Sales Assembly’s Leadership Safari is a monthly collection of tips, trends, and tactics to help you navigate the vast landscape of Revenue Leadership – featuring yours truly, Ranger Christina Brady, Chief Strategy Officer here at Sales Assembly.
Let’s Get Exploring!
Summer slow down?
We’re used to hearing that during the summer, business slows down. Customers are out of the office, and employees are taking some much-needed vacation time. However, there’s often concern around the impact to the company. Rest assured, the “summer slows” is normal, but they don’t have to negatively impact your bottom line.
Proper planning and expectations are everything. Anticipate lower bookings, build it into the plan, and ensure that your leave policy is clear. Because summer is frequently when vacations happen, you may want to add some additional requirements to your leave policy. Some suggestions are; time of notice, length requirements, and preparation requirements. A designated summer vacation and leave policy can help you forecast your revenue impact.
Don’t let a summer slow season catch you off guard!
Can I trust my employees to work when I’m not watching?
With work from home as the new normal or at least part-time work from home, trust is a frequently emerging theme. Leaders often wonder if they can trust their teams to work efficiently and responsibly. In addition, being able to identify coaching opportunities is harder than ever.
Trust is a tricky beast, but any engaged employee at your organization craves it from their leader. The best thing to do is invent the new normal, and develop your policy for qualitative interaction outside the office. Write these policies down, and ensure they are communicated to all employees.
Some examples include:
- Working hours
- Requirements while working
- Example: Must respond to internal outreach within 30 minutes
- Increased 1:1’s
- End of week summaries sent to leader
- Admin requirements
- Forecast due at X time on X day
- Client communication notes in CRM
- Cameras on, and active participation in team meetings
- All meetings on a visible calendar
Create the expectations that you need to be able to remain confident in your team, and inspect those expectations regularly!
Below are a few tips from leading Tech Sales pros throughout our awesome community:
T.J Waldorf: Vice President, Marketing & Customer Success | 1WorldSync
Q: How do you effectively communicate your expectations to your team?
A: As a leader, retaining and growing your employees is one of the most, if not the most, important tasks you have. Not only is it costly to have to replace and train new people, it can really slow momentum.
Many years ago one of my mentors shared his framework for the ‘Four keys to happiness in your job’. This has guided me both in terms of choosing where to work and also what I need to focus on as a leader to deliver happiness to those I’m lucky to work with.
Those four keys to happiness are: 1) Impact, 2) Growth and Development, 3) Financial Reward and 4) Work-Life Balance.
I’ll share a few thoughts on each area:
1.) Impact: People want to work somewhere where they feel they can make an impact and that they are contributing something of value to the business. As a leader, it’s my job to make sure they understand what that impact is and how it ties to the big picture.
2.) Growth and Development: This can mean many different things to different people depending on their personal aspirations. Growth won’t always mean getting promoted into a bigger role. It could mean growing your knowledge or skills in a role you love so you can be more impactful. One of my jobs is to understand what these two words mean to the different people on my team and try to architect ways to support them on their personal journeys. Sometimes easier said than done, but it’s what you sign up for as a leader.
3.) Financial Reward: Do your best as a leader to educate your internal stakeholders on the market conditions, the value of what the employee is delivering, and the potential of what they could deliver with the right support and tools. If you subscribe to Herzberg’s Motivation Theory, the financial aspect of someone’s happiness is oftentimes a ‘hygiene’ factor, so the key here is meeting expectations on those areas I mention above (market, skills, experience, etc). Money isn’t everything, but fair and proper compensation is important.
4.) Work-Life Balance: Last but certainly not least, and an area that has come into sharp focus over the last 18+ months. As leaders, we need to find creative ways to provide flexibility to meet the work-life balance needs of our employees and expect that in return we’ll get the best of them while doing the work we hired them to be great at. Again, this is another term that means different things to different people and leaders need to work hard to understand those variances.
What Truly Drives Retention?
Leadership, Development Opportunities, and Company Culture are the top three drivers of employee retention, which may be a surprise to what is assumed to be the top: Comp and Benefits. While those are important, employees time and time again show that they make career choices based on who is leading them directly, and from the executive level, as well as how strong and embodied the culture is.