When Everything is Changing, What Should Stay the Same?
If you perform any corporate sales function, I don’t have to tell you that in the pandemic everything has changed. As a former corporate sales person myself, I valued meeting face-to-face with my clients. That is currently not possible. Sales people have had to re-focus their strategies.
The Change Begins with You
If corporate sales teams are trying to understand how to manage change, their customers are in the same boat as well.
David Ash, senior vice president of FLMH, an agricultural sales and marketing firm, gave this advice to sales teams attempting to adjust to the changes brought about by COVID:
“Many people are frozen in place right now and don’t know what to do with themselves. But it’s important to get up every morning, create a plan, set goals and focus on how you can best serve your customers.”
This thought was echoed by FLMH executive vice president Mitch Van Kampen:
“We have to get creative about problem solving…it’s the salesperson’s business to be asking the right questions and finding proactive solutions.”
These solutions don’t come by magic, they require an intentional vision to develop strategy to implement that change. Sales consultant Tamara Schenk concluded the following regarding sales team management during periods of change.
- You first need a shared vision of success across the organization.
- You need a comprehensive change story, i.e., What we doing? Why are we doing it?
- You need to have clarity in how those changes are to be accomplished.
- Most importantly: The change you want to see in the organization begins with you.
Do you have the determination to see that change begins with you? Your sales team may have a good idea of what they want to accomplish, they may be clear on those goals, but unless they have the daily grit to get things done, managing change will be an impossible, uphill battle.
See Yourself as Successful
Tamara Schenk makes an important sales change observation:
“The key for success is you being the example for the change you want to see in your organization. That means that you should be the first to use and apply the new methods, processes, tools, content assets, etc. You should be amongst the first to use new content, including the sharing functions, with your clients. If it’s about training or coaching, you should be the first one attending the class, even if it’s an online training.”
If you are employed in any corporate sales capacity during these times of rapid and unexpected changes, you must be determined to set an example, to leave your comfort zone and to be determined to lead. Remember that your customers need you.
Become better informed than anyone in your organization, learn as much as you can, coach as many people on your team as possible, and make yourself invaluable.
There will always be change, but what must remain is your vision and core values. For those with the mindset of winning, with the determination to make a difference and the desire to win, there will be rewards.
The pandemic is a major challenge, to be sure, but there will always be challenges. Those who rise to them will be winners. Be the winner that you are.
Scott Burrows, Corporate Sales Change Management Speaker, is available for virtual or in-person sales meetings for associations and organizations. Contact Scott today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169