Maintaining Sales Performance
Seemingly overnight, the business world, as we know it, has changed, albeit temporarily. However, it’s hard not to imagine that some of these changes might become permanent. People, undoubtedly, will find more ways to be productive in a more virtual workspace – and, as I write this, I and my team are still trying to figure out the rules of engagement.
As sales professionals, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what the selling landscape will look like, both in the near, and long term. But two things are certain: We need to find ways to maintain some level of productivity during these heady times of social distancing and economic turmoil; and, though it’s hard to picture now, eventually, the threat will pass, the clouds will part, and we will need to be ready to resume activities in the new normal.
So, what can you do, as a sales manager, to motivate your sales professionals during these times of Zoom meetings, at-home schooling, and isolation?
Here is what we at The Brooks Group are doing.
5 Tips to Sustain Sales Performance
1. Maintaining the Pipeline
The very first thing to do is to shore up those nearly-closed deals that were at the contract stage prior to the onset of the crisis. Will the deal still go forward as scheduled? Can elements of it be implemented? If it needs to be postponed, can a definitive time be set to revisit it? Now is the time to figure out what is going to land, and what needs to remain to circle the airport.
2. Strategize for Future Success
We have a unique opportunity to collaborate with our sales team to do some strategic planning – with a particular focus on those items that tend to get shoved to the back burner when we don’t have time to focus. Of course, you’ll want your plan to account for the uncertainty of the short term; what strategies will need to be deployed in our new normal becomes the reality for an extended period, and of course what to do when a resumption of normal activities seems apparent. Your plan, ideally, should include some daily high-gain activities that will help hold each member of your team accountable, and to be held accountable to.
3. Communicate with Clarity
Establish a system for communicating on a regular basis, using the virtual tools that (hopefully) your company has provided. We can’t get in front of customers and we can’t congregate together, but we certainly can maintain our teamwork and accountability in the virtual world. Use this time to focus on the work at hand, but also to observe how your team is doing – if their body language and tone of voice seems to indicate a lack of enthusiasm or motivation, schedule some one-on-one time to make sure you sales pros know that you care, and are listening.
Though a standing weekly group meeting and regular one-on-ones should be mainstays, consider implementing other little touchpoints during the week – perhaps, as we are doing here at The Brooks Group, a mini huddle twice a week, so we can brainstorm, discuss challenges and successes as a group, and respond to the dynamic and everchanging conditions. The intent here is not to micromanage, but just to get a feel for what your team is seeing, hearing, feeling, and experiencing.
4. Develop Your Professionals
Now is a perfect time to consider personal and professional development activities for your team members. This is the kind of thing that can often get pushed to the side when the bull market is raging, and sales are flooding in. Take advantage of this downtime to consider upskilling your team – both regarding their hard skills and soft skills. We at The Brooks Group have a suite of virtual training options, which you can access to help your team rebound from this downturn stronger than ever.
5. Listen to your Customers
Take this time to re-establish a no-strings-attached, active conversation with your clients. Your posture should be service-minded and consultative – listen and get an understanding of what their biggest challenges are right now. In this regard, you may be able to help them brainstorm solutions that will truly meet their needs and meet the needs of the masses.
Looking to boost the effectiveness and performance of your remote sales team? Our IMPACT Selling Virtual Instructor-Led Sales Training Program is the perfect solution. Our expert facilitators can train your team online from anywhere, in a live, collaborative, virtual classroom. Learn more about our Virtual Instructor-Led Training with our requesting one of our helpful information packets below.
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