As business slows down across industries, it’s likely that your team is facing thinner pipelines and longer sales cycles. But that’s no reason to sit idly. How can you help your sales team stay motivated through this crisis?
Your management style is critical. Keeping your team engaged now ensures they’re set up for success when the situation recovers.
Lead with empathy and action
Leading with empathy and action is the best way to support your team right now.
Start with the management disciplines you already practice. Continue to have one-on-one coaching conversations to help salespeople build confidence and gain focus. However, reevaluate how and when you meet. With the situation evolving rapidly, your team members may want more frequent touch points.
Throughout the week, stay connected with your team using a combination of email, chat, phone and video. Remember that everyone can leverage your help to learn and grow, even your highest performers.
Prepare for different kinds of client conversations
Your sales team is facing a challenging period. Clients are postponing deals that were in the pipeline, and prospects are less receptive to reach outs. Do your salespeople have the confidence to handle these tough conversations?
Prepare your team by offering learning opportunities that build their sales skills. Focus on developing skills around proactive prospecting, client conversations, and consultative selling. There are easy ways to incorporate learning into the work week. For example, schedule fishbowl exercises into a regular meeting or explore training in a virtual format. Learning is a productive way to energize team members, especially those who are suddenly facing thinner pipelines.
Learning is a productive way to energize team members, especially those who are suddenly facing thinner pipelines.
Adjust sales activity goals
Based on the latest HubSpot data, new deals have dropped 23% from Q1 for businesses globally. While sales outreach has increased, prospects are much less likely to respond. Instead of carrying on your existing strategy, you need to determine with your team what productive sales activity looks like right now.
Your team can put more focus on uncovering the current needs and challenges of clients. Or they can offer to be a thinking partner – no strings attached – to clients who aren’t yet ready to buy. Regardless, they should be taking a consultative approach. Adding value will strengthen relationships and set your team up for future success.
Although fewer deals are closing in the short run, continue to conduct pipeline reviews. These check-ins will provide insight into how each salesperson is performing so that you can help them with identifying opportunities and building strategy.
This is without doubt a difficult period, but developing a new routine will keep your sales team engaged. Provide coaching and training to refine skills, and drive focus with weekly meetings and touch points. These leadership practices will enable your sales team to stay motivated and resilient in the face of adversity.