As businesses begin the new year, many have learned that the rapid changes implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are now an important part of their growth strategy in 2021. Let’s take a look at three of the principles sales leaders must take into account moving forward.
Build team-wide resilience
2020 may be behind us, but change will continue to happen. It’s likely that 2021 will see the rise of the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) – an emerging role that is quickly becoming an important contributor to achieving the kind of proactive cross-functional coordination that enables agility in the face of change. CROs are both digitally-savvy and great leaders, and therefore competent at connecting the dots between human and digital resources. Once aligned, teams will begin to show signs of resilience, a quality that has never been more important.
The CRO and other leaders will need to ensure their organization works together more systematically, tightening the integration of different functions. Tight alignment allows for the creation of seamless customer journeys amid an increasing amount of online channels, as virtual selling is here to stay.
Double-down on trust
Sellers will be faced with the task of building trust of a wider set of stakeholders, such as the CFO, who have endured a difficult year and will likely judge buying decisions with increased scrutiny. Sellers would do well to adopt a data-driven, human-centric approach, building a business case while demonstrating their value as partners.
There are many factors driving customers to become more cautious in their investments. Despite the widespread rollout of vaccines providing light at the end of the tunnel, uncertainty remains as to what the next phase will look like. Business leaders will remain hesitant about when is the right time to hire, return to the office, or invest in new solutions. This paves the way for a transition period, and a perfect opportunity for sales and marketing organizations to provide expertise and leadership that will guide their customers forward and support them on the road to recovery.
Do more with less
As they plan their recovery year, many leaders will be looking to invest in new technologies to help boost business growth. Some may be thinking about collaboration tools that can close communication gaps during the new era of hybrid working. Equally, personalization tools might help to bring a human-centric approach to customer journeys.
That said, it’s important to remember that technology will only augment and support employees – not replace them. Human contact is critical to build trust among senior stakeholders. If you can maximize the potential of your existing team, you’ll be able to achieve more with less resources. For example, before hiring new talent, leaders should optimize their current teams and set their existing employees up for success through both appropriate technology investments and effective training methods.
Business leaders can, and should, be optimistic about business growth in the year ahead. However, it’s crucial that they build upon the lessons learnt from the past year. As they plan for what’s coming next, their investments should focus on improving team resilience, restoring customer confidence, and enabling employees to fulfill their potential.