Where Are We Now? And What’s Next?

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In an informal survey of top Factor 8 clients and friends, our community reported and shared the following:

  1. 100% reported sales as down overall
  2. Most are at the “how can we help” stage of sales.
  3. Deals are getting stuck at the close

Let me fill in a little background on what I learned and why this is critical for you to share.
Although some of our leaders reported early and significant pivots in sales strategy that have helped refill the pipeline, nearly everyone reported that the existing pipeline as of March 15th, 2020 died.

Most successful pivots included at least one of three things:

  1. A look to new industries (e.g. traditional field-focused)
  2. Focus on growing industries (e.g. healthcare segments)
  3. Sales playbook change (selling to finance w/ ROI vs. targeting discretionary marketing spend)

Brilliant moves by brilliant leaders whose fast reaction is keeping their company and workforce afloat. But they too, are down.

Activity? Up on average.

Connects and Conversations? Up on average.

Sales? Down.

Here’s why you need to share this with your community:

  1. Smart leaders have already adjusted quotas and metrics and contests – beautifully aligned today toward deep profile conversations and fuller pipelines
  2. Step-behind leaders are still hoping for old KPIs and quotas and inadvertently spreading fear down the line

I spoke with a young sales leader this week whose team of Account Managers serves small business owners. They sell a subscription service + multiple up and cross-sells, and they are coming in about 35% to quota. As the news reports up to 40% of small businesses may close forever (in the neighborhood of 7.5 million at risk of permanent closure) and this segment was one of the hardest hit, it feels a bit like hope as the strategy, right? 

This #GirlsClub superstar manager is now afraid for her job. 

That’s. Just. Wrong.

It’s time to adjust, my fellow leaders. Adjust your Q2 number and your Q3 number. Consider strongly adjusting your Q4 and Q1 2021 numbers as well. Find new markets, new strategies, new revenue streams to help you get there and translate these into new expectations for your teams. 

Here’s where I’ve seen us at (and where I see us going) in roughly 2-week steps since mid-March:

  • Step one was focusing on connectivity (WFH)
  • Step two was focusing on morale and connections (Zoom happy hour anyone?)
  • Step three was focusing on messaging (leading with empathy)
  • Step four is about re-aligning sales metrics, KPIs, milestones and goals
  • Step five is about closing new sales with finance
  • Step six is about going back to work / back to normal

Where are you? 

Where are your sales?

Share this list with your fellow leaders. Share that others are down. Share what “public opinion” expects and how you can react and prepare for next steps. 

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