by Megan Seamans
We’ve all heard the statistic: salespeople only spend ⅓ of their time actually selling. This can easily be blamed on the salespeople themselves but taking a step back, it’s easier to tell what is responsible for the time lost; the leadership. Even the most seasoned salespeople need direction. A well-oiled machine would be nothing without the driver giving it life and direction, and sales teams are no different. We’re letting you in on a little secret, the driving force behind the most efficient teams. Are you ready? Leadership.
This doesn’t simply apply to managers, it includes experienced employees leading the newcomers. It also isn’t all about fine-tuning the sales process, it starts the day a new employee walks into the door and continues throughout their time with a company. Principles of leadership need to be intertwined in every aspect of a company to provide direction for all employees. Are you looking to make your team as efficient as possible? Want to learn how leadership and efficiency can be tied to all aspects of an organization? Read on.
The culture of an organization is important for many reasons. According to LinkedIn, “A strong culture, in which members agree upon and care intensely about organizational values, can improve business performance by motivating employees and coordinating their behavior towards a vision and specific performance goals that benefit the company.” If productivity, support from leadership, and the organization’s goals are firmly instilled in a company’s culture, the employees will embody these traits of efficiency.
The question is, how does a company make efficiency part of the culture? A great first step is to make sure that all employees have a clear understanding of the organization’s goals and what they are doing to support them. Working mindlessly with no purpose can make even the best employees feel disheartened and unproductive. Understanding their specific role in reaching the organization’s goals is motivating to employees to be efficient. Set these goals and then build a culture of expectations – and accountability rises.
Besides the company culture, management has a large impact on company efficiency. Managers have a direct influence on team members, as they are consistently asked for advice. It is management who is most responsible for aligning the team’s performance with the organization’s goals. One way to stay focused is through coaching your team regularly. This will help the team reflect on what has and hasn’t been working, their goals, and how their activities tie into the organization’s vision. Reflecting on past performance and setting new goals while reinforcing old ones helps an employee become more focused on what they should be doing every day, making them more efficient in their daily activities. These coaching sessions should be regular, structured, and repeatable to ensure success.
Lastly, tenured employees have a huge impact on the efficiency of an organization. They set the tone of what efficiency looks like to newer employees. If you start a new job and see that the team members are slacking, it makes it seem fine for the new employees to do the same. On the other hand, if the culture of efficiency and hard work is exemplified through tenured employees, the whole situation can turn around.
One great way for seasoned employees to help set the tone of efficiency is through peer mentorship. This can either be set up by the company or between employees. In addition to coaching sessions, mentoring sets examples of performance expectations to the mentee.
A variety of factors can go into making an organization efficient, but none of these will stick without the proper leadership guiding them. Whether the direction is coming from company culture, managers, or seasoned employees, leadership is vital to an organization running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
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