Leadership – In challenging times and periods of change, very often the parts of your business that feel this pressure, both internally and externally, are the sales and / or commercial teams. In directing these teams during this period, the successful leader and leadership teams need to be clear in their business objectives and how they wish these objectives (including revised timescales) to be delivered.
Expectations – Leave them as you set them at the beginning of the year at your peril! The world, your customers, your business and employees have all had unforeseen change forced upon them. A more flexible approach to how you conduct business with clients and employee’s will stand you in good stead in the longer term and should generate goodwill on all parts.
Incentives – Sales people thrive on hitting the budget and receiving the incentives that reward this achievement. Be inventive with reward and recognition. Your commercial team are likely to have built their financial position around it, so act now before your competition do. A recent survey found that losing an effective member of the sales team can take almost a year to recover their contribution, even if their replacement is in-situ within a month or so.
Sales Process – take the time to understand how this has changed for your clients and how this is impacting on their view of your performance. Ask yourself, ‘are we an easy company to do business with now and going forward?’ Changes in your clients’ new working practices may help you remove previously sunken and hidden costs in your business. Think automation and digital.
Invest In Your Team – In a recent McKinsey report, two key figures stood out: Firstly, 96% of B2B sales teams have either partially or fully shifted to remote selling – what are you doing so you don’t get left behind and how are you helping your team to be successful? Secondly, 65% of decision makers say the remote model is equally, if not, more effective than what they were doing before the pandemic. It’s well known that businesses who invest in their teams during economic downturns are significantly more likely to exit the downturn faster and more effectively than the competition.