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Navigating a Sales Team through Unpresedented Times

Leading a Sales Team through what is often referred to as a “Black Swan“ event can be one of the most challenging tasks a leader will face. If done right your team will bond and get through it. If done poorly, the consequences for the business can be significant. Below are a few tips on how it can be done right!

  1. Increase communication within the business to communicate status and plans. This is the first step and most important. Communicate, Communicate and Communicate! I cannot emphasis this enough. When an event like Covid19 occurs, our employees are hit with a mountain of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). I would recommend daily huddles for small teams, and a minimum of once weekly for a business. Even if there is nothing big to announce, just providing a status update provides some calm in the teams.

  2. Prioritize what’s critical in the business. As an example, it may be funding or cashflow. Some projects may have to be deferred. Then align the sales activities to the priorities.

  3. Adapt quickly to the environment and then have your sales team focused on communication to the external stakeholders’ and customers. This is often around changes to policy, product or terms. It provides your sales team with a focus aligned to the immediate business needs.

  4. “NO BS”, too many businesses took the approach during the start of Covid19 to communicate both internally and externally that it was “business as usual" and then later on felt the consequences of not being transparent. A mistrust then takes place. The businesses that were transparent to their employees and market adapted and were quicker to recover.

  5. Norm amongst the storm. When an event like Covid19 occurs, it puts a lot of stress on humans for obvious reasons. Decisions in both personal and business can become overwhelming. Each individual reacts differently under pressure and you may find some of your team struggle within their roles during this time and procrastinate on some decisions.

Leaders are best to “take the lead” at these times with clear and concise directions. Under normal conditions, you may have a more open leadership style, however in uncertain times your team may respond to a more direct approach.

Many businesses respond well in uncertain markets. Black Swan moments can actually create opportunities. If a sales team are quick to act and maximize opportunities it can drive great momentum. For more tips on the above or a defined high performing sales structure in your business, reach out to us today.

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