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How to manage a sales team during a crisis?

By Ida Virnes

No matter the size, or the area of your organization, it’s likely that you’ve been affecting by the COVID-19 outbreak with your team. It’s forced many of us to change the way of work and adapt to a sudden shift in consumer behavior.

We’ve put together this series on managing your sales team during a crisis. Our advices will help you out to navigate uncertain times for example what to do when the crisis is on, how to take care of your team, how to change the communication in a working field, and how to manage your sales team.

 

How to manage sales teams when a health crisis changes the way we work? 

The COVID-19 showed us, how quickly life can change. One of the biggest impacts was made on the way we work as well as the level and type of support the employees, customers, and peers need from us.  

Entire organizations have adopted remote working infrastructure at a rapid pace, ensuring those that have the ability to work from home can do so. Many were successful, while others are still overcoming teething pains. 

What is the best response to a crisis like this? How we can shift our behavior and routines with minimal disruption? 

In general, it’s great to have the tools and flexibility for a remote working set up in your organization, regardless of whether or not you will use them in your day-to-day. Having these infrastructures, technologies, and processes in place is vital, especially when a major life event or public crisis keeps you or your team away from the office. 

Many, organizations have adopted flexible working hours. As long as the team is available the ‘’office hours’’ it does not matter when they get their work done.  

Audit the activities you conduct on a daily basis and see how you can optimize them for optimal remote working efficiency. Ask your team for their perspective and allow them to brainstorm. 

 

Keeping your sales team safe, optimistic, and productive.  

For salespeople used to the hustle and bustle of a lively office, the sudden change to remote working can be challenging. Not only do they need to find a new routine, but get a handle on new technologies for communication and collaboration. 

This new, enforced way of working applies to sales managers, too. Your processes and training workflows must adapt; keeping salespeople motivated and engaged requires a different approach. 

Advise your team to follow their government’s guidelines and to do their best to stay out of harm’s way. You can help by ensuring they never need to break a recommended safety policy for work. This means implementing a 100% work from home policy, with guidance on how to maximize productivity. 

 

Reassuring customers and adjusting the sales messaging during a crisis.

Your customers will also feel the pain during times of crisis. Their priorities will shift, often overnight, as they face new and unexpected challenges. 

Yes, it’s important to continue closing deals. But there should also be a focus on helping customers and prospects that are facing new uncertainties in their lives. 

It’s critical you communicate your company directives to your team. Make them aware that a new direction is necessary and outline a policy on what they should and shouldn’t be including in their messaging. Get them involved in the process so they not only have a sense of ownership but also a duty to serve prospects. 

Managing your sales team during a health crisis 

Even the cutting costs will be the ideal thing to do, it’s important to continue executing revenue-generating activities.  

Depending on your industry, sales may and will drop. Adapting to sudden and temporary changes in consumer behavior is an effective way to combat this. In the B2B world, your buyers will shift priorities to adapt and you must do the same. 

Listen to your customers, prospects, and the whole industry. How are they being affected by this health crisis and how you can help them beyond the sales process?  

For example, if you usually share content with prospects, start collating timely information that impacts their industry and roles as it’s published from third party sources, and see if you can create or adapt your own. 

New opportunities will also emerge. How can your product or solution serve your customers during this time? What features could be used to tackle these new challenges? 

In conclusion  

Measuring these opportunities requires a great deal of care and it can be tempting to jump towards discounting in order to tackle these issues. Resist this temptation and focus on how to best serve your customers instead.  

To have your full focus on your customers and prospects, take some tools in use. With Blitz, you can easily automatize the sales tracking and sales commission process. With using automatization tools such as Blitz, it’s simple to save time on the tasks that are important during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Tags: Business Management, Sales, Sales Performance

About Blitz

Blitz is a global software for sales commissions. We help our clients to track and calculate sales commissions effectively and on-time.