Maintaining sales team moral in turbulent times

You're settled into your seat for a long airplane trip — reclined, shoes off, drink on tray table, iPod on and magazine open. Suddenly, the flight attendant asks you to switch seats with another passenger — your comfortable environment and mental harmony is now disrupted!

Now imagine that same seat-swapping scenario occurring during a period of turbulence. Not only were you already feeling a little anxious and unstable in your current seat, you now have to collect yourself, mobilize and get re-oriented in a new place…while trying to balance and keep from falling.

Change is usually not easy for any salesperson, and change amidst instability is even more difficult. Yet that's how many sales people are feeling currently as companies large and small reorganise, reallocate resources, and continue to change or relocate staff , amid the fall-out from the vote on Brexit.

Whether you are the one initiating or adapting change in your business, adequate time should be allowed for contemplation and preparation before transition can be welcomed. Otherwise any change will be met with resistance and result in de-motivated staff and ultimately poor sales performance.

Knowing that salespeople would find any major change unsettling, sales leaders  need to create a unified plan to fully communicate and engage their salespeople before taking any action.

To encourage sales team buy-in, sales leaders should apply the "head, heart, hands" concept.

Head

Explaining all the logical and rational reasons for the change will enable the sales people to begin intellectually processing the information.

Heart

Acknowledging how the change will make salespeople feel before, during and after implementation and giving them the opportunity (ideally in one-to-ones) to voice their concerns, will all help absorb many of their fears.

Hands

Outlining your new strategy clearly along with your tactical plan, and how they fit into it, will satisfy them that they are in safe hands and that they are clearly part of the process...rather than a victim of it!

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