Regretfully in 2020, words we had rarely used before, “Coronavirus” and “Pandemic” came into common usage. And during that dark period another more common word, “leadership,” filtered into our daily conversation and gained as much, if not more, notoriety. Although it is often overused, the true meaning and its impact has become crystal clear during this difficult time.
Many businesses are now facing the challenge of rebuilding their sales momentum post-pandemic. At the very least they must get back into a normal rhythm with their bread-and-butter customers. If this describes your situation, leadership might be a wise place to start.
As we watched the global crisis unfold, we quickly learned why leadership is critical in building a high-performance sales team and achieving a challenging objective. Alas, we also witnessed the devastating impact when basic leadership skills were absent.
So why are leadership and team building so important in the New Economy? Every economic crisis creates winners and losers. A recent article in Forbes* noted that agility and flexibility have emerged as key success factors for businesses in competitive markets. Many organizations face on-going pressure from fundamental changes in their method of doing business, whether remote working or endless Zooming. Your team must be highly functioning, have its game face on, be organized, trained, and motivated to have any chance of winning in a competitive marketplace.
Effective leadership involves focusing on your people, recognizing their strengths, evaluating how their unique abilities synergize with their teammates and contribute to their success. Every winning team has strong leadership.
When I have asked leaders to comment on their sales teams, many respond with a comment about their worst performer. Almost as an excuse. It reminds me of the observations of Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric: “We have to ….. convince our managers that their role is not to control people and stay on top of things, but rather to guide, energize, and excite.”
That’s what leaders are going to need to do to make sure their sales teams emerge on top. The time is now. The last 18 months brought the need and benefits of quality leadership into clear focus.
Quite simply, those businesses that have survived the economic fallout, have a fantastic opportunity to develop their sales managers into leaders, build their teams, grow their businesses, and achieve new levels of success and prosperity.
*Henna Inam, The Five Types of Agility To Lead In Disruption, Forbes.com, 2020 https://www.forbes.com/sites/hennainam/2020/05/27/the-five-types-of-agility-to-lead-in-disruption