We have crossed paths with a temporary new norm. As a sales/marketing leader these unforeseen disruptions to your organization can be daunting. However, as a leader the worst actions you can take in times of obscurity are; being unprepared, and to reject the situation. Prospects and clients are going to react, it’s our jobs to figure out a battle plan based on the reactions we are observing. We are the pulse, we are the eyes, and the ears for our companies, it’s important to use these to our advantage. Talking about what “to do,” in this type of situation can be considered a waste of time. None of us, despite our knowledge and years of industry experience have any damn clue what “to do.” Which leads this conversation not into what “to do,” but what “NOT to do,” as a sales/marketing leader in the current new normal.
Do NOT pretend like “everything is going to be fine,” with your team and prospects. What is happening right now is unprecedented history, both financially, and socially, to pretend like nothing is going to change for your team is setting them up to fail. It’s in times like these whereas leaders we have to be transparent, and honest about what’s happening in our companies, keeping the flow of information constant. Some clients will freeze their budgets, some clients will increase budgets, and delivery will have ups and downs in a new remote environment. It’s important for your team to understand the changing atmosphere and prepare to adapt to these changes.
Do NOT become a lighthouse leader if the team is now remote. With this change, your first instinct is going to be to dive into dashboards and reports. There are so many great tools for managing and monitoring teams, as leaders we can become consumed with the numbers. While metrics are important, it’s important to remember the people behind the numbers (especially when working with a remote team). Get out from behind the dashboards and talk to your people. At the end of the day, the foundation of a great culture is trust, not singalongs, or wearing outfits to your virtual calls. Be the same leader you were when your team was under the same roof, approach their success with passion and your team will perform.
Do NOT leverage the current socioeconomic situation as a platform to sell or market your products and services. There are products and solutions that are going to benefit from our current environment, web conferencing, masks, sanitizer, etc. I am confident your prospects do not need to be reminded of how your solution, “can help them.” Stop with the emails, the LinkedIn posts, and offerings, to “help.” I am not saying we should stop doing our jobs, in fact continuing to drive revenue for our companies is only going to help the struggling economy; continue to conduct in the ways that put value in your products and services where it aligns best with your brand. My grandmother used to tell me, “People can see through bulls**t a mile away.” A statement I’ve taken to heart – especially leading a sales/marketing team during COVID-19. If you could sell your product without mentioning COVID-19 three weeks ago, you can sell your products without mentioning COVID-19 now.
As sales and marketing leaders, it’s important to remain true to the values you have established in the culture of your organizations and continue to surge forward. In times of uncertainty are the moments where your reaction as a leader way heaviest. Be transparent, have trust in your team, and continue to grow and share successful products and services.