Ideas To Help Your Sales Team Thrive In The Next 18 Months
COVID-19 has disrupted the world. Businesses are scrambling to enact their contingency plans, looking for new ways to safely and effectively serve their customers. Looking ahead in the next year to 18 months, disruption will likely be the new normal.
So, how can sales teams move forward and thrive? Karin Hurt, founder of Let's Grow Leaders, says the first step is disrupting the disruption. We share her ways to do this in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
Discuss hopes and fears. These are challenging times. People want to be heard. Hurt notes that many teams long for cathartic conversation—to discuss their hopes and fears that they might normally not mention. Sales leaders can help their team members along by asking questions such as, "What are your biggest hopes for our organization in the next 18 months?" and "What are your biggest fears during this timeframe?" She says that by making invisible hopes and fears visible, it's easier to move to a productive "How can we?" conversation.
Dream of the best possible future. At Hurt's organization, she defines culture like Seth Godin does: "People like us do things like this." How can your sales team use this period of productive disruption to rethink processes and change behaviors? Think about what you need to adjust and make room to help your team accomplish the tasks that will give you the best possible future.
Know what matters most. According to Hurt, now is the time to prioritize work for the most strategic wins. With the world changing quickly, what mattered a few months ago might not be as important now. Sales leaders should be crystal clear about defining what success looks like and what objectives their teams should strive to meet.
Work at a sustainable pace. Hurt says it's important to move from crisis mode to figuring out how you can work best in a world with COVID-19 likely in the picture for quite some time. To help your team be as productive as possible in the next 18 months, be sure to set a pace that's doable. You don't want to take on too much and work at an overwhelming speed. Give your team members room to breathe and time to rest as everyone figures out a new way of working.
Declare a new start. Hurt followed guidance from a Harvard Business Review article to "disrupt the team and declare a new day one." This means giving everyone new roles during this interim period and introducing a new structure for your team or organization. For example, Hurt assigned one of her team members to be CEO of acute, day-to-day crisis management. Another team member stepped into the role of "CEO of the recovery phase."
Instead of slogging through the next 18 months, develop a plan that will help your sales team thrive. Invite open and honest conversation from your team, declare the most important work, and be sure to work at a pace that is sustainable.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Karin Hurt is founder of Let's Grow Leaders. She helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results. Hurt has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service and HR. She has been named on Inc.'s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers and American Management Association's 50 Leaders to Watch