“In These Difficult Times”, I Stand With Sales

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The Coronavirus has radically changed the way we do business faster than you can say SalesForce, Marketo or Slack. Seemingly overnight we went from a market full of possibilities to one where we are all just trying to hold on. Most of us are now working from home, many of us have been ordered to spend all of our time there and some of us have had to pick up a second job as preschool, elementary, middle or high school teacher. We’re scared. We’re scared for our loved ones and ourselves, we’re scared about the companies we work for, we’re scared about our country.

And it’s ok to be scared. It’s natural to be scared. We don’t have much information, and the information we do have seems to be changing by the minute. We don’t have much human interaction, other than waving to that person six feet away from us. And we’re all trying our best just to keep it together. And then there are our jobs. We desperately want to keep things together at work. We still have goals to achieve. We still have employees to retain. And we all still have managers, directors, VPs, C-Level executives and board members to appease.

It’s a lot. But the only way we’re going to make it out of this is together. You see we all depend on each other. For software and services. For renewals and upsells. For relationships and partnerships. We’re all a part of one giant symbiotic circle. If I fail, you fail. If you fail, I fail.

There’s no playbook for “these difficult times” we’re in, we’re all just scrambling to get our bearings. Not just you, everyone. All of us. We’re going to make mistakes, we’re gonna say the wrong things. We’re going to send emails that people will ignore, we’re going to send emails that people hate. But no one, not one single person is intentionally trying to mess up.

You see the path to success is lined with failure and it’s incumbent upon all of us to be patient right now. We have to be patient with the people we live with because we’re going to be seeing a whole lot of them for a while. We have to be patient with our local, state and federal governments as they try to figure out what to do. We have to be patient with our grocery stores (there’s gonna be toilet paper again soon, I swear). And we have to be patient with each other as we try as hard as we can to find the right playbooks for how to perform as professionals “in these difficult times”.

Sales professionals are getting crushed right now. No one is happy with their messaging. It’s not sensitive enough, it’s not empathetic enough, they don’t know what I’m going through, why are they even selling right now? While I agree almost all Sales, SDR and Marketing messaging could be better all the time, right now it’s difficult for EVERYONE. In the same way you’re scared, salespeople are scared too. I know you’re just trying to find normalcy and God knows I am too, but so are they. Salespeople sell for a living, and right now they’re staring down one of the most difficult situations any group of salespeople has faced in history. They know how expendable they are, they miss their number and they’re gone. And those who have been around the block know they are often the first people to be let go.

So I’m standing by salespeople. I’m answering their cold calls. I’m responding to their emails. I’m giving them information about my business because now may not be the right time, but down the line, I may want to have a look at what they’re offering. And I’m working day and night to figure out the best possible messaging I can give to our team. Some of it will work, some of it won’t but we have no other choice than to try. “In these difficult times” has become a phrase salespeople have used extensively, but it’s also something that seems to turn people off. Well, what the hell else would you call these times? They are difficult, they are scary and they are most of all very uncertain.

If we want to get out of this together there’s only one way to do it – together. Telling them their messaging is shitty isn’t going to help anyone right now. If now’s not the right time for you to talk to them, let them know you’re still adjusting to your new work situation, and then tell them when to reach out to you. If they’re selling something you don’t want, tell them you’re not a good fit for their product. If you don’t have any budget for their product or service tell them you don’t have any budget right now. Remember, they’re scared too, if you tell them you can’t right now for any of these reasons, they will stand down.

If you’re in Sales or Sales Development please follow Belal Batrawy for some great suggestions on how to get through to your prospects during this pandemic. If something is working for you or your company, please share it somewhere on LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium. As soon as I have something that works, I’ll share it with everyone, too.

If you want to see the business world return to normalcy it starts with you. In the meantime, if you want to find this marketer, I’m standing with Sales.

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