A long-time client called us recently. He’s a sales VP who joined his current firm during the pandemic. He’s never met the sales team that reports to him.
Are you a leader whose sales organization needs to adjust to post-pandemic market conditions or changing company priorities? Continue reading for our top three recommendations on getting started.
“My first sales meeting is coming up.” He meant his first in-person sales meeting. “I’m setting my expectations for the disciplined use of one, common sales process with one set of tools. I’m having trouble getting my message across. I need some assistance.”
This seems incredibly basic, even mundane. We must consider this sales leader’s circumstances:
- He joined his company at the height of the pandemic and has never physically met his sales team
- He works in consumer products, an industry plagued by pandemic-induced supply chain issues. This is a constant strain on sellers dealing with customer fallout
- The virtual-selling environment has limited access to retail buyers and to store level, vital information
- Process uniformity and discipline hadn’t been considered a prerequisite for seller success
- His mid-sized company grew rapidly over the past few years. It now has changing competitive conditions and customer demands
Post-Pandemic Sales Reset
What this sales VP is really doing in his first in-person sales meeting is what we call post-pandemic sales reset. Regardless of company size, industry, competition or customer demand, your sales team endured stress during the pandemic:
- Outside sellers became inside sellers
- Sales teams were laid off, reorganized, furloughed, or handed different customer segments and territories
- Traditional sales events were cancelled or became virtual
- Customer relationships altered as companies downsized and/or reorganized
- Reduced company budgets may have reduced sales operations support
When the pandemic hit, you triaged these issues, often under chaotic conditions, to keep sales function running. Alignment problems inevitably arose. Go-to-market strategy didn’t change fast enough alongside company objectives. Variable compensation structures didn’t keep pace with sellers reassigned to new roles. Customer relationships were interrupted and needed to be re-established. All these things created drag on seller success.
The Changing Sales World
Now that customers are recovering, demand is increasing across industries. In-person meetings are becoming possible. We recommend you reassess and reset your sales organization. Take advantage of opportunities created by new market conditions.
The great news is that the process can be planned this time. Recovery conditions for many companies remain fluid. We recommend starting your post-pandemic reset by first assessing sales strategy and structure. Specifically concentrate on these questions:
- How does your current go-to-market strategy need to shift to keep pace three, six and nine months from now given changing company priorities?
- If you downsized or reassigned sellers to different segments, how do roles and responsibilities need to change? What new sales resources do you need to execute your updated go-to-market strategy?
Clients and markets with the highest potential are now shifting relative to those at the height of the pandemic. You must determine how your account and territory coverage needs must shift to keep pace. Do you have the right skills in the right seats assigned to the right clients to capture this potential? Think critically.
Finally, we emphatically advise bringing sales operations into your post-pandemic reset. This helps identify necessary changes and to ease implementation. Great sales ops teams can do everything from designing a new go-to-market strategy to onboarding new hires. Bring them into the process early to add value to your sales reset.
To better understand how sales operations can assist in your post-pandemic reset, or to see how world-class Sales Ops organizations operate, download our newest eBook.
Contact us for ways to adjust to a post-pandemic reset.
About The Author
Hope is a sales effectiveness expert who builds winning sales organizations. She works side-by-side with sales teams around account segmentation and planning, helping complex organizations rethink the way they serve their largest accounts. Her specialties include sales transformation, sales capability development, leadership development/coaching, and performance management. Hope’s expertise and execution focus mean she’s the consultant that clients want to keep around.