Covid-19 has proven to be the most substantial black swan event of our generation. With the current constraints in place, our potential to build revenue has been constrained considerably and this has caused many businesses to examine their lack of agility, adaptability, and preparedness closely. Few businesses could have accurately predicted the onset of the virus and even fewer were equipped to deal with the eventual fallout. With layoffs and lockdowns, plus the largest economic contraction since the Great Depression, organizations now look not at growth, but at survival.
For a company to continue to generate sales while also serving value to employees and customers, it’s clear that we need to alter our approach, increasingly a full business reset seems like the most viable option. Given the current global situation, this reset must consider digital-first lead generation, engagement of the informed buyer, and a redefined sales culture to deliver success, but what should this culture look like?
How to Redefine Sales Culture in ‘The New Normal’
Your sales culture, as well as the attitudes, values and habits that are contained within aren’t as measurable as other indicators of productivity, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. Prior to the pandemic, it was pertinent to build a positive sales culture that inspired productivity and protected wellbeing. In 2021, with the proliferation of remote work, it’s fast become essential.
With remote work, the sales culture of any respective organization will be forced to develop and adapt to the gap between buyers and those they purchase from. The key is to get the balance right. After all, Covid-19 hasn’t proved to be an impenetrable crisis, instead, it should bee seen as the means by which we can better prepare the organization more effectively for the future.
For sales teams working remotely, executives must create the means by which their staff members can work effectively. They must help them to develop a stack that allows for both internal communication as well as reliable video calls with potential prospects. With this in mind, there are two key factors to address in order to realize a positive sales culture – and greater revenue generation opportunity as a result – during the global pandemic:
Salespeople, perhaps more than any other staff member in the modern organization, are anxious about job security and other personal challenges. Supervisors that push and seek to control may only amplify the stress that these teams face and, as such, times call for sales managers to shift their focus from pressing for performance, to supporting their people. A failure to do so could result in staff burnout.
The stress of these pressures are compounded by the personal circumstances of the employee. COVID-19 research shows that US staff are more concerned with their financial well being (80%) than their physical health (78%). They know that losing their job at a time like this could be ruinous – and sales managers must be cognizant of the impact of these thoughts on the day-to-day performance of their teams. In order to avoid staff burnout, leaders must introduce more support and limit performance pressure.
Remote work has quickly become commonplace for businesses the world over and in the US, executives are already pushing to seek out improvements. According to a study by TELUS international, a slight majority of U.S. employees (51%) feels less connected when working from home and when asked what they missed most about working in the office, U.S. employees cited small talk and interacting with colleagues the most (57%) followed by in-person collaboration with a team (53%) and having a separation between work and home (50%).
Now more than ever, executives should be searching for ways to imitate their workplace culture for staff that still work at home. To do so, we must make use of modern innovation as well as a digital-first strategy to help implement these changes. Providing a sense of normality should not be underestimated and particularly when it comes to the sales team, this will pay dividends. Without effective and inclusive leadership, subcultures may develop and then brand identity – and therefore public perception – is at risk of dilution.
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