Today’s post is by Fabio Ronga, CEO of beqom. He drives the company strategy and makes sure everyone understands it and is equipped to contribute to it.
Next-generational tools are making it easier for businesses to hire and retain salespeople and motivate sales teams. Here are some ways sales managers can leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to create, keep, and incentivize teams to close the sale.
#1: Earn their trust.
To recruit and retain top talent, you need to make sure employees know they’re fairly compensated for their work. Sales managers can leverage AI-driven data to benchmark compensation, identify flight-risk employees, and personalize bonuses and rewards based on an individual’s key motivators – whether cash bonuses or additional vacation time – without having to rely on “gut instinct.”
For example, sales managers 10 years ago might have responded to an employee’s resignation notice with a counter-offer. Today, by using AI and predictive analytics, employers can identify “flight risks” – before they become unhappy employees – based on a variety of factors (a dip in performance, low engagement, frequent tardiness or absenteeism) and take actionable steps to modify those behaviors with incentives such as a bonus, work-from-home benefits, or more vacation time.
Using AI-driven compensation technology can mitigate the risk of employee turnover, which costs businesses as much as 33 percent of a worker’s annual salary to replace them.
#2: Eliminate unconscious bias.
Sales managers can take the guesswork out of rewards, bonuses, and compensation by leveraging AI to create fair and accurate compensation strategies based on education, experience, certifications, and more (but not age or gender).
This is not only key to retaining top talent, but significant when you consider how biases have defined and perpetuated career-debilitating constructs like the gender pay gap. The fact is, employee performance is inextricably linked to a company’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and transparency – with reports showing that the combination of employee engagement and gender diversity resulted in 46 to 58 percent higher financial performance for business units above the median on both engagement and gender diversity.
Finally, when it comes to employee satisfaction and retention, younger generations expect their employers to take a firm stance on issues like diversity and pay equity: Among workers ages 18 to 35, 75 percent expect employers to take a stand on equal rights, climate change, immigration, and constitutional rights.
#3: Boost engagement.
This final step – motivation and engagement through incentivization – is pivotal to accurately reward the sales talent that managers have worked so hard to win. Business leaders and sales managers alike can improve the employee compensation experience – and, ultimately, boost engagement – by applying AI-driven tools like self-service payroll chatbots and natural language processing.
These tools are helpful in various scenarios – from empowering employees to gain a full understanding of how their sales performance impacts their salary, to enabling employees to receive compensation-related answers in real time, to improving HR responsiveness and reducing support costs. For sales teams specifically, this technology can also lead to optimized territory and quota allocations to maximize sales performance.
Providing employees with the tools and transparency to understand how their work is being compensated will not only motivate them to boost performance, but will also help solidify their loyalty to your company.
Improved sales performance is the result of a happier, more motivated, and aligned sales force. These core tenets – trust and transparency, investing in the issues that matter to employees, and fair rewards for hard-earned work – are key to keeping your salespeople motivated and dedicated employees for the long haul.