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Good leadership is undoubtedly a natural antidote to any crisis; emotional, economic or even pandemic. Sales team leaderships have recently been forced to mutate, a bit due to the economic crisis and the other due to telecommuting.
For all of us who are fortunate enough to be in charge of a sales team, undoubtedly leading in times of change is even more challenging and strange, and in this installment I would like to share with you -that you also lead sales teams-, what in my Opinion is the 5 C’s (as in Marketing ) of the new business leader in turbulent times.
1.- Certainty. Surely you are wondering about how to lead in uncertain times precisely with the opposite, with CERTEZAS. Even though you are in the eye of the hurricane, there will always be absolute truths, and you should focus your strategies on “what is there.” For sharing an example; around the question about When will they return to face-to-face activities? An answer that conveys certainty is “not before the third trimester.” Following the example, although you do not really have an exact answer, you are indirectly giving certainty about an expectation, since you are confirming a time window that confirms “not before July”. Sales consultants will often be able to find a “stone in the shoe”, it is our job as leaders to give certainty about the things that we can control and take advantage of.
2.- Cure content. Have you heard the term infodemic? According to Wikipedia, the infodemic consists of an excess of information on a specific topic. Today more than ever we are overwhelmed by the amount of information we receive, it is shocking to see that today, for example, I receive 40% more emails than a year ago, all informative and valuable, but they are SOOOOOO many that you no longer know which one to attend to. This excess of information greatly affects sellers; It generates a lot of confusion about which product is the one that is in promotion, or with which card you have months without interest, etc.
Image via Unsplash.
The job of the commercial leader in times of infodemic will be to curate the content that you share with your team. To broadcast it, you first have to curate it, make profiles in your distribution list so that it only reaches those you know they are interested in and not everyone, synthesize the information, break it down, use bold, emojis or infographics. This will help you to communicate the news, promotions or changes to your commercial team in a much more summarized, visual and focused way.
3.- Complicity. Your sales team is an accomplice of your result 100%, you can never transcend as an excellent commercial leader without meeting sales quotas, achieving growth or gaining market share; the success of the business leader will always be associated with results . The complicity that you manage to generate with your team is essential to achieve them, you will have to be more aware and receptive to transforming things as you did before #telework, it is likely that your most productive meeting can no longer be in the morning (now it will be in the afternoon) or that you have to record your meetings; Identify the challenges that your team faces, and I do not mean the natural challenges of selling, but those that complicate their daily life, children at home, the digital curve in some of them, etc. Today more than ever you must be sensitive to their situation and act accordingly. Every time you have the opportunity to do so, ask honestly “How are you? How are you feeling? Is everything okay at home?”
4.- Camaraderie. Teamwork will always be ideal to achieve the best results. Collaboration has two aspects, that of helping individually and that of helping collectively, generating group recognition. For the first (help) you will reinforce the technical or commercial knowledge of those who need it most; for example, receiving support or training from those who master product X. This aspect generates that your team now has 2 experts.
The second aspect (that of recognition) is even more powerful, because instead of isolating that help to a particular person, you extend it to the whole team and as an additional benefit the person you have chosen to give this workshop or talk will receive from you an “apapacho” and the title of expert among his colleagues; that’s not counting the satisfaction of helping. Believe it or not, there are tons of people on your sales team eager to help others, you just have to ask.
5.- Training 24/7. Sales teams naturally have disparate schedules, where a meeting with a client will theoretically always be a much higher priority than attending a training meeting. As a business leader, you will have to do a mix of how you train and inform your team. A trained sales team is obviously more effective than one that is not. To cite an example, during 2019 the group training sessions in my office had an attendance rating of 40%, that is, only 4 out of 10 attended, on the contrary during 2020 and so far in 2021, that rating changed to 62 % during the meeting time, rises an additional 14% sharing the recorded meeting, in other words we went from 4 to almost 8 people who attend our meetings (a 90% improvement). For the remaining 24% we are constantly recording ourselves to offer them on-demand training sessions on our YouTube channel.
Remote and recorded training is not only brutally more efficient, but it also allows you to generate valuable content for those who could not be there for an agenda item or for those who wish to return at any time to reinforce their knowledge.
Join your team and multiply your scope … the 5 C’s of the commercial leader in times of crisis.