America the Virtual… A Sales Transformation or Apocalypse? By Rocky LaGrone

As the sales leader of your business, what should you be thinking about regarding your sales team and what should you do to come out on top?
In this 2 minute read, we are going to answer the following questions: 

Virtual America… sales apocalypse or sales transformation?

As of Friday the 13th of March, America went virtual. All conferences, sporting events, public gatherings, education, trade shows, and travel are canceled for at least 30 days. Social distancing is the ‘in’ thing. Get ready for adding another 30 days to that. Face to face sales meetings are out. No one is going anywhere!   This is the beginning of a transformation for some and a sales apocalypse for others.

As the sales leader of your business what should you be thinking about and what should you do to come out on top?

  • What does this mean for your sales force?
  • What does it mean for your sales managers?
  • What can sales leaders do?
  • What does it mean for your business? 

What does this mean for your sales force?

No travel means more time for salespeople to reach out. Reaching out means any kind of attempt to secure a conversation with a decision maker. This also means the prospects who are already well insulated will get more calls than ever before. Salespeople must immediately be better at overcoming stalls put offs and resistance early in the sales process. They must have more resolve; diligence and their activity level must be 10 times more than before. We call this “Will to Sell” in the dashboard below.

When selling over the phone, salespeople tend to rush the sales process in an already rushed sales process.  In short… there will be more show up and throw up instead of executing a milestone centric sales process. (Is yours sales process defined to provide consistent outcomes?)

When selling remote, it’s even more important to pay attention to the non-verbal clues that won’t be seen. Do your salespeople have the right skills to develop instant rapport and trust? Are their listening skills equipped enough to ask enough questions, the right questions and the necessary hard questions?   Will they be able to help the prospect or client discover they need your products and services now?  What hidden or invisible weaknesses will cause them to sabotage the opportunity before it transpires?  We call this ‘Sales DNA’ in the dashboard below.

Will they make effective use of the new-found time? Do they have the required discipline and grit to get through to the right person, build trust, ask questions, listen, build value, qualify, present, create urgency and close?

Expect your pipelines to become bloated with more unqualified opportunities and your sales morale to go into the tank. Can you afford to wait for this to happen or will you get ahead of this?

What does it mean for your sales managers?

Sales Managers must accelerate their Coaching, Motivation and Accountability skills immediately.  Are your managers capable of having a positive impact in the transformation? How will they advance the opportunity created by disruption?

What can sales leaders do?

Communicate at once and re-set expectations. Don’t wait another moment and schedule a meeting with your entire sales team before the end of the week. You don’t have to have a solid plan yet. Spend time with them. Let them know they are important.  Re-assure them.  Give them your positive perspective. Help them gain confidence in you and let them know you are there. Be candid and yes, there will be changes coming and you will manage the change as best as you can.  Raise the bar for activity, for education and for productive measures. Prepare them for the coming price war, competition for attention and resources. Let them know you are available to talk with each individually and you will be there for them to listen. Great leaders serve their teams! It is a crisis management and you are who they will look to or they will look somewhere else.  It is time to step up your personal connection.

What does it mean for your business?

The trickle-down effect of stalled and lost business will cause a downturn in top line revenue. However, with the savings from no travel, no expense accounts, and no waste, it will offset the slow and delayed PO’s, orders and contracts. Salespeople will leave and you will fire the weak. This will also offset the delayed revenue. Competition will rush to the bottom and create a price war. Also, this will create a much greater need for salespeople and managers to sell more value and lean on the relationship.  Some businesses will die, and others will rise.

The past automatic growth and living off a booming economy stops now. Great salespeople will rise, and companies will see who the slackers are. Slackers will be terminated, and companies will see they can do more with less and better-quality sales managers and salespeople. Do you have the right people in the right roles?

Look at the Dashboard below. These findings are based on Objective Management Group sales specific sales analysis backed by science and based on almost 2 million sales people and 30 thousand plus companies. We measure 21 core competencies and customize the findings and recommendations to your company, your environment, your sales cycle, and your unique business model. 

You know something must be done and done quickly to take advantage of this disruption, but where do you start. Start with getting the required intelligence we can provide you for the sales transformation you must embrace. Does your sales team have what it takes to turn this apocalypse into a transition?

Click here to see the dashboard with your industry and SIC code peers. 

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Author: Rocky LaGrone

Rocky LaGrone is a seasoned sales development expert with over 25 years in sales development and training working with well over 1,000 companies of all sizes in various industries.

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