I know that every Monday morning we must be closer to getting back to business. But Monday morning is when it’s the hardest to believe it’ll actually happen. It’s harder to focus, harder to keep motivated.
Statistically, 1 in 3 sales hires fail and that is costing businesses a fortune in lost revenue, lost management time and business operation. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to speed up the process of sales on-boarding, but at this challenging time, on-boarding new starters seems very far away.
While taking on new staff might be out of the picture, our furloughed staff are certainly going to need a form of on-boarding. Perhaps, re-boarding is a better term and we need to be helping our furloughed people by re-boarding them.
Re-boarding will make sure they know where we stand in the current market, it will refresh and update their knowledge of products, services and pricing strategies, which for a lot of us, will have changed. Our furloughed workers are out of the loop, they’re not allowed to work, not allowed to use their skills. We know their knowledge is declining with every day that passes and this lost time is taking an emotional toll which shouldn’t be underestimated.
When we’re separated from our colleagues and out of touch with the everyday turmoil of business, we lose motivation. If this is not addressed, we will be in all sorts of difficulty. We don’t know when day 1 is going to be, nor what the competitive landscape will look like, but we need to be ready to face what is coming.
A huge part of that is making sure everyone feels in control of their part in the success of the business. Communication has never been more important. Collaboration and knowledge sharing will be crucial to make sure all staff are included and engaged in the drive to get back to a profitable future.
When we open the doors again, I suspect general anxiety will be heightened as the true picture is revealed. There will be many businesses having to make the difficult decision to lay off workers in the short and long term. Tightening up processes, reviewing and downsizing is likely, as we work to survive the first critical quarter.
Re-boarding should start now. Prime your staff with your key sales information and refresh their knowledge of your best practice. It will help to get them feeling positive and back into good shape. Update your processes and start refresher training.
Look at your market and understand the changes you’ll need to make to compete and win. Share what you know with your furloughed staff, invite their input and listen to what they say. Remember that your sales team are your front line, they need to feel involved in the strategy you’re putting in place, because they’ll be executing it. If they can understand how it helps achieve their targets, they’ll want to do it.
Start regular training. Fill their diaries with online meetings to train and practise sales skills. Seize the opportunity to ensure they’re using your CRM and other technological tools effectively. This is a critical time to have everyone’s skills in top shape. Give them the chance to excel, give your business the chance to bounce back.
As we continue to read in the news differing estimates of when business will open again, it’s reasonable to assume it will happen gradually and the landscape will look very different. Stay smart, keep your staff engaged with great re-boarding and set your business up to succeed.