Good sellers are always on the move. They prefer to meet customers face to face. However, with the impact of the COVID 19 virus, this is no longer possible for many sellers as we focus on putting health first. There are many questions and articles trying to predict what this means for sales as many are seeing a slowdown in transactions. For leaders, the challenge is keeping the sales team motivated, productive, and earning when their customers are not signing checks.
I believe we will see a strong rallying economic response as we get to grips with the virus and will be stronger as a result. But how do you ensure you are keeping your key revenue generating athletes in shape and ready to help when the economy fires up again?
Here are 10 things you can be doing to help your sellers through these challenging times.
- Continue regular weekly sales calls:
People like to stay connected and meet with others. Keep regular sales calls with the team but don’t just review the forecast, try to include a personal check-in too. Ask them how they are coping, allow them to express their concerns, and ask how you can help.
- Ask sellers to reach out to their customers and prospects:
Everyone is worried, anxious, and uncertain – your customers and prospects included. Now is an excellent time to reach out to them, reassure them you are still just on the end of an email and check in on them. They will appreciate connecting with you, and this will go a long way in strengthening customer relationships.
- Build sales and account plans for existing customers and new prospects:
When salespeople are traveling, meeting with customers, and chasing the next sales deal, there is little time for sales planning. As a leader, encourage individuals on the team to spend time now building account plans, researching customers and developing a sales plan to position themselves in the future better when things begin to return to normal.
- Do your homework:
The market and competitors continuously change. It’s hard to keep up daily. It would be wise for sales and marketing to collaborate on market trends and competitive intelligence. It’s a time to step back and develop a solid understanding of what trends are impacting your customers, are there new regulations that are unfolding, what are your customer pain points and how do your products/services help provide a resolution. Sales leaders would be wise to have their sales and marketing teams focus on competitive intelligence as well.
- Invest in learning and knowledge:
Who has time to invest in education and developing their understanding of the products and services we sell. This is an excellent time to have the sales team take product/services training, develop in-depth product knowledge, spend time learning new sales approaches, and methodologies.
- Experiment with new sales pitches, POV’s, and value propositions:
One sales pitch, point-of-view, or value proposition might be more effective than another. These are all things that salespeople need to continually develop and experiment with until they find the right balance that resonates with customers. Sales leaders might consider some collaboration activities with the sales team making them more productive in the future.
- Get Social:
Digital selling has been a topic that has risen to the top for many organizations. The buyer of today has likely researched your products in advance of scheduling a call with any seller. Customers look for thought leadership articles, new trends in the market, and direction from organizations that solve their pain points/issues. As a sales leader, it’s time to step up. Look for ways to help the sales team become more active on social media.
- Schedule sales peer-to-peer calls:
Salespeople like to be number one. They are competitive. They want to win. Sales leaders should consider having the sales team schedule peer-to-peer calls where two or more salespeople connect and collaborate on what works, what doesn’t. Have them talk through their sales approach and methodology. See if there are any similarities with a deal that was won in the past and a contract that the sales team is trying to close.
- Take ‘Emotional Intelligence’ training:
Everyone handles a crisis like this differently, so it is essential to understand other’s feelings.Emotional Intelligence training helps salespeople speak and connect with customers while considering their feelings and perspectives at this challenging time.
- Exercise, eat healthily and ensure wellness:
When we feel our best is when we have looked after ourselves. Sales leaders should encourage their salespeople to take time for themselves – to exercise, eat healthily, and ensure they are managing their own wellness.
Many sales teams are thinking about revising targets, preparing for lower demand and looking at updating plans to reflect these uncertain times. What are the steps you and your organization are taking to continue to increase sales morale, productivity and assurance?
For more ideas and suggestions on how to impact Sales Performance Management today, reach out and we’d be happy to assist you.