The big pitch meeting was scheduled for March 26th in Chicago. But on March 23rd, the west coast-based sales team found themselves scattered across their various households, most legally required to shelter in place.
There was no precedent for how to move forward when everyone would be connecting virtually from their homes, let alone with the constant risk of a pet or a partner or a child interrupting the meeting hovering at the back of their minds. All the team knew was that they needed to support each other as best they could under the circumstances, and to find a way to make it work.
As sales and marketing professionals, many of us will remember Spring 2020 as a scramble, a crash course in agility, and the ultimate test in adapting to ambiguous and unprecedented circumstances.
After almost 40 years working in high tech sales, alliances and partnerships, I have never seen this level of rapid, creative adaptation to challenging circumstances across high tech, health care, manufacturing, financial services, and small businesses. Whether it was quickly shifting most business activities to virtual, or bringing store front businesses onto e-commerce platforms, I have been very impressed by behavior I have personally witnessed and heard from colleagues in Sales and Marketing leadership positions.
Despite how challenging it has been for many businesses and sales teams to suddenly pivot from established routines and plans, there have been silver linings. Here are my top three:
- Significant reductions in time spent commuting and traveling has increased time available to devote to sales activities, resulting in examples of laser-focused account management and streamlined communications with customers and employees.
- We’ve encouraged colleagues and teams to break from established norms and come up with creative ways to engage customers virtually, such as sponsoring lunch and coffee deliveries tied to a business review, or offering to donate to local food bank in exchange for a prospect meeting.
- This crisis has caused leaders to communicate more frequently, empathetically and personally with their organizations and teams, which has done wonders for productivity and morale.
Now that we’ve had time to adjust to our ‘new normal’ I hope you’ll take time to acknowledge yourselves and your teams for their fortitude and professionalism under trying circumstances.
While it may seem like we’ve already run a marathon, the fact is that we are still in the initial stages of adapting our businesses and workforces to the realities of what Salesforce has termed the “next normal”.
This is where my team at Altus Alliance may be able to support you as you chart your organization’s next steps. Throughout April and May we have been conducting interviews and surveys with CEOs, CROs, COOs, and Sales leaders and compiled our findings in a new report.
I encourage you to download your free copy of “Best Practices for Resilience” to understand best practices in sales and marketing during the work-at-home period related to Covid-19.
This is not offered as a scientific exercise, but rather important perspectives and insights from your revenue responsible peers that can contribute to a more informed position to make your plans for the inevitable recovery – however fast or slow that might occur.
We owe it to each other and to our respective companies to do all we can to assure as quick a recovery as possible. I hope this report will be of value in plotting your path forward.
Altus Alliance helps businesses accelerate top-line revenue growth. We have developed a reputation for client service, excellence and integrity. Our core value-add lies in our commitment to rolling up our sleeves with leadership to define and execute against strategy.
My team is here to support your revenue growth initiatives. Contact me to discuss how we can be of assistance.