Is Your Sales Team Engaged Enough to Sell Solutions?

Sales Team Engaged 4 business people cover their faces with "smily face" drawings

Sales Force Engagement
Too many sales leaders are reporting less enthusiasm from their sales force.  The real question to ask – Is your Sales Team Engaged Enough to Sell Solutions?  One study we conducted found that sales reps with high levels of conviction outperformed their counterparts by 12.2%.

It Is Harder To Sell
With each and every solution selling training workshop that we deliver, we hear tales of how much harder it is these days for sales teams to succeed – both internally and externally. Not only is the global economy more complex and intertwined but the local sales landscape has also shifted. More and more customers are buying differently – they are better informed, expect more and arrive farther along in their buying process when they finally connect with a sales rep.

Has Your Sales Team Adjusted?
Many sales teams have not adjusted well to this new way of selling complex solutions. As a result, their sales reps are having a difficult time differentiating their offerings and selling unique solutions or value. The lack of enthusiasm you observe in your sales force is the result of their becoming disengaged due to:

  • Unclear sales strategies
  • Undifferentiated value propositions
  • Increased internal and external administrative and legal hurdles

The sooner you can harness the full potential of your sales force by upgrading their ability to meet today’s challenges, the more enthusiastic and engaged they will be.  So, is your sales team engaged enough?

How to Measure Sales Team Engagement
Our employee engagement survey uses three main drivers to measure sales force engagement.

  • Advocacy – Does your sales team think and speak highly of the organization – its leaders, managers, employees, products, quality and future outlook?
  • Discretionary Effort – Does your sales team think of ways to do their jobs better, improve service delivery and operational efficiency?
  • Intent to Stay – Does your sales team want to be a part of the organization long-term?

Sales Team Are More Disengaged on Average
Would it surprise you to know that having your sales team engaged is not the norm?  Our employee engagement research shows that sales forces consistently lag behind almost all organizational functions in terms of advocacy, discretionary effort and intent to stay.  Why?  Because high performing sales professionals typically have exceedingly high expectations regarding:

  • Being highly rewarded for performance
  • Having clear product, pricing, and solution advantages compared to the competition
  • Believing in the future outlook of success for the company
  • Accessing effective and easy-to-use sales tools, processes and systems

If those expectations are not satisfied, salespeople are at a high risk for disengagement.

The Correlation Between Engagement and Sales
As the growth engine and face of an organization, companies cannot afford to have a disengaged sales force. For every drop in advocacy, discretionary effort and intent to stay, there is a corresponding and direct drop in sales productivity. While the rate of sales productivity decline varies by company and industry, on average, a 10% drop in engagement equates to a 4% drop in sales productivity. This does not even include the hard and soft costs associated with the related sales turnover.

Three Steps to Improve Salesforce Engagement
Sales leaders and managers cannot afford to disregard employee engagement as an “HR Thing.” It is a revenue growth, sales productivity and customer satisfaction thing. If you are concerned about sales engagement and performance, here are three steps we recommend you take:

1.  Revisit Your Sales Strategy
Effective sales strategies are aligned with the overall corporate strategy. Once that alignment is in place, effective go-to-market sales strategies clearly and compellingly outline four areas that should lead to superior sales performance:

  • Your ideal target clients where you should win the majority of the time
  • Your unique value proposition that sets you apart from the pack
  • How you will measure and reward success and failure
  • The specific goals, roles, processes and actions required for success

An unclear sales strategy blurs priorities and trade-offs for sales teams. Unfortunately, most sales teams have just enough of a game plan to stay in the game – but not to win it.  It is difficult to consistently meet sales targets without a clear and meaningful direction. Yet many sales teams are moving too quickly to create and clearly articulate the basics of a solid sales strategy other than quarterly revenue targets.

Some sales leaders say they do not have the time. Others think sales targets combined with pressure and hard work should be enough. But when you ask sales teams, strategic ambiguity reigns. Unfortunately the lack of strategic sales clarity not only hampers short-term sales performance and employee engagement but also long-term sales team health.

You will know you are on the right path when your sales team thinks that your sales strategy is clear enough, believable enough and implementable enough to move forward.

RELATED: Benchmark Your Sales Strategy to See Where You Stand

2.  Revisit Your Sales Culture
Once your sales strategy is clear, it is time to examine your sales culture – how things truly get done. We believe that it is a sales leader’s responsibility to create the circumstances that stimulate improved performance from their sales force.  So how does a sales leader create a sales culture that significantly improves revenue, margin, win-rate, deal size, etc.?

To create a high performance sales culture, be fierce about making sure that every customer-facing person and process knows how they are expected to behave to best execute the sales strategy in terms of customer intimacy, your approach to the market, risk tolerance, decision-making, and results.  Then make sure that the following high performance sales components make sense for your strategy and the plan to make it happen:

  • Performance Measurement: The way sales performance is measured must be clear, understood, credible, relevant, accurate, consistent, timely, transparent, fair and trusted at the organizational, team and individual levels.
  • Rewards, Recognition and Consequences: Each and every motivational component of your rewards and recognition program should have direct cause and effect relationships, be timely, be uniquely customized for your team and situation, be perceived as fair, be proportionate and consistent, be known in advance and be linked to a meaningful reason to stay and perform.  That also means identifying and rewarding top performers and identifying and taking compassionate action with under performers – i.e. improve with your support or leave in a way that makes sense in approximately 90 days.
  • Approach: Your sales structures, processes, practices and technologies should make things better, faster and cheaper for your clients, not be a hindrance to helping them, or your sales force, to succeed.

3.  Revisit Your Sales Talent
Once your sales culture is aligned with your sales strategy, it is time to attract, develop, engage and retain the top sales talent that fits your unique culture and strategy by:

  • Attracting Top Sales Talent: Identify what constitutes a high performer and never settle for less. Always look for high performers who fit your sales culture and strategy. They are worth the wait.
  • Develop Top Sales Talent: Make sure that you identify and quantify the top few sales scenarios that matter most for your unique value proposition and sales strategy along with the critical few sales skills, behaviors and attitudes most correlated to client success. Then use experiential-based solution selling training, targeted sales performance coaching, and training measurement to drive sales performance.
  • Engage and Retain Top Sales Talent: Frequently measure the levels of employee advocacy, discretionary effort and intent to stay within your sales force and visibly take the steps necessary to become a highly engaged sales force.

If you liked reading Is Your Sales Team Engaged Enough to Sell Solutions?, download How to Optimize Your Sales Force in the Face of Increased Performance Pressure 

Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn

Comments are closed.

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.

Maya Paul
HR Director

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal.  They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager


The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources


LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development


Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

Janice Passarello
Director of Human Resources

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office


PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

Evaluate your Performance



Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.


Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.




Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.




First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.



Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.


Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.