Sales managers play a critical role in the psyche and success of their sales teams and that's especially true during the Covid-19 pandemic. Given that most teams are now completely virtual, this has introduced new complexities in terms of how sales reps connect with their customers, managers, and peers.
The COVID- 19 pandemic is creating profound changes in how sales professionals engage with clients. While some sales professionals will likely return to their offices, the way they engage with clients has fundamentally changed since most sales call will take place virtually. Additionally, the quality of sales conversations will need to improve since many sales reps became way too reliant on existing accounts and are now faced with the difficult challenge of rebuilding their sales pipelines.
As a basketball fan (sorry to say NBA season is still on hold), I had to think really hard about the use of the term “rebound” as opposed to “recovery.” When I think about the term rebound, it conveys an image of something that happens relatively quickly; the player misses the shot, and the ball bounces off the backboard or rim very quickly. Given that businesses are starting to re-open at different paces depending on industry and geography, I struggled with this idea of the economy recovering that quickly.
I recently presented to the Women Business Owners (WBO) association on this topic. It was interesting to share thoughts and hear business owners' perspectives on how we can best engage with customers during this crisis.
One of the most important differentiators for any sales professional is how they sell. Given the importance of selling skills, it is natural to want to include sales training at an SKO. The challenge many companies face is that the agendas for SKOs are increasingly tight given the number of competing priorities. As a starting point, it is important to realize that an annual SKO serves multiple purposes including:
Traditionally the sales professional has been viewed with cynicism based on the perception of self-serving salespeople who are overeager to convince customers to buy the product(s) they are selling. This view is based on a long-standing stereotype of salespeople who speak more than they listen, assume they know what a customer wants or should want, and are hyper-focused on convincing customers to buy from them.