Hello Darkness, my old friend! It’s layoff season again.
Except that this time around, you’re doing the laying off. Our commiserations. These are indeed tough times. At Bizom, we deal with such times with sleepless nights and humour so sharp that it cuts. We’ll prescribe the same for you although we’ll throw in some tech advice and tough love.
As hard as layoffs are for everybody, we have to move on. Organizations are already defining new structures for their sales and distribution teams. The reality is that there are fewer salespeople, and it’s no longer viable that they only do calls, focus on selling lines and report numbers. Anil Sarma, Vice President – Sales at Jyothy Labs says:
To sum up Anil’s take: Your Route-to-Market sales organization is evolving and moving up the sales pyramid from in-person to remote retail execution in the new normal. Salespeople will now have to take on the tasks of business development and consultative sales.
To carry out the new roles efficiently, your team requires data insights and specialist skills. You’re in a unique position to make it happen for your organization. Here’s what we suggest:
- Be Tech Ready: In our latest webinar on Digital Supply Chain for the New Normal, JLL executives Anil Sarma and Ravi Razdan attributed their ability to function effectively in the lockdown days to their tech readiness. They had initiated the digital transformation of their supply chains seven months before the outbreak of COVID-19. That made a difference.
- Enable Remote Retail Execution: In times of social distancing, your teams can drive a range of retail execution tasks over the phone or through a call centre. Also, roll out B2B e-commerce platforms for your retailers and support them to self-serve and order directly.
- Obsess Over Data Dashboards: The new normal is all about having the right data. You have to create a new cadre of data-savvy sales personnel. Train and mentor them to work out of daily dashboards that know what’s right for your customers.
- Your Bottom Starts with Business Development: As you train and upskill your sales teams, they will be able to take on more strategic tasks including range selling, trade negotiations etc. Encourage faster transitions by offering consultative sales responsibilities as incentives. However, to manage large accounts, teams should be enabled to create new and innovative trade models. It requires a combination of tech readiness, data insights and strategic thinking.
- Build Your Community: As Obama said in his Commencement Speech to the Class of 2020, “And finally, build a community. No one does big things by themselves.” You’ll need a community of sales specialists who can talk about suggested orders and make consultative sales without breaking a sweat. Only bold changes can make your brand “New Normal Ready”. Let the leader in you make it happen.
If you want to know how Bizom can help, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org