What can Sales Leaders do to Lead Their Teams Through a Crisis
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic became a global crisis, there was already a rapid increase in sales teams, especially tech and SaaS teams transitioning to remote work.
The benefits of being remote are several, employees, especially millenials are known to enjoy having a flexible work from anywhere model to opt from and global sales teams can dip into a pool of talent that’s not necessarily local in a remote model.
But going remote when there wasn’t necessarily a plan to, for instance, because of the current Covid-19 situation, can lead to a host of challenges. Putting the right sales tools in place and hiring the right talent that can handle this sense of independence and yet commit to core company goals is crucial.
One of the biggest challenges for sales leaders is in managing a remote sales team from afar. While on the one hand some would argue that measuring sales reps on the basis of the meetings they’ve booked or quotas they have achieved is enough, sales leaders and business heads in general do need to keep a tab on what their teams are doing through the day and how else they are contributing to the overall growth of the business.
Here are a few ways for sales leaders to keep their teams aligned and accountable while working remote.
Setting Daily Goals vs End-of-Quarter and End-of-Year Goals
While working in an office, it is that much easier to discuss, re-discuss and realign team goals for the quarter or the entire fiscal. While working remote, while several tools and technologies allow you to stay in regular contact with a distributed team, this doesn’t necessarily help assess overall or daily performance though.
Several successful sales leaders are known to set daily targets, or weekly targets in addition to quarterly or yearly goals. This can help sales teams assess their own performance on a daily basis and by providing their sales leaders a daily update, it can help leaders stay on top of challenges before they turn into bigger business problems.
Daily targets in terms of number of prospecting emails to-be sent or number of cold calls to-be made are some examples here.
Helping them Add Structure to Their Day
Delegating tasks to sales reps is not enough. Helping the team understand how they can best optimize their work hours using the right sales technologies to help achieve their sales goals is what a sales leader is expected to do. At a time when a crisis is causing challenges of different kinds for businesses and on the personal level, realigning tasks to measure sales performance is just one part of the job.
Some of the most effective sales leaders and managers are those who stay away from micromanaging but who can help their team plan their day better while keeping an overview of what they are doing. This is part of the overall sales coaching sales leaders should impart to everyone on their team.
While it is important to keep in mind that not everyone can work the same way and with the same criteria, setting a structure and giving your sales reps the independence to choose how they want to customize how they further plan their tasks and align their efforts is one way of ensuring better business outcomes.
During a remote work model, planning virtual lunch meets and going through a day’s agenda in an informal manner can help sales reps open up about their work challenges and can help gives sales leaders insights into what they need to do more of to help their team members.
During these sessions, try to troubleshoot your sales reps work from home related challenges, without it, they are bound to perform better and contribute to continued business growth.
Invest in Good Sales Training and Sales Coaching Software and Ideas
The right software can enable the efforts of the whole business. While no one today is new to the benefits and convenience of Zoom and Slack, investing in sales coaching software that can help schedule coaching sessions, help record conversations that can be repurposed later for use with another sales member, tools that can help track action plans, etc, will help reduce the time spent in these sales support activities.
Sales leaders can take the extra step to consider investing in sales gamification software to keep their teams entertained and motivated during this time while building them up. A healthy competition between the sales reps can initiate a competitive spirit and get them ready to sell more and sell better as businesses slowly release budgets and as economies reopen.
Don’t Forget to Put Them in the Spotlight
Everybody enjoys being in the limelight at least some of the time. During this challenging period, when issues are cropping up every other day, keep aside some time to credit sales reps who are doing well or plan a shout out for those who need the boost. A motivation email or a congratulatory email that is also copied to everyone else is a good starting point.
The current challenge is just a pathway to force leaders to adapt to new management techniques and styles. While focusing on ensuring every team member is accountable for their tasks and goals is always an important part of business, the times we are in are such that leaders need to do a tad bit more to ensure everyone is compliant enough to work hard and work well! It’s not difficult to keep a sales team or any team motivated and on track during uncertain economic times! It just takes a little bit of effort.