Let’s face it. The times have been good for a long time. Soaring global economy, companies at every level eager to adopt new solutions, venture capital and PE firms flush with cash.
Then C-19 showed up and threatened our health, wealth, and way of life. In effect putting our nation at war.
In peacetime, leaders face minimal threats and focus on big picture, organization building initiatives. They delegate a lot and stay out of the fray. Time horizons can range from a few months to years.
Wartime leaders must deal with survival and have a time horizon of NOW. Instead of delegating, they spend more time doing. Wartime leaders operate on the front lines.
The sales leadership strategies, tactics, and principles I’ve discussed in previous blogs apply in the best and worst of times. But in times of war, I suggest sales leaders pay extra attention to the following:
- If you ask your team to make sacrifices, make sure you are making the same (or more significant) sacrifices
- Pay more attention to each individual on your team. Intervene if you see stress levels redlining.
- Become more hands on. Work with your team to build tactics to convince prospects to buy and customers to stay.
- Maintain standards of excellence, especially around sales execution
- Celebrate every win, even small ones
No one can predict when we return to normalcy. As a wartime sales leader, you need to focus on the now. Make a commitment to win the day - every day. The small victories will add up, momentum will build, confidence will increase.
Embrace these times. You will emerge from the struggle better, stronger, wiser - and a more effective sales leader.