Sales Leaders: What Should We Be Doing Right Now?

As anyone who oversees a sales team knows, sales leaders have a one-line job description: to maximize the performance and potential of our sales associates. But how do we go about doing this when there’s no business as usual anymore and our salespeople are all working remotely?

This is an incredibly challenging time for anyone in sales. As sales leaders, how can we make sure we’re still creating a culture where our direct reports can be as successful as possible right now?

In our weekly sales leader “therapy” sessions, we’ve been coming together as a community to share support, challenges and strategies with one another. Here are just a few tips we’ve shared over past sessions to help you and your team stay as productive as possible:

  1. Stay close to your direct reports. Your team needs your guidance and encouragement now more than ever. Schedule regular individual and team check-in calls. Ask how they and their loved ones are doing and feeling. Work with them “shoulder-to-shoulder” as much as you can, and make sure they know that you are available to them whenever they need to talk with you about their concerns, challenges or anxieties.
  2. Identify and work on their triage areas. One of the best ways to improve performance is to identify triage areas for your direct reports. These are three areas that, if improved upon, will have the biggest impact on their results. Once identified, you can then begin to focus on closing the gap on those areas to help them increase their performance. Not sure where to start? Download BDU’s Triage Visual for a snapshot of some potential triage areas by category.
  3. Hold them accountable. So many sales leaders have the misconception that goals should be off the table these days, but that is not necessarily the case. Now more than ever, it is critical that we help our salespeople set S.M.A.R.T. activity and results goals that they believe are realistic, and that you hold them accountable to the goals you’ve set together. Find opportunities to praise them for what they’re doing well. If they didn’t hit their activity or results goals, determine why and discuss strategies.
  4. Help them perfect their messaging and storytelling. Whether they are reaching out through LinkedIn, with an email, or by leaving a voicemail, it’s important that the messaging they are using reflects the current situation. In addition, storytelling is a skill they can and should constantly work on perfecting.
  5. Utilize this time to develop your direct reports. Since no one is traveling, attending in-person meetings or driving a long commute, there is extra time available to focus on development. Utilize your team meetings, your one-on-ones and your ad hoc conversations, as well as outside resources. This is a fantastic time to role play, teach, coach, train and counsel.
  6. Motivate and inspire. Continue to make a positive impact on your salespeople by finding creative ways to motivate them remotely. Fun contests (with toilet paper as the prize!), Zoom happy hours, team meetings and regularly scheduled one-on-ones are critical to boosting morale and driving performance.

As always, the BDU team is here to support you and your team any way we can, including: