How can organisations improve sales performance post-Covid-19?
As the pandemic continues to create uncertainty for organisations across the globe, it’s critical that sales leaders develop strategies to protect and increase revenues.
Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on businesses of all sizes, across all industries, and so improving sales performance will be essential for many organisations to survive in this ‘new normal’.
The changed environment in which B2B sales is now operating means that businesses and sales leaders need to evaluate their existing sales operations, and determine whether the existing structures, roles, people and processes are still viable and capable of achieving success.
In order to help organisations come out of this crisis successfully, Right Management aim to help sales leaders ensure their teams and individual contributors are aligned, innovative, equipped and empowered to succeed.
How can Right Management help organisations achieve success?
Our support helps ensure organisations can restart in a smart way that drives and maintains improved sales performance:
Redefine the sales strategic direction
The first step is to create a new strategic direction for the sales process that includes the creation of redefined Sales Success Profiles for all sales roles in the organisation. This will help identify which sales behaviours are needed to achieve sustainable sales growth, and enable sales leaders to bridge any gaps in their teams’ skillset or knowledge; empowering them to meet the needs of their customers in this changed environment.
These success profiles can then be used as part of the recruitment process for new salespeople, ensuring that the organisation only recruits individuals who fit with the new sales strategy and possess the qualities needed to succeed in the new B2B sales environment.
By standardising the Sales Success Profiles across the entire business, sales leaders can ensure that every member of the sales organisation is focussed on and is capable of achieving the new business targets. This in turn will increase the effectiveness of all sales teams, enabling them to build lasting relationships with customers – especially important, as Forbes’ research found 78% of sales opportunities encountered during Covid-19 were generated through existing customers.
Conduct sales team assessments
Along with a new sales environment will come new challenges that salespeople will need to tackle, and so it’s important that they feel confident to do so. With new Sales Success Profiles established, it’s crucial that sales leaders then assess their team members against the profiles and provide every individual with objective feedback on their strengths, development needs and how they ‘fit’ within the new company directive.
By utilising the Sales Performance Assessment (SPA), sales leaders can measure key behaviours and drivers in their salespeople. Garnering this information will provide the framework for identifying commonalities among high performers, developing these high performers and aligning their behaviours and practices with the organisations strategic goals.
Through doing so, sales leaders can better tailor training and development opportunities towards their top performers, to ensure that they continue to produce results for the business and can act as role models for other team members. This will help to create a healthy work environment, where everyone is incentivised to work to the best of their ability and generate greater revenue for the business.
Development for sales managers
Following an extended period of change and uncertainty, sales leaders will need to understand what areas their team members need support in and how best to provide it. It’s important for managers to remember that Covid-19 has affected everyone in a different way, and that each team member will have endured an entirely unique experience.
Therefore, immense pressure will be placed on managers to understand the emotional and motivational needs of their reports. By recognising how their teams have been affected by the crisis, sales leaders will be better placed to manage any emotional and operational issues; meaning they can then more easily motivate and engage each individual to perform at their best.
Whether they’re implementing new work practices to accommodate the shift towards digital sales; with companies providing an outstanding digital experience being 2x more likely to be chosen as a primary supplier; or are creating development plans to upskill their teams in this changed world of work, managers will play a crucial role in driving engagement and performance across the sales process, and ensuring sales figures begin increasing.
Supporting each individual
An organisational restart post-pandemic will inevitably result in employees having lots of questions. In order for team members to successfully restart, they’ll need to understand the ‘new normal’ they’re now working in, reconnect with their purpose, colleagues and organisation, and understand any new expectations being placed on them.
Managers will need to ensure that they provide their teams with a forum through which their feelings and voices will be heard and understood; enabling sales leaders to acknowledge and address any queries or doubts as effectively and efficiently as possible. Managers will also need to maintain consistent communication with their teams, where constructive feedback and personal ownership of development can be encouraged.
By providing a solid foundation of support for every salesperson within the organisation, sales leaders can ensure their teams feel comfortable in their ‘new normal’ and are motivated to contribute towards future sales success. And by maintaining improved sales performance levels upon organisational restart, sales leaders can be central to the post-crisis success of businesses across all industries.