In most sectors of the economy today, sales are not just hard to come by, they are down right elusive. The current credit crisis, weak consumer confidence, and prevalence of corporate downsizings and their impact on business are all too well known.
What is a sales leader to do in the midst of this perfect storm? Look to the “Toughest Race on Earth” – The Iditarod – for some answers. When the weather conditions deteriorate and the sledding becomes brutal, strategy becomes more important than ever. To win the race, not only do you have to know your team and prepare them for the 1,150 mile race over wintry Alaskan terrain, you must have strategies for a variety of conditions, including the typical sub-zero climate, warmer than expected conditions, and blizzard-like weather that can make sledding extraordinarily difficult.
So what does that mean for managing your sales team amidst the current economic blizzard? First, you need a strategy to manage your team through the current challenges. Part of that strategy, must be to prepare them for the better conditions ahead. Second, you need a strategy for when conditions improve. Companies that navigate the storm and are best prepared for the turnaround will have a significant advantage in winning the race.