When most HR organizations consider conducting employee surveys they generally fall into a few standard categories; on-boarding, exit, engagement or a slightly more modern approach which is pulse surveys (surveying more frequently with less questions, or surveying smaller groups of people at different times).
But to really gain the full benefit of the intelligence of your organization, there's so much more you can do with a survey platform, that will not only inform the more traditional approaches such as engagement, on-boarding or exit, but will help you to deeply understand different groups, or how specific processes are working within the organization. You can go from 50,000 feet to 50, and so on, using targeted surveys for different areas within your company. Here are 5 ways you might not have though of.
#1 Sales Intelligence
You can survey your sales team for engagement, or through an engagement survey, and you may draw some conclusions that there is frustration regarding an internal process, collaboration with a certain group, or managerial issues, but you can dig even deeper. Deploying a sales specific survey will help you get better insights into how your internal processes are or are not working, where there is friction, and ideas about how to improve processes so you can facilitate sales to deliver more revenue faster. Sales is customer facing, but they also need to collaborate with many internal groups to close a deal; marketing, finance, legal, etc. Getting better insights into the health of your sales organization is a great way to leverage surveys, and to build your People Intelligence.
Survey focus areas:
- Is your sales process effective?
- How can it be improved
- Where do Reps need more support?
- How does support, marketing, etc differ by region?
- What are the big challenges your sales organization is facing?
- What are the biggest barriers/objections to overcome?
- What part of the sales process takes the longest time?
#2 Sales and Marketing Alignment
Another way to leverage surveys would be to help drive better Sales and Marketing alignment. More and more Marketing is getting closer to Sales, being present at weekly sales meetings, and so forth, but it's still hard to get actionable insights that are meaningful–and see how those insights compare and change over time. Surveys can be a great way to build alignment between Marketing and Sales, by deploying quarterly surveys as checkpoints. Sales will feel that Marketing actually cares [about their experiences in the field] and Marketing will have hard data to benchmark against and act on. Things Marketing would be interested to know from Sales; if campaigns are effective (by region, how does it vary?) Are we marketing to right customers (who does Sales typically interact with, has thins changed, who are all the parties involved, how does this vary by company size, etc).
Having a quarterly feedback loop that's both qualitative and quantitative will improve trust between Sales and Marketing, increasing alignment between the two groups.
Survey focus areas:
- What content or resources are effective or not
- Where do you need more marketing; top of funnel, middle, etc.
- Are there gaps in sales enablement; content, training, etc.
- Where do the best leads come from?
- Where is there friction in the sales-cycle, how to improve
- Are you marketing to customers in the right way?
- Do you have the right personas?
- How do your buyers buy?
#3 Customer Service Customer services is another valuable area that can be leveraged for actionable insights. We've written about this before, but it's worth mentioning again. Your customer facing employees have a lot of insights around how customers are being serviced on a day-to-day basis and what internal factors may be driving great customer service or hindering it. Like Sales, they are talking to customers everyday, they know them well. Surveys are a great way to measure and track customer service effectiveness. Sometimes employees don't want to be too critical of their organization, if they think they are singled out. The best way to get great results here would be to make it anonymous, and perhaps quarterly to align with up-selling initiatives.
Survey focus areas:
- Are your customers happy when they leave/hang-up
- Are internal processes making it easy for reps to deliver service
- Common complaints and frustrations of customers
- Ideas and feedback from customers
#4 Technology Roll-out (IT, CTO, Business Group, Leadership) If your company is rolling-out a new technology or building one, or even if you're piloting something, it's likely that IT or the business group driving the initiative has a small subset of internal stakeholders, and perhaps a test set of users involved to participate in the rollout of this new technology, but how do you plan to measure the progress? How will you know if it's a success? Well, surveys are a great way to benchmark, and get continuous feedback on any initiative, including a technology rollout. Obviously, it will help if there's a good analytics backend tracking all the metrics and results from these on-going surveys; but getting feedback in an orderly fashion throughout the roll-out, and later, to a greater number of users is invaluable.
Surveying employees around technology usage can be powerful, not only can you get insights around active initiatives, your CTO can quickly get feedback from employees about what cloud applications they are using (probably not the enterprise version) so they can make more informed decisions about what technologies are a no-brainer based on what their employees tell them they are using (even if they are currently breaking company policy) - it's a great way to help manage the cloud revolution and consumerization of IT (from an apps perspective).
Survey focus areas:
- Before and after baselines
- Aligning with goals; better productivity, communication, etc
- Gathering requirements
- Feature sets
- Business needs and challenges