Creating a more inclusive and diverse sales team is high on the priority list for many companies. Not only has it been proven to boost profits, but it positively contributes to company culture, increases creativity, and promotes better problem solving.
If you are wondering whether your sales team needs an influx of diversity, that probably means it does. Here are 4 questions to ask yourself so you can know for sure.
1. Does Your Management Team All Look Alike?
The diversity of a business is usually reflected in its upper management. If you look around the room at an executive meeting and it’s all middle-aged men, that’s not a good sign.
The makeup of managers and executives sends a message to the rest of the company about how much you prioritize diversity. In many companies, there is a lack of women and visible minorities in executive positions. In other cases, all members might have a specific professional background. Watch out for similarities and actively look to add new faces.
2. Are You Always Hearing the Same Responses to the Same Questions?
Diverse sales teams are more innovative and flexible in their approaches. Due to the variety of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences in a diverse team, there is naturally a range of responses to the same question. If you find that your brainstorm sessions and strategy meetings are becoming stale and repetitive, you might be lacking different viewpoints.
Also, if your customers and leads are consistently repeating the same questions or having the same problems, it could be that your salespeople are all selling the same way. They might be all approaching prospects with a similar set of views and outlooks on the market. If all your sales reps are men, for example, they may be highlighting features female prospects are uninterested in and thus not answering their objections in a helpful way.
3. Are Your Meetings Dominated by the Same People Every Time?
No one wants to feel like they are the odd one out. When there is a sense of “sameness” within a sales team, members who are in the minority are less likely to speak up and be heard. If the same people are always coming up with ideas and speaking up, it might be because the others feel out of place.
Diverse sales teams are an excellent foundation for creativity and problem solving. With an increase in the number of viewpoints, everyone feels like they have something new and exciting to contribute. With a reduction in a feeling of majority and minority, everyone feels equal and that their ideas hold more weight.
4. Do You Have High Sales Rep Turnover?
Younger generations place high value on the inclusiveness of their workplaces. A Glassdoor survey found that two-thirds of people see company diversity as a defining factor when making a career decision. Minority groups and millennials in particular value this trait in a potential employer.
If you are noticing candidates are joining your competitors’ sales teams or your reps are leaving after a few months, it might be time to consider a lack of diversity as the cause. Not only does an inclusive office culture entice new employees, but it also helps you retain the ones you have. The above-mentioned survey also concluded that 57 percent of workers think their companies should do more to increase diversity. That’s more than half the workforce who believe these obvious changes need to be made.
Does diversity matter to you? What do you think hiring managers can do to promote an inclusive culture? Share your thoughts in the comments.