May 2020

Pause and Reset

I usually do a lot of talking in my work, but quarantine means that I’ve been doing a lot of listening lately. Could this be the Year of the Introvert?

One thing I was pleased to tune into last week was the Unleash Virtual Summit. I listened with interest to what some sales thought leaders had to say about how they are navigating the new state of sales, and here are my top ten takeaways:
  1. As John Chambers said, the salespeople are the frontline troops who will get you over to the other side. The most stellar salespeople will rise to the top now more than ever, and the poor performers should make room for the millions who want their jobs. This uncharted moment is the time that will separate the mediocre from the shining stars.
  2. Right now, the best way to retain your employees is to have a strong COVID strategy that strengthens a culture of over-communicating. The cost of furloughing now and rehiring later is more expensive, disruptive, and risky.
  3. Salespeople need to double-down on helping customers understand how they can mitigate risk and guide them through a tangible value to their solution.
  4. Sales pipeline activity is sluggish with lots of deals clogged in the middle of the funnel. Smaller deals are closing, sometimes at the eleventh hour, but they are coming in because cost-cutting is so real.
  5. Bigger deals require a host of new decision-makers, and we’re seeing some of the largest committees ever. 
  6. Outbound email sequencing needs to pivot from last month’s overly sympathetic sweet openings to encouraging them not to lose out on an incredible opportunity.
  7. Endless meetings at home means that Zoom fatigue is settling in. Most are desperately seeking to digitally detox, forcing us to reduce our screen time.
  8. Tech giants such as Twitter and Google are leading us through the largest experiment in remote work in history. They are not requiring their people to come back until 2021, if ever.
  9. Opportunities in the virtual marketplace are abundant. Tons of high-tech companies are hiring and growing their remote salesforce and planning to offer more sales kick-offs, conferences, training, and enablement. And they can get the best and the brightest when distance is no longer an issue.
  10. The human element is more important than ever—in live conversations, emails, and voice mails, and the phone is making a resurgence. Yay!

Watch for my 2020 Inside Sales Trends Mid-Year Report.

Since the world has just been flipped on its head, and I am obsessed with change, progress, and what the future brings, I will be putting together a 2020 Mid-Year report with 21 trends that have surfaced through this pandemic. Not exactly an “I told you so” report, but more about how we’ve somehow been preparing for this all along.

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Relax, Everything will be Alright.

This is my way of telling you that I’ve weathered my share of uncertain economic times when the world seemed to come to a complete halt—the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, 2001 terrorist attacks, 2008 Great Recession). I realize that many—if not most—SDRs have never worked in a crisis environment and might be panicking about “What’s next?” Relax, everything is going to be alright. We will come out of the darkness. Take this time to pause, reset, and preserve these moments. Because while you have been shaken to the core, now, your real work begins. Who would you like to become after this? What will you let go of because it no longer brings you joy? What's enough for you? Have you noticed the world has already starting to repair itself? As I continue to swim the San Francisco Bay, the water has never been so clear and so blue.

Sales Enablement Now 

TeleSmart was built around helping salespeople and managers perform more effectively and productively, and sales enablement is key right now. Leaders are virtually hiring and investing in virtual technologies, and their processes and ramp-up time needs to be overhauled. Messaging, metrics, and sales skills and methodologies all need help, and having a sales enablement team is important. Everything needs revamping now.

Our Virtual Smart Selling training for the WFH sales audience is based on my two best-selling sourcebooks for teams and managers. We offer 3-pack and 6-pack series for on-boarding teams and managers. Contact us for more information. 

Check out my LinkedIn Learning Course for Inside Sales with almost 100K downloads.

If you are looking for a great ramp-up tool for new hires, and a reinforcement tool for your tenured reps and managers. According to LinkedIn Learning, employees are spending a disproportionate amount of time learning. Results show that in April there was a 46% increase in time spent by enterprise learners compared to the time they spend learning last year. That’s an additional 750,000 learning hours.
Here’s a few testimonials from my Inside Sales LinkedIn course:
“Went through your ISP training on LinkedIn. Amazing and engaging content.”
“I just started a new position in Sales at LinkedIn and I took your inside sales course on LinkedIn Learning as part of our onboarding! It was AWESOME, wonderful insights!”
If you are currently a member click here to watch this video. If you are not a member, click here for a free trial. If you want to watch free courses, click here.

Stay safe out there and I will see you on the other side.

Josiane Chriqui Feigon.
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