Leading Your Team Post-COVID Recovery
In the last two years, COVID has significantly impacted every aspect of our lives. With the advent of vaccines and drugs to fight COVID, there is optimism that the worst is behind us. With the number of cases dropping and governments easing restrictions, we are now entering a new phase of the pandemic, namely post-COVID recovery.
How Can Sales Leaders Accelerate Their Sales Post COVID?
To answer this question, we must understand what has changed in terms of customer expectations. The biggest impact of COVID was that salespeople were not able to meet customers face-to-face. Sales calls and conferences went virtual. Over the last two years, your reps have improved the quality of their virtual calls, although most would say that face-to-face is much more effective.
Sales leaders from various industries have told me that a hybrid sales model is here to stay as virtual sales calls are more efficient in terms of travel time and associated costs.
Over the last two years, sales managers have had to be agile in transforming their sales model and engaging their team through COVID. It was tough to set quotas accurately and to measure sales force productivity. Many sales organizations backed off on activity-based indicators and were understanding for shortfalls in sales.
As we enter post-Covid recovery, there will now be a shift in expectations in both activity and results. The question one needs to ask is “Are you ready to lead and manage in the post COVID world?” Your skills and resilience are going to be tested.
What Does That Mean for the Smart and Hungry Sales Leader?
There are two principles you can employ right now: 1. Seek to understand your customers’ reality, and 2. Inspire your salespeople to perform better.
It is vital that you reconnect with your key customers for the sole purpose of understanding their expectations and needs post-COVID. Here are five simple questions you can ask to open the conversation.
1. How can your salespeople deliver extreme value?
2. What are their preferred means of communication?
3. How has your company performed over the last 2 years?
4. What are their post-COVID challenges?
5. What are their post-COVID priorities?
Sales reps have experienced changes in daily routines, increased stress and mental health challenges which have resulted in retention issues. As the sales world transitions to a post-COVID world, these people’s challenges will not go away. It is up to you as the leader to inspire your salespeople on a daily basis so they can compete and win.
Here are five simple things you can do to inspire your salespeople:
1. Show gratitude and appreciation for a job well done
2. Celebrate small and large successes
3. Understand their “why”
4. Empower them to do their job
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Check out my 4-part series, Leading Your Team to Accelerate Sales Post-COVID where I will explore how sales managers can effectively lead and manage their sales teams in four focus areas: coaching, hiring, expectations, and engagement.
In the next installment, I will cover how to adapt your sales coaching in the post-COVID world.