How to set & hit sales targets in this new normal

Could anyone have imagined 2020 would be so affected by something the majority of us hadn’t heard of at the end of last year?

And yet here we are, with only a handful of rare countries functioning as normal.

In most countries, the spread of Covid-19 is keeping restrictions in-place, or bringing them back after a brief Summer hiatus.

What does this mean for companies, and sales teams?

Given we are operating in this ‘New Normal’: How do sales teams stay productive, and keep hitting sales targets?

What does the New Normal mean for sales teams?

Firstly, it means sales teams, whether inbound, outbound or field sales, are still working from home (WFH). Even in countries where governments originally encouraged people to get back into offices, those policies have been reversed.

Working from home is now encouraged, even preferable. Except in places where infection rates are low enough to make working together in an office is safe enough.

From a sales management perspective, this means solutions and processes need to be maintained for the long-term. WFH is part of the new normal. For many sales teams, solutions include team-wide communication channels, project management, and client/prospect-facing technology, such as CrankWheel.

When it comes to engaging with clients and sales prospects, it isn’t only about solutions. Of course you need the right technology in-place, such as CrankWheel. But alongside technology for sales calls, you also need sales enablement materials and assets.

Sales teams, whether outbound, inbound or field, also need scripts and workflows to support WFH sales processes for the long-term.

What about sales targets in the New Normal?

Sales leaders need to adapt and adjust, depending on how severe the economic impact has been on the sectors they work with. Some sectors, such as hospitality, hotels, and travel, have been hit worse than others. Consequently, the impact on companies in those supply chains has been damaging.

When the first wave of Covid-19 hit, business and sales leaders were adapting to a challenging and dynamic situation. Now everything is somewhat more settled. Business leaders are more able to plan ahead, thinking long-term again, not only the next 5 minutes.

As a result, how sales teams are performing against adjusted end-of-year targets will impact 2021 goals. If recoveries and bounces have been positive, if paused projects are coming back on-line, then sales leaders can look towards 2021 with renewed hope. Don’t necessarily expect sales teams to smash it out of the park in the last quarter.

However, at the same time, ensure you give your team the most effective support possible to help them hit their target. Even if those targets have been adjusted from the start of the year, you want as much revenue brought in as possible.

Once end-of-year numbers are clearer, you can start planning for 2021. Plans for next year need to take Covid-19 into account. Even if a safe vaccine becomes available, and is adopted widespread, distribution and uptake is going to take time. Life may not go back to normal entirely in 2021, so make sure to plan ahead with that in mind.

How can sales leaders support teams during this New Normal?

With all of that in mind, there are steps sales leaders can take now and into the start of next year.

#1: Set realistic 2021 targets

Going into 2020, many companies were hopeful. Not only a new year, but a new decade. Few of us can say this year is what they hoped for. And even though Coronavirus and the economic impact of it isn’t going away, this is something the world has adjusted around.

When it comes to setting sales targets, leaders need to keep those within the context of the new normal. It would be amazing if everyone could make up for any 2020 reductions by smashing targets in 2021, but that depends on how specific sectors and sales pipelines are doing.

Make sure 2021 targets take the global pandemic and economy into account when setting sales targets. Help your team take as much action as they can to hit targets at the end of the year, and starting into next year.

#2: Provide appropriate support

What does your team need, and what will they need next year?

Depending on budgets, you may be able to help them improve home offices, or laptops your team are using. Other support could include mental health and mindfulness or meditation apps, or gym memberships. Look at the whole package, then see how that can be adjusted with everyone working from home.

#3: Improve team morale

Continuing on from the above; your team is only going to be at their best when they are well supported. As you won’t be seeing them around the office as often, you need to check-in with them more often.

Ask how everyone is doing. Make a note of any problems that need resolving. Do your best to resolve them. Don’t let problems linger. Tackle them, as quickly as they can. Ensure the team and individuals within the team have the support they need to keep morale high during these difficult and unprecedented times.

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