When daily routine, work life, and business have been upended by a crisis, you’re suddenly faced with the task of establishing a new normal for your sales team. How you lead during this crisis will determine how well your sales force is positioned for success when the situation recovers.
As your team turns to you for guidance, the best way you can offer support is to nurture a strong sales culture – the attitudes, behaviors, and values consistently demonstrated by your sales team. A strong culture will help your team stay motivated and engaged during this time.
To start, take stock of your current sales culture. Your sales culture plan for this year serves as a great guide. Reflect on each element to determine what stays the same and what needs to adapt given the current reality. Then, you’re ready for action.
Be a Great Sales Coach
Although your schedule is likely hectic right now, it’s critical that you dedicate time to managing your sales team. One-on-one coaching conversations help salespeople build confidence and skills, with the outcome of achieving consistent results.
Adapt your approach to the individual. Together, determine the frequency of your meetings given the current context (e.g., you may want to meet more frequently than usual) and format (e.g., phone call vs. video).
The winning formula to coaching your team is to question better, confirm more, and respond less. Before providing your feedback, encourage your team members to self-reflect – and listen to what they share.
Instill Confidence by Developing Skills
Your sales team will need to be skillful in handling the tough client conversations they’re facing. More than ever, salespeople must be consultative and agile in order to be a good partner.
With work-from-home policies – and, potentially, lighter workloads – in effect, now is an opportunity to fine-tune your team’s sales skills. Explore virtual sales training solutions offered in a series of bite-sized sessions that enable individuals to apply their learning immediately. Training will help your team stay sharp and focused through challenging times.
Engage Your Idle Sales Team
In many industries, buyers will not be making purchase decisions during this crisis. That said, having fewer opportunities doesn’t mean your team should sit idly. Brainstorm together and get creative.
Develop an empathetic approach to selling that reflects company values and respects the sensitive nature of this situation.
Perhaps your product can meet a new need that has arisen in the marketplace. Or, lead with the heart and simply check in on clients instead of trying to sell. Brainstorming with your team will not only bring about tactics that support them, but also generate excitement during a tough sales period.
Build Routine to Stay Connected
Lastly, it’s crucial to your sales culture to maintain rhythm and routine amidst this uncertainty. Communication is more important now than ever, so review your schedule to identify meetings that need to be added or removed.
Determine the format of meetings based on the value they will bring. Not all require video, though face-to-face time with your team creates connection. Calls, messages, and emails will also be helpful as you continue to engage with individuals.
Remember to inject some fun, too. Book informal video calls where a team member hosts a workout, a board game lunch, or coffee time. In formal ways or otherwise, staying connected boosts team morale.
The reality we’re facing right now is complex, and we’re all figuring out how to navigate it. Focusing on your sales culture is the best way to help your team remain strong through adversity. This time of crisis will pass and, when it does, your sales team – and culture – will be more resilient than ever.
To learn more about driving sales culture, visit doubledigitsales.com.