Every quarter we run an informal dinner bringing together 12 to 15 sales leaders to openly discuss their challenges, share best practice and industry trends with their peers.

Here’s a few of the points we took away:

Can values be taught?

Value VS skill-based hiring.

Some of our guests prioritised values over skills at the interview stage as they believe that if an employee aligns with their values, you can always train them to do the job. After all, personal values are the hardest to change. But what do you do if you have a salesperson hitting their number but who doesn’t fit in with your values? Hitting targets is often their key objective so, does it matter?

When it comes to values where does the climate fit in? Prospective employees care.  The recent plethora of information on the war against plastics and David Attenborough documentaries have had a perceived impact on career choices.

Team incentives rather than individual incentives

Incentives go far beyond the monetary bonus given to a salesperson for hitting their target. Support teams are often a function overlooked when it comes to praising performance and increasingly, more benefit schemes and bonus structures are being put in place to support and incentivise the entire company rather than a single department.

As important as the actual incentive is, employers need to understand what drives their entire team of staff and work out what they want to achieve, both as a goal and prize. A keen trend is that of a team experience as opposed to an individual bonus. Perhaps a round of golf, an afternoon tea or for the adventurous, an escape room. Working out what will drive employees will help in forming a culture whereby you incentivise the behaviour and not just the result.

Apart from the motivation of rewarding several people, providing a benefit scheme such as this will provide your marketing team with fantastic content to publicise. A team photo from Top Golf will do far more for your employer brand than simply handing over a cheque to a salesman.

Attracting new talent

Every business owner, team leader and Manager hopes that their colleagues aren’t taking on a job just to pay the bills and watch the clock until the end of the day; employees are looking for a company where they can progress. The new graduates entering the workforce are looking for an employer who enables their career and provides them with development opportunities. Instilling a culture of progression will not only attract and retain talent, but also improve loyalty – from both sides of the working relationship.

If you’re still thinking of how you can win over millennials then you’ve missed the boat. This generation are now holding Director roles and sitting in on these high-level discussions. The group you now need to focus on are Gen-Z. These digital natives have grown up with technology at their fingertips and expect everything to happen instantly. If you’re making a candidate wait 2 weeks whilst you make up your mind, then you’ve already lost them.  A seamless recruitment process, developmental opportunities and an attractive role are just some of the factors you should consider promoting when looking to acquire new talent.

Can you change your culture?

Culture. That pesky buzzword which seems to instil fear in some companies – and maybe that says enough about them. But be mindful, if your company’s rolling around in the dark ages and hasn’t given any consideration to the environment you expect your teams to work in, then you risk losing them.

Not only does changing the culture require action from the top, but also from employees. Sales need to start thinking from a growth perspective rather than maintenance. How can they do more than what is simply required of them to hit their number? Making teams go the extra mile, work with departments outside of theirs and engaging with the marketing team will all help in promoting your brand identity – both internally to staff and externally to potential customers and recruits.

Let’s take this to the next level and throw in diversity. This doesn’t just mean a checkbox of underrepresented groups but, having a range of opinions, creativity and thoughts, to give your organisation a competitive edge. Ensuring a diverse range of views and how employees attack their work will “create cultures of sustainable innovation”.

If you want a motivated workforce then try ensuring you have a fairly bonused, progressive and valued culture. People join companies and leave managers.

If you are looking to extend your team and want to ensure you’re hiring the people who want to progress with you, get in touch with us here.