Over coffee and data, they discussed the new world, the impact of the virtual environment on relationships, and the new nature of selling.
The Weekly Briefing
Hardships are opportunities to harness creativity.
Sales Teams are Pivoting and Harnessing Creativity
Meeting volume is slightly down this week, but when looking at the news and the market, both Gerhard and Jim expressed their surprise that there hasn’t been a cliff drop off.
“People are still selling,” said Jim.
“What surprised me is the resilience of the sales leaders who are proactive. They reacted quickly to pivot and come up with creative solutions,” said Gerhard. “Hardships are opportunities to harness creativity.”
He shared how he has seen companies pivot so quickly that they’re making massive improvements to their sales process and infrastructure to provide for the new market.
“That’s the story of sales in this pandemic,” said Jim. “Some companies are doing well, and others are having a hard time. When you put the two together, it’s going to look flat.”
Working Anywhere, Anytime
“We’re working in a very different environment. It’s not Work from Home, it’s Work from Anywhere. The new normal is work from anywhere and anytime.”
And we can see that it’s true.
Meetings, before 9 am, are up 20%, regardless of deal size. And meetings after 4 pm are up 148% - especially for large deals. If your average deal size is over 100k, your late meetings are up 44%
What the data speaks to, but doesn’t exactly show, is the impact the working hours have on people.
“There are actually two pandemics: COVID and Anxiety,” said Gerhard. “And there are two faces to anxiety. One is when you’re freaking out. The other face is denial.”
Gerhard said that he prioritizes a walk every day and meditation to rejuvenate him. “You have to take care of yourself. Self-care is something you must prioritize as a leader so that your teams don’t burnout.”
He recommended Salesforce's BeWellTogether.com as a resource for self-care at this time for working professionals.
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Our Work Weeks are Shorter (except for the weekends)
“People are finding different ways to work during the week,” said Jim.
And he’s right. Mondays are on the rise as strong meeting days, while Friday meetings have dropped 18%.
Gerhard suggested that people are likely working more over the weekends as well because we are - like he said - working from anywhere, anytime.
“The notion of the office has disappeared. We’re addicted to our screens and we’re less emotionally available,” said Gerhard.
His techniques to remember how to take care of yourself:
- Schedule it. Set time aside every day. If you’re more of a morning person, meditate for 10 min before you fire up your laptop. If you need a midday break, take it.
- Seriously, schedule it. Put it in your calendar and set a timer for it. Give yourself that time.
I couldn’t imagine doing sales without the heart. Without that, it’s just pure work.
The Way We Sell Has Changed, Too
Salespeople are working more per deal as well.
36% more participants join from the Buying Side now than they did in March, and 18% more participants join from the Selling Side.
“People want to bet on sure things - they don’t want to take a big risk. They have to come up with more creative solutions.” It’s not uncommon for your C-suite to get involved.
Storytelling is What Makes Sales Go Round
Jim and Gerhard discussed the impact of empathy in work-life balance and overall selling success.
It comes down to heart.
“I couldn’t imagine doing sales without the heart,” said Jim. “Without that, it’s just pure work.”
“You have to be able to energize the faith you have in the company and the faith you have in the future. If you’re able to do this, you’ll pull ahead,” said Gerhard. “People that are happy, that flourish, they succeed.”
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Looking Ahead to End of Q3
“Q3 is likely to be flat, but Q4 is going to be an amazing growth. 2020 is a slingshot for 2021. 2021 is going to be the biggest growth year in American history,” said Gerhard. “As a sales leader, you’re a merchant of hope. You need to share with people that the horizon line may be blurry, but sales leaders need to provide clarity through hope.”