How Does a Sales Leader Respond During Times of Crisis

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The Coronavirus has altered everything we think about our businesses and the value proposition that we relied on in the past, and it has put business leaders in the position of evaluating every aspect of their business.  

In particular, businesses that have outside sales teams, the impact of Coronavirus can be significant. For those that depend on an outsides sales team to drive revenue, leader can find themselves re-thinking the sales motions they used to rely on to generate prospects and leads.

With restrictions on face-to-face contact, how can a salesperson can still do their work in this environment? 

What Can Sales Leaders Do?

Our team was recently reminded of the Stockdale Paradox, where former POV Admiral James Stockdale provided insight into how he survived the crisis of being held captive as a prisoner of war. 

Some of the key pieces of wisdom he provided are:

  1. You have to face reality and brutal facts of the situation,
  2. You have to have a resolute faith that you are going to prevail in the end.  

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Any leader would ask themselves the question, “What can I do to bolster my faith that my team will prevail in the end?” Make no mistake about it, this situation while scary and unpredictable represents massive opportunities for people who are willing and able to adapt. One of our Core Values at SPOTIO is “Solve for the Customer”, and that’s the value we’re living today more than ever before.  

We’ve been collaborating with sales leaders to develop sales motions, workflows and tools to help them transition their outside sales team to effectively work in what we call “Virtual Field Outside Sales”.

The key result here is that as sales leaders we have to find the tools and the resources to help our teams survive and thrive.  

The Key

Regardless of the sales motion, the key is to find ways to connect with your customer and mimic the experience of selling face-to-face. If you’re relying on canvassers to generate leads and appointments, can you get the right tools into their hands to help them connect? Can you provide them with key demographic or firmographic data affordably and at scale to help them intelligently and selectively target the most valuable customers?

Tools like these are more valuable than ever before.

If you are in the situation where you need outside sales reps to manage the full sales cycle, then tools for maintaining tight communication with customers are essential.

We are expanding our offering to make managing the “Virtual Close” easier than ever before. 

Another use case is with account managers. For them understanding the number of days since your last touchpoint, or having visibility into the relative value of an account helps you determine how to focus your time for the best overall likelihood of success. 

Regardless of the model, the key is adapting as a leader to provide your team with the tools to connect, communicate and close. Having faith and seeing the hard time as the moment when adaptation is paramount, doubling down on these tools can be what sets your company apart as one that thrives and survives in this very difficult environment.


Questions or comments? Contact SPOTIO at [email protected] or comment below.

SPOTIO is the #1 field sales automation and performance management software that will increase revenue, maximize profitability, and boost sales productivity.

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