Change Is The Only Constant In Life
Most of us are familiar with the quote, “Change is the only constant in life”. Fewer of us know that it was written by Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher who lived around 500 B.C. (I didn’t until I looked it up!).
Two things come to mind when I think about this quote: 1). People have been wrestling with this issue for a very, very long time, and 2). It is truer today than it ever has been.
The last 2 years have been challenging for all of us, and the massive changes we have made in virtually all facets of our lives have been made at breakneck speed. This is especially true in my vocation – sales. As a career salesperson, and more recently a Sales Leader, I have always thought I was good with change; changing territories, changing quotas, changing management, changing companies – are all changes we have experienced regularly during our careers – but never as quickly or profoundly as we have been forced to do since the pandemic.
One of the biggest challenges I face as a Sales Leader today is how to effectively manage, mentor, and coach my sales teams remotely. Gone (at least for now) are the days of “ride a longs” with my sellers, going on face-to-face sales calls with them and listening to how they conduct themselves during a sales call, providing them with immediate feedback as soon as we got back in the car. Today, I must rely on call recordings and recorded video calls to listen to and see how my reps are doing – and to hear for myself prospect’s responses and tenor during those meetings – to provide feedback and coaching to them (also remotely).
It can be a daunting task trying to figure out which calls are most important to review, and once that’s determined, which parts of the call or video are most important. On average, a Sales Leader with a team of 10 sellers are faced with over 100 hours of recordings every week (or up to 300 if they lead inside sales teams). Nobody can physically listen to all of it, and many Sales Leaders get very frustrated or give up all together trying to review them because the tools they’re using aren’t helpful. In my case, I’m very lucky because we build a solution to address those very issues, but how does everyone else handle this painful process?
Another huge challenge is managing my business and forecasts. Accurate forecasting has always been an art based on science, but the fact that my team is 100% virtual, 99% of the sales calls they make are virtual as well, and I am only on a very small percentage of those calls, has made forecasting even more difficult for me. I have been forced to change how I look for key data and feedback from my team, how to better qualify forecasted deals, and to determine – quickly – what next steps must be taken to ensure the deals close on time. Most of us live in 89-day increments; (the first day of the quarter is clean up of the previous quarter) and as Sales Leaders, we live and die by the sword of accurately forecasting our business. What new Best Practices have you incorporated in your weekly, monthly, and quarterly cadences to help address these new metrics and challenges? What’s working for you? More importantly, what’s NOT working for you, and why?
I hope these scenarios ring true to you, and I am very excited to read your responses in how we can most effectively deal with the biggest Constant in our lives – Change.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll write to you again soon.