I’ve written plenty about the butterfly effect, the idea that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil has a ripple effect that could cause the formation of a tornado in Texas. It struck me the other day that in a similar way, the ripple effects of Coronavirus have drastically altered the way we do business. While it’s still too early to know what or where the metaphorical tornado will be (remember, in the context of the butterfly effect, the longer-term outcome is not always destructive), here are some important ripples thus far. Are you going to be prepared to capitalize on these trends?
- Virtual Selling – Sales professionals who traditionally spend months on the road are now seamlessly connecting with customers via phone and video conference and are able to touch more people in one day than ever before. I’ve heard a lot about Zoom fatigue lately, but let us not forget about the deep exhaustion that came with endless nights on the road. In-person meetings will certainly make a comeback someday, but the virtual sales meeting is also here to stay.
- Digital Resources – People are spending more time on their devices to keep up with work and the news, and a recent article by McKinsey they identified a spike in consumers use of social media and apps to make purchases. The app-based consumer experience is more self-service and less self-directed, and consumers are responding positively. Digital-enabled sales have doubled since the beginning of the pandemic.
So, what is the implication of these two shifts in your business? What are you doing to design and deliver a compelling sales experience that can leverage your insights and expertise in a virtual forum? You have an opportunity to do so much more than simply transition meetings to video conference with the ease of accessing SME’s and orchestrating resources for clients. How are you enabling clients to take a more hands on approach to projects or to access your capabilities as you work with them? Are you working on leveraging the upside? What ripple will you create?
You’ve heard the phrase “lazy days of summer”, but it’s been a long time since there was really a slow season for most businesses. We are more 24/7/365 than ever. That said, between the summer months where there is typically a little bit of a slower pace (at least for part of the time) and reality sets in that sellers are still not traveling, you may find yourself with some extra time and there are areas where valuable actions can be taken. Take advantage of the slower pace and encourage your team to spend time on professional education, strategy, and growth. The fall busy season is just around the corner, so consider the following ideas to invest in your team while you have the time:
- Review client portfolios and build strategies. Encourage team members to take a step back and assess their territory or book of business. Are there clients they can strengthen the relationships with now that will pay off down the road? Is there a clear strategy in place for the priority clients and top accounts to pursue?
- Update databases. An updated and organized contact management system should not be underestimated. Summer is a great time to review information and update tags. Through the process you may discover potential connections that will foster new relationships or strengthen relationships within your pipeline.
With even a little bit of effort focussed on these activities, you can help your sales organization set up for success in the second half of the year.
Is your kitchen table and home office one in the same? Is your phone or laptop the first thing you reach for in the morning? Working from home has its advantages, but it also blurs the boundary between home and work, between being ‘on’ and checking out. Technology was already wreaking havoc on our boundaries, and remote work has only intensified the blurriness. This article explores four strategies to cope with the intensity of an ‘always on’ culture.
- Creating time and space to switch off
- Be aware of information overload
- Create boundaries
- Find a work/life balance that suits you
Question to Ponder:
What small changes can you make to help you create boundaries that enhance both your work and your personal life?