The COVID-19 pandemic has been the ultimate validation of the importance of leadership abilities for sales managers. In addition to navigating their teams through incredibly challenging business conditions, many sales managers have had to almost overnight re-engineer how their sales teams sell to remote customers. To emerge stronger from this crisis, now’s a great time to focus on how you can become an even better sales leader by developing your personal abilities.
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.