As someone who started his career as a financial sales advisor and then later a sales motivational speaker, I am keenly interested in how sales teams involve themselves in the management of resilience. In an insightful article for Forbes magazine (February 10, 2022), business writer Brian Zawada reviews five key areas of resilience.
The area I want to focus on with this post is what the article termed “A position of readiness.”
To quote from his point:
“Readiness is the organization’s ability to better control vulnerabilities in order to decrease the frequency of potential disruption. A proactive approach is often more successful than strictly creating and exercising reactive solutions.”
What does your team see?
In the “old,” pre-pandemic model, the sales team manager with the help of team input, could set strategy and policy and enabled the team to react to the sales environment. My opinion is that such a strategy didn’t serve teams then, and it certainly doesn’t serve in the current post pandemic model.
While sales teams were easily able to run into each other then, even on a sporadic basis, they can’t do so easily now. Work is often virtual or remote, and even the good old-fashioned sales meetings at industry seminars and trade shows have radically diminished. Being reactive to the market is not quite as easy as it once was.
If, as the article suggested, there are certain vulnerabilities the competition might exploit in a product, given the shifts how sales is currently conducted, reactive answers to a situation, for example a product weakness or pricing issue may be too little too late. A lack of planning followed a crazed frenzy of reaction may be more harmful than good. If the team is not prepared for change, don’t expect a fluid resilience when change unexpectedly presents itself. As a sales resilience keynote speaker, I can assure you it is almost always unexpected.
There is another way
Clearly, instead of reaction, sales teams should respond to anticipated changes to mitigate the challenges. While no one has Tarot cards or a crystal ball, planning and having sensible strategic responses to change can have a profound and positive effect.
There is another way. Rather than reacting to change, why not be resilient in the light of change? This can come about by the team having the determination to have a vision of how they will respond. Is there something in the future of your product or service that has a distinct vulnerability? Is there a plan in mind or a rationalization of, “We’ll deal with it when it happens?”
To be resilient requires a mindset of preparation. How? By anticipating or noting buzz-words or catch-phrases. For example, “We’ve always done things that way,” or “The CEO is always pessimistic that something bad might happen.” Why not think of new ways of doing things by being neither optimistic or pessimistic but to mindful of change in the moment?
Grit or the resolve to plan for unexpected issues– and meet change, is the ultimate readiness. Be proactive, be an over-planner, visualize what could happen if a “vulnerability” is exposed.
As the pandemic occurred, some sales teams were overwhelmed while some developed the resilience to adjust to the change and push through it in a professional and responsive nature. Be that group. Be ready. Be resilient.
To reach Scott Burrows, Sales Resilience Keynote Speaker, please contact Scott Burrows today by phone at 520-548-1169 or through this website.