Buying groceries in the COVID-19 crisis.

The Opportunity to Slow Down and Straighten Everything Out

by Chris Young

How do you buy your milk?

Thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, we no longer buy our milk in a grocery store. Entering a grocery store represents an unnecessary risk.

Buying groceries during the COVID 19 crisis

Call me old school. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, I had a bit of a mental block when it came to buying groceries online. 

Thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, we were forced to use the online option and we LOVE it!

No exposure.

Huge time savings.

How many other sacred habits will my family and I sacrifice next?

The COVID-19 crisis is going to spawn new consumer and business habits.

Many common practices and ways of doing business are going to literally disappear seemingly overnight.

Value is going to reign supreme.

Best get in front of it.

"An opportunity to slow down and straighten everything out."

Recently, Giorgio Armani viewed the COVID-19 crisis as, "an opportunity to slow down and straighten everything out."

Armani spoke from his seemingly frustrated perspective of the fashion industry.

Powerful perspective. What are you noticing?

  • What needs to be straightened out in your industry?
  • What needs to be straightened out in your business model?

What needs to be straightened out in your industry?

Consider the following in your industry:

  • What paradigms will shift?
  • What old ways of doing business will change or are ripe to be changed?
  • What prior frictions are an opportunity to be smoothed out?
  • Where will new frictions arise?
  • What opportunities do you see right now?
  • What opportunities should you be watchful for?

Following are just a couple that come to my mind. 

Caliber of sales talent.

In any given industry, eighty percent of sales come from just 20 percent of the salespeople (Pareto Principle). The top 20 percent who have the capacity to consistently produce 80 percent of the results in an industry are "Sales Wolves".

Do you have any Sales Wolves in your company? How do you really know? How would you quantify them?

Will what defines a Sales Wolf in your industry change as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?

How sticky will virtual selling be post COVID 19 crisis?

What products / services have the potential to become commoditized where price becomes the only differentiator?

What needs to be straightened out in your business?

Leave no stone unturned. Better for you to frankly stress test your business model than to have a competitor do it for you.

Review your target personas. Like Sales Wolves - your best 20 percent of your Customers bring in 80 percent of profits.

Who were they?

Are your ideal target personas changing thanks to the COVID-19 crisis?

Will your target personas change?

  • Who has the capacity to really "get" your value proposition?
  • Who will likely not "get" your value proposition?

The importance of salespeople with the talent and experience to deliver value.

How did Prospects and Customers view your value proposition prior to the COVID-19 crisis?

How do you project the perception of your value proposition will change?

With the current level of uncertainty hanging in the air, we and our Clients are seeing Prospects slow down their decision-making. Value is more important than ever right now.

For those with salespeople who can deliver value in their counsel when combined with the product / service value, post COVID-19 will be a remarkably powerful opportunity.

Do you have the caliber of sales talent that:

  1. Understands value?
  2. Has the capacity to deliver extreme value in a credible fashion?

Unquestionably, sales teams will be forced to become even stronger at delivering exceptional value. Salespeople who cannot deliver exceptional value will become a liability to your business.

The only salespeople that should be on your sales team are Sales Wolves. 

Adoption of Sales Systems - CRM (Customer Relationship Management), sales scripting, sales processes.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, it was common to hear of poor sales systems adoption.

This will change. For those sales teams that adopt best sales practices, the rewards will be significant. 

It is time to stop being soft in holding salespeople accountable to activity tracking, script adherence, CRM use and any identified best practice that can maximize sales performance while reducing variance. 

This softness historically is due to two realities.

  • Soft sales management.
  • Frightened sales management.

The common fear I heard pre COVID-19 crisis was the concern that key salespeople may leave the company if forced to follow draconian scripting, CRM, activity and other forms of accountability and performance best practices.

Salespeople who choose to not adopt best sales practices are going to become an expensive liability relative to those who do. 

Sales Wolves use sales systems and their best sales practices.

Those who cannot or will not adopt best sales practices should be helped to sell for the competition.

Culture Code - Accountable, Candor, Transparency and Feedback Loops

You are the guardian of your culture. What you allow/do not allow shapes your culture. All problems start at the head. 

If you cannot answer the following with a confident, "YES!" you have work to do.

  • Is "candor" spoken in your sales organization? "Candor generates speed." (Jack Welch - Winning).
  • Are salespeople accountable for activities AND results?
  • Do your salespeople appreciate and expect transparency and feedback loops where sales performance is purposefully analyzed to improve?
  • Are your salespeople expected to model best sales practices?
  • Are only Sales Wolves retained?

Iron sharpens iron. 

Do not squander this opportunity.

Get rid of your sacred cow practices in your sales team

Burn your boats and eat your sacred cows before your competitors do.

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