allego Grows Skills and Capabilities

Growth and development are critical to a positive EX. Yet, it is often hard to give or get coaching and feedback when it’s needed most—in the flow of work. The advanced learning tools of Allego’s sales enablement platform address this challenge by incorporating coaching into the seller’s work.

For example, Allego customer Finastra, a FinTech company, lacked consistency in sellers’ pitches because they were a global company with a distributed sales force. The company had people record their calls and boosted message learning through remote coaching, AI coaching, and practice sessions. Finastra saw more consistency in sales pitches and sales behaviors, and sellers felt more supported.

Allego Builds Collaboration and Motivation

In this hybrid and remote world, salespeople often feel disconnected. They can’t share their win stories with others in the office, collaborate with the team, or receive a handshake from leadership. Yet, that sense of inclusion and belonging is key to a positive EX, driving all sorts of outcomes, including business performance and innovation.

To create this sense of community, all three Allego customers use their sales enablement platform as a hub of collaboration. There they can share win stories, learning, and best practices.

Bersin also reported that the Allego customers he surveyed onboard new hires in cohorts in which people can share insights and participate in competitions and group challenges. This collaboration creates peer-to-peer connections that make people feel like they belong. Connected sellers feel motivated to do good work and drive business growth forward.

Learn More

To learn how to keep your sales teams engaged, click here to watch on-demand: The Sales Employee Experience: Driving Learning and Collaboration for Best Results.

Download your copy of The Josh Bersin Company’s report The Sales Employee Experience: Driving Collaboration, Community, and Outcomes.

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