It is no secret that Sales Management has been in a state of change due to a variety disruptive factors over the past two decades. We have all heard the phrase, “The only constant is change”. While this is true, the real challenge is the rate of change.
The “New Normal” is not change itself, rather it is the rate of change that we have to adapt and respond to.
The current COVID-19 crisis has brought this challenge to life. Literally, overnight “future” disruption was upon us and our main thoughts center on PPP, SBA, social distancing, isolation, our families, our employees, staying well, remote work etc. The impact on all our lives is real. We are truly in this together.
So how can we possibly focus on market retention and future growth?
The answer is within familiar concepts that we must develop and execute upon daily and immediately. With this new urgency in mind, we must also execute on these principles with a more human tone and thought than we ever have. One positive outcome to our current health and economic crisis is that we are ALL reminded of how dependent that we truly are on each other. Regardless of your position, we all play a vital role in our mutual success. With that said, below you will find a few key items to focus on as we work to maintain and grow market share.
· Digital Prospecting – back in the day prospecting consisted of a phone book, a full tank of gas, a map, a sample bag and a can-do attitude. In today’s world, the can-do attitude still applies, but, the rest has changed. While I do think that door to door prospecting has value, it should be used sparingly and with traditional influencer and customer referral networks, as well as, newer digital techniques. LinkedIn, Twitter and other Social Media platforms can give us insight into multiple touch points in the same organization and allows us to cultivate a variety of relationships that would otherwise be more challenging to develop. Building a digital process that can easily connect with your CRM database is critical in our current environment.
· Remote Teams – embrace it. Employees and candidates are going to demand the flexibility to work remotely. It was happening before COVID-19 and is only going to accelerate. Continue to build team through your e-conference tool of choice. The key here is to develop accountability measurements that each individual buys into and can achieve. Leading indicators are key KPI’s for successful Sales Management. Consider developing new leading indicator KPI’s.
· Messaging – work to develop a message that is both human and drives the point home about, How you are unique? How you deliver? And of course, Why you? Make sure that this messaging is LOUD and CLEAR internally before externally. Business as usual from a sales perspective has changed. Blending your messaging with the Inside, Outside, Customer Service and Marketing teams is essential. Tying the message into daily process builds winning habits.
Positive Coaching for Team Development
· Compassion – Your teams want to know that you care about them, their families and the team. True compassion lives within our actions to help each other daily. Develop a team mission and develop habits to live it together. Values on the wall or the website are great, however, do you have a process to make sure that they are fulfilled daily throughout the organization?
· Drive for Excellence – this is not perfection. Perfection is a myth; we simply want ourselves and our teams to get better every day. The question is, what is the team driving towards? How do we measure it? This is vision creation.
· Vision – create a vision that you can see and that your teams live to help you achieve, why, because you have articulated the vision and they see it through your passion.