Human-Centric Sales at Workday: How We Make a Sustainable Impact
Sales is historically a straightforward profession: there is a quota, and it’s the salesperson’s job to meet it. I’ve been in the Tech Sales industry for over 22 years and know that this approach doesn’t always work — for the customer or the salesperson.
When thinking about what makes a successful sale, I come back to the same notions that influence positive human interactions: we want to feel listened to, understood, and know the other person has our best interests in mind. If you’re in sales, this key influence is impacted by the company you sell for and how employees are treated, what expectations are set, and what the company’s sales culture encourages.
I’m Workday’s Managing Director in Germany, and I’m proud of our dedication to our Workmates (what we call Workday employees) as well as our customers. I want to share more about how we approach sales at Workday and what defines our culture.
Leadership Sets the Tone
Workday’s core values — Employees, Customer Service, Innovation, Integrity, Fun, and Profitability — were established early on in the company’s founding. They also have an order of importance, which begins with employees.
We like to say that happy employees equal happy customers, and with leadership’s employee-first focus at Workday, everything that influences a successful sale naturally follows. Workday’s 97% customer satisfaction rate is a testament to our sales approach and how we run our organization.
I like to say that we “don’t sell for the heck of selling.” It means we’re not afraid to step away from deals that don’t make sense for our customers, because we place a high value on customer satisfaction. It’s why I encourage my teammates to be curious and caring towards the people they work with. Curiosity about the customer teaches us what is best for the person we’re helping, and being caring is how we build trust so that we can be a genuine partner to others.
Fostering a Culture of Feedback and Inclusion
Caring about employees means listening to their feedback and building a culture where people feel they belong. This is something we pride ourselves on at Workday, not just because we’ve built a workplace that many consider to be a great place to work, but because we understand that this work is never done. We’re always evaluating and re-evaluating the impact our efforts make.
Workday’s approach to diversity is known as VIBE™ — Value Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity. I’m a part of the VIBE executive council in EMEA, which focuses on bringing more of Workday’s belonging and diversity goals to life in Europe and Africa. A few initiatives we launched in the last year include:
- Develop Future Leaders: Discover future women leaders and support them with opportunities for visibility and exposure, networking, coaching, and skills development.
- Strengths Discovery & Career Enablement: Review how we grow and educate employees on future career opportunities within Workday.
- Reverse Mentoring: Promote empathy, awareness, trust and belonging between women at Workday and our Leadership team.
Building a diverse and inclusive workforce means having processes that enable leaders to develop, promote, and listen to their employees, as well as take action on their feedback. It’s why I’m happy that earlier this year, Workday acquired Peakon, an employee success platform that makes it easier for leaders to understand sentiment trends and act quickly.
Our Workday team in Germany is growing rapidly, which means we need to quickly react and respond to new situations all the time. This is why feedback is critical to our leadership team — we know that an open and honest environment is the key to driving a better business. Peakon has changed the way I make and validate decisions and I constantly check if I am doing the right things by the people I serve.
Committing to Career Development
I believe that Workday is creating better salespeople through our processes, training, and culture. We have our standard training program that teaches people the “Workday Way” of selling, which is largely based on being a great customer advocate. We work hard to meet employees where they are at in their development and customize their growth paths accordingly.
Our sales team helps companies change long-standing business processes, which means our sales cycle can be very involved as we act like consultants to our customers. This can be a different type of sales process than salespeople are used to, which is why we’re committed to creating a trusting environment with our employees and customers.
I think we’ve done an exceptional job of fostering a culture of accountability where employees have a lot of autonomy but also the proper guidance in accomplishing their work. We celebrate each other’s wins, and at the same time, have an environment where employees are confident in taking ownership of times where they learn from their mistakes.
Our approach to sales and career development has led to Workmates closing amazing new customers. Our customers represent some of the largest and most influential organisations around the world, and the best is yet to come.
Our Sales Team is Hiring
Workday is shaping the future of business while helping make people’s work days brighter. We’re always looking for people who are inspired by our mission to join our team.
In Germany, we’re growing a lot in our Sales and Support roles, so I encourage anyone interested to visit Workday’s career page or send me a PM directly.