Besides all of the hardship that we have faced this year, there will come many changes in the way we do business. One of the most drastic changes will be the way sales leaders, sales managers, directors, and vice presidents are going to have to adapt if they want to be successful in managing their sales teams.
Here are seven things that sales leaders are going too have to do going forward:
- Marketing: If these times have taught us anything it’s that people need marketing now more than ever. Selling is so much easier when people know your name, are able to identify your brand, and what you stand for. I really like the fact that during this pandemic the companies who have seen the value of marketing are doing much better than their less well known competitors. For all of the sales managers who still don’t value marketing…well good luck with that. The time has come, and it is now time to get your name out there and to make sure that you are found!
- Social media: Sorry, you are no longer going to get away with not knowing what “twittering” is or what that “insta whatever is.” And please don’t say that social media is a fad that will go away. You sound like a grouchy old white man when you say that, and the world has just about had enough of grouchy old white men. Social media is not a fad, it is a very effective sales and marketing tool, so get with the program or fail.
- Working remotely: Now that we have had a taste of this it makes sense doesn’t it? For years I have been trying to get salespeople out of the office and in front of customers. The irony is that now that we finally have them out of the office, they can’t go see customers…yet. But they will soon enough, and all I can say is don’t let them back in the office! Speaking of which, there is no reason for customer service and inside salespeople to be in the office either. Get over that. There are some very good professionals you can hire right now if you allow them to work remotely.
- Less Travel: Although I do think we will get back to normal business travel one day soon, we will be more discerning about it. Hopefully, travel for travel’s sake will become a thing of the past. Travel will be more intentional and much more productive.
- Be more innovative: If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, it’s that we have to be more innovative than ever. We have to get out of our ruts of the way we have always done things and find new and more productive ways of doing things. You will have to teach your sales team how to be more innovative as well. You have to teach them to find a way to get that first meeting, to get that first order, to solve that problem on their own.
- Be more intentional: By this I mean being more focused. Paying attention to what is important. We have to find what are the most meaningful things to do and do them more meaningfully. Think back to when life was “normal” and compare that to what you have been doing for the past six months and it will make you realize just how much time you were wasting just going through the motions. Just taking the same old path that had been laid out for you by your predecessors. Break out of that while you can . While the times dictate that you find a way. There is danger in getting back to normal and that is exactly that because the old normal is just not going to cut it anymore.
- Be more flexible: As I have said many times this year, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste and probably one of the more important truths we have learned is that we need to be flexible, we need to adapt to new situations and circumstances as rapidly as they occur. We have had to think on our feet and come up with solutions to problems as rapidly as they have occurred. We had to be…say it with me now FLEXIBLE!
And one more as we always under promise and over deliver. Look at this time as a time of rejuvenation, as a time to hit that reset button and start over fresh. Take more time to plan, heck take more time to think and come up with all kinds of new ideas to be different. The world is ready for that. This pandemic has shaken us to our core. We have had to look at everything from a new and different perspective, all of us…no one has been excluded, we were all put on the same baseline. And now is the time to take advantage of that and reshape our future. It’s up to us, sales leaders…are you ready? It’s only common sense.