Top five crisis-driven priorities for sales leaders | COVID-19

As the pandemic continues to expand, the business impact is undeniable. It’s time to revisit, rewrite and recast your priorities for your sales team.

These five crisis-driven priorities for sales leaders can help.

1. Prepare clear expectations

Everyone will have great intentions, but right now we need to have everyone sharing a singular sense of purpose for self-caring, client relationships and buyer engagement. Deliver a clear, compassionate and empathetic message that connects sales activities to short-term company success. Make it a habit to review and communicate at team meetings, 1:1s and in your daily stand-ups.

“Employees who feel confident about the importance of their job to the success of the organization feel less anxious about their job security.”  –Brian Kropp, Distinguished Vice President, Research, Gartner

2. Strengthen dynamic top priorities

Over the next several weeks, it will be indispensable to consistently set the most critical priorities in order to instil in your sales team the confidence to execute key sales actions. Establish a set of performance- and behaviour-based leading indicators to baseline individual and team activity levels over the next 90 days. Track activities, identify existing and newly formed issues and be open to constantly adjusting to identify newly formed best practices.

3. Enable effective remote sales productivity

Even though we all work from home now, don’t assume your sales team is properly set up to be productive. Make sure your sales team has the proper technology and collaboration tools in place: high-quality headset, camera, full-size monitor, and ergonomic desk and chair. The more comfortable your reps are, the more likely it will positively impact their overall mindset and productivity!

4. Foster resilience

It’s not going to be easy getting through the pandemic. You can directly impact experiences and outcomes by engaging in client and buyer meetings to support your reps. Take the lead on client care and relationships by being flexible to evolving needs.

Embrace constant rep preparation and debriefs by promoting an open-minded, situational leadership approach:

  1. Identify real problems
  2. Analyze flexible options
  3. Agree on client-centric solutions
  4. Empower your reps to go for it!

“We are heads-down working hard to help our customers and future customers care for their employees. This means innovating, adapting and pivoting at pace!” – Jeremy Bono, Vice-President, Sales, League

 5. Bolster recognition

It’s your daily behaviour (not what you say) that demonstrates who you are as a person. You and your founders have a great opportunity to consistently recognize the folks that act confidently within the sales team by displaying a growth mindset, applying incremental innovation, or engaging in ongoing learning and development. Individual and group acknowledgement that goes above and beyond has never meant so much to us all.

Whether it’s a company-wide email or your founder calling your rep(s) directly, be sure to show recognition in a timely manner!

It’s new ground and hard work. Act with gratitude, care and energy.

Sales leaders must continue to find ways to equip their sales teams to succeed during the crisis period. This is really hard work for every single sales function.  This success is valuable input into recovery planning readiness in the new-normal period.  Remember: nobody has experience or expertise in managing a sales team under these current circumstances. Act with gratitude, care and energy to make this time matter.