From the pandemic, to the Great Resignation, to rising costs and the supply chain crisis, the only things that are certain are change and uncertainty.
But opportunity lies in moments of disruption. Opportunity to re-evaluate and reset. Opportunity to serve. Opportunity to come out stronger on the other side.
There has never been a more important time to maintain agility. Agility will help you remain optimistic and harness opportunity in uncertainty, which your teams need from you as a leader and your prospects and customers are looking for from sellers.
Agility is the ability to be nimble in your decisions and your actions. This skill is one of the most important factors in great leadership. With agility, you can rapidly analyze, understand and decide when faced with new situations and new business problems.
We can look at agility through three pillars: strategy, revenue growth and operational performance. Each pillar plays a role in your ability to succeed through times of change and crisis.
Agility is making the best decisions we can with the information at hand. When new information becomes available, we decide what to do with that information and pivot.
- Strategic speed balances the ability to look to the future and at what’s in front of us at the same time. Even though we typically deal with a crisis in the near term, long-term success depends on being able to compartmentalize and continue to work toward strategic goals.
- Slow the pace and think through important questions. For example, what adjustments do you need to make to the strategic plan in the short term? In the long term? Prioritize your strategies that are the most critical. Then consider your key performance indicators for each.
As we consider revenue during times of change and crisis, our goal is to stabilize and then return to a place of growth. Below are two strategies.
- Do not retreat from your customers. If we’re forward facing in the marketplace, we’ll be remembered when we get to the other side of a crisis. Reach out to all prospects and customers in your pipeline and ask what they’re seeing in their businesses. Some customers might be ready to move forward. Other customers might be in a holding pattern. Adjust accordingly and meet them where they are.
- Reframe your pipeline, especially if you have at-risk verticals. This could include altering forecasts or closing new business. Taking a very honest assessment of the pipeline will help you make appropriate adjustments in your sales activities.
What are your daily touch points? Do you need to shift your pace or method of communication?
- If you are in an individual contributor role, engage your leader. Talk through items you’re working to accomplish this week and this quarter. It can be a two-way dialogue. A leader will appreciate the proactive reach out, rather than if you wait to be engaged by them.
- Continue building trust and providing confidence to solve problems.
- Remember to maintain perspective and keep your energy up. In a continued state of disruption, it’s easy for change fatigue to set in.
We can’t go back; we can only go forward. It’s our choice to move forward with optimism and agility, in the service of our teams and customers. ●
Amy Franko is CEO and LinkedIn Top Sales Voice at Amy Franko Associates