Five sales management strategies to get through COVID-19

There is no blueprint for what we’re facing right now and businesses are pivoting and building new strategies to stay afloat and stay connected. The effects of COVID-19 may be forcing us to change the way we work and how we interact with each other, but what it doesn’t change is our need to keep focus on the overall vision, health and goals of the team so we may continue to work with purpose, lead with strength and encourage innovation as the months ahead progress.

Let’s take a look at five key strategies to focus on during this uncertain period to build confidence, ensure your teams are well supported and the time is spent on activities that promote growth and development for both the business and individuals collectively.

Consistent coaching

Coaching is a crucial part of any sales leader’s role and now more than ever, your team will need support and someone to talk to to help manage the level of uncertainty they may be feeling. Many will be working with children at home, struggling with partners losing jobs and its important to make sure this is acknowledged, and conduct temperature checks and emotional check-ins outside scheduled team meetings.

Focusing on what can be controlled

In an uncertain market, it can be unnerving trying to anticipate what each day may bring and if your pipeline will yield positive results. Focus on controllable metrics like conversations and connections and keep in touch with your customers to be a support to them where possible. Be careful to also read the room and give them space to focus on their own business challenges without interruptions if required.

Revise goals in line with current environment

We all thrive when we feel like we’re achieving, so if sales are slowing or unable to be made, set some new goals and targets around other objectives such as professional development, team training and innovation. Perhaps you could ask everyone to spend 30 minutes per day watching specific online training courses and summarise their key takeaways afterwards, or ask a different member of the team each week to conduct training on areas they are particularly strong in to help others and improve their presentation and delivery skills. Be creative!

Knowledge sharing

Talk about what is working and what isn’t. Give everyone the opportunity to contribute their feedback and leanings in a regular and consistent fashion as this may help other members of the team to improve and adapt to their own situation. Keep an online document live for updates or a slack channel dedicated to work from home hacks to keep the information flowing outside of regular team catch-ups.

Avoid micromanagement

Show that you trust your team and try and limit check ins to scheduled and agreed times. Ensure you communicate goals and strategy clearly and effectively at every team meeting and coaching session and seek clarification that your instructions are understood by all. Give the team an opportunity to voice any concerns or stumbling blocks that may affect their output or calibre of work and then put your trust in them to deliver on the goals. That way, everyone knows what is expected and can be held accountable if performance and output is poor.

Finding ways to continue to grow and achieve in difficult times will bolster your confidence and help you navigate the road ahead with strength. And remember, keep your sense of humour to keep stress at bay, make peace with the situation we are faced with and embrace adversity as a chance for growth and opportunity.

You’ve got this!

Laura Hall, Sales Strategy Consultant, Laura Hall Consulting