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.
Like many, I‘ve spent plenty of time watching Netflix during the COVID-19 lockdown. I recently came across Salesman, a fantastic documentary from 1969 that follows four salesmen working for the Mid-American Bible Company as they sell expensive Bibles door-to-door in low-income neighborhoods.
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.
Imagine achieving phenomenal sales growth with no salespeople. Impossible? Well, Dropbox, the file storage company, founded in 2007, grew its revenues to $116 million by 2012. Its sales then rocketed to $1.46 billion by 2018. What’s even more impressive is that for most of its short life as a company, Dropbox achieved this remarkable growth with no salespeople. Dropbox has historically relied on viral growth, together with a referral marketing model, with more than 90% of its revenue generated from self-serve channels. See here and here for discussions of Dropbox’s business model. It’s easy to understand the appeal of no salespeople. No headaches or expense dealing with hiring, training, managing, and paying sales reps. So, did Dropbox discover a better (and more profitable) mousetrap?