Living in the gray
Changing to a virtual sales force when you’ve been accustomed to an in-office environment is not only challenging for the sales team, but for the leaders as well. As a leader, it is difficult to be empathetic to your team while holding them to a certain standard. No doubt, this is a difficult time for everyone and in different ways.
The team, along with you, is adjusting to a new way of doing business. Personally and professionally we are all facing many issues: stress, anxiety, economic challenges, depression, loneliness, trauma and fear. As a result, many are trying to handle all of these, perform well at work, all while having children at home, sharing workspace with a spouse, finding Wi-Fi quality sporadic and many more…
In the leader role, you need to handle all of these stresses and manage your team. How are you reacting as a leader? Have you set your expectations with your team? Are you understanding or drawing a hard line? Or are you trying to live in a “gray” area?
Live in the Gray:
To be totally honest, NOW is the time to live in the “gray”. This is not the time to set team meetings at 8 am and 4:30 each day. Nor is it time to use every micromanagement tool available to you. These unprecedented times call for some leniency and understanding.
Room for Sucess:
Without the need for daily oversight, now is the time to see who will succeed. Some team members may surprise you! Be understanding if someone needs to step out of a meeting for 5 minutes to help their child get on a Zoom call with their teacher (as I have had to do) or get them a snack. Wi-fi has been challenging with the increase of usage. Allow someone to meet with their camera off, if it is affecting the quality of the discussion. This is the time to ask: How are you doing? How can I help you?
This can be accomplished while holding to a certain standard, however. Anticipate professional environment (proper background/lighting) for calls. Expect your team to set meetings, move business forward, and bring in revenue in the new selling environment. Even though we are navigating a new environment, there are ways to make it work for everyone.