The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every single part of the economy, including — or especially — sales. Businesses have seen existing customers delay reordering and new customers wait to make their first purchases, and some companies are holding onto cash rather than investing in their business. But their singular focus on the here and now has likely blinded them to how different their businesses and sales processes will look in the future.
Business success depends on building and maintaining relationships — healthy, professional, mutually beneficial relationships. But many feel “Networking is the face-to-face equivalent of cold calling.” My answer? Not if you network with a fresh “do this and not that” approach. Here’s what I mean:
Startup Success: The Importance of Sales Strategy and Structure
It isn’t news that in the startup world, it is often a badge of honor to fly the airplane while fixing it. Startups need to have people involved who have an “all hands on deck” mentality and are comfortable wearing multiple hats. In order to succeed, flexibility must be embraced.
Startups are made of unique individuals that have specific skills. It’s impossible to be great in all the areas that must be considered when building a business from the ground up. Often, the areas that are not the founder’s strengths are the ones that can fall behind. Some of the top areas that come to mind are: vision, investors, funding, finance, operations, development, technology, and sales.
As an eternal optimist, I can’t resist imagining the business environment after this “storm” has passed. My career has been focused on building and rebuilding businesses, so I’m hardwired to think this way. And because of the wildly varied experiences I’ve had working with startups and some of the largest corporations in the world, I see a major obstacle or opportunity (depending on your perspective) ahead once we are clear to resume our lives.
Tune up your Sales Engine in a Market Slowdown
Business owners and CEOs must reevaluate all business functions during a shutdown period. A key area to focus on is the sales function, including what adjustments will be needed to prepare a business for ramp up, and position a company to quickly capture new opportunities and revenue sources. Sales are the lifeblood of most businesses, and there are several steps that you can take to improve results during and after a period of market slow down.
Measurement matters. But it matters most if you measure what truly matters. And when it comes to sales, the sales metrics you choose can mean the difference between profit or loss. Between market leadership or dwindling share. Between success or failure. Let’s discuss what sales metrics matter most?
Remaining Effective as a Salesperson While Working Remotely
If recent global events have you scrambling and looking to reinvent the way you conduct “business as usual” in a remote work environment, you are not alone. Creating a plan and focusing on your ability to be flexible and adapt will represent the difference between just staying afloat and thriving in this changing landscape. Whether you already have a plan in place or are starting from square one, here are some key components to keep in mind in order to maintain productivity and keep your sanity while moving to a virtual office.
What Is a Sales Leadership Consultant, Why Are They Needed (and Why Should You Be One)?
If there’s one thing that’s become clear after several years working with small to mid-sized business clients, it’s this: they truly need and benefit from the sales leadership that fractional sales leadership consultants provide. This fact, of course, raises three questions: 1) Just what is a sales leadership consultant? 2) Why are sales leadership consultants so important to smaller businesses? and 3) Why should an experienced sales leader consider a career in sales leadership consulting?
Let’s answer these essential questions one by one:
Nearly every sales organization – successful ones, anyway – know the importance of having a sales plan, but should your standard sales plan change in times of crisis? Almost certainly. Especially for crises that could last for an extended period, your sales organization should be able to quickly and seamlessly pivot to a flexible and effective Crisis Sales Plan. Here’s an action plan to help you implement a new sales plan in times of crisis:
Early this year, I attended a networking event in Maine with a panel of six top CEOs from the Portland area. The focus of the panel was “60 Ideas in 60 Minutes.” This was a fascinating group that provided anecdotes on what made their businesses so successful and identified the key drivers to their success. This group made me think about several of my favorite quotes such as: “Be open to the different and do not let fear hold you back,” “When it comes to people, slow is fast and fast is slow,” and “Culture is paramount.”