Motivating salespeople is always important, but it’s even more important during this international pandemic brought on by COVID-19. There is still business out there, and salespeople can thrive, even, in this environment.
Know Your Kind of Business
The first step when exploring how to sell and motivate salespeople in an international crisis is to be realistic about what is happening and what the reality is. There are some businesses where the unfortunate reality is that they won’t be doing business any time soon. For the foreseeable future, industries like restaurants, or travel and tourism, are not going to be operating. But, there is a large number of other kinds of businesses that are still operating. Some businesses are doing a reduced amount of things, where they’re not doing as much but are still open and operating. There are businesses that are running as usual, but they’ve moved things into a digital space, and are able to maintain their usual operations virtually. And then there are businesses who are booming, like those who produce medical equipment, medical supplies, or cleaning supplies. Knowing what kind of business space you’re operating in is vital to being able to motivate your salespeople because the way you motivate will be different depending on the various realities.
There is nothing more important than just doing something. This is an anxious, depressing time for a lot of people, and it’s easy to sit around and live a lethargic life. But if you can get some momentum going, and start to feel productive, it will keep you motivated and keep you making progress. Now is the best time ever to do something, because no one is traveling, or in meetings, people are generally being kinder to each other, and they will talk to you on the phone! They will return your phone calls and engage in those relationship-building conversations. Even if they’re not ready to buy right now, you’re building your pipeline, creating relationships, and lining up potential customers for when they are ready to buy.
Many salespeople are hesitant to embrace technology, and even struggle to sell over video calls or phone calls when they’re used to in-person meetings. They can’t get into an environment with enough light, or center themselves in the screen, or present themselves professionally through virtual means. This is the time to get used to this technology. This is the future of selling, and there is no better time than a pandemic to get used to virtual selling techniques. Customers are going to want to buy virtually, they’re not going to want to do in-person meetings down the line, so it’s something to perfect now.