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What to do with those frequent flyer miles?

The global sales space has been completely transformed over the last year with a virtual selling environment prevailing for almost all sales organizations. Sandler’s research reveals that 71.4% of participating sales managers and sales leadership report that their sales process has changed as a result of transitioning to remote commercial trading. Unfortunately, 63.2% don’t have a plan.

That’s where the Sandler Research Center (SRC) comes in. We’ve conducted a global survey querying leaders and managers from different industries and organizations to find out just how much their digital selling ecosystem has evolved and what are the challenges and changes that sales leaders have faced along the way.

The result is a comprehensive data summary, “Leading from the Front in Challenging Times.” The report shares benchmarks from around the world for you to compare your readiness in the move to a virtual selling environment across the topic areas of:

  • Strategy
  • Leadership
  • People Management
  • Coaching and Training
  • Technology
  • Human Capital Management
  • Pipeline Generation and Management

The reality of this new environment can’t be ignored. Almost all business, competitive landscapes, and sales processes have changed. And yet, there are still those within the global sales space who remain confident that their days of flying high in the sky and conducting business in pre-pandemic ways aren’t over.

They may want to think again. Even when the pandemic ends, even when the last vaccine is given, even when the last Zoom subscription payment is made – what could we really go back to now that the door has been opened? We are hiring people virtually, onboarding them virtually, training virtually, selling virtually, closing deals virtually, and so on. Even the long-standing business tradition of a handshake may be lost forever. The move to an increasingly digital landscape was inevitable, and the buyer-seller relationship has been permanently changed. In the words of the writer Gertrude Stein, “there is no there there.” Not anymore.

The secret for sales leaders who expect their business to survive in 2021 and beyond will look to arm their sales teams with the tools to win in a digital selling ecosystem. What type of sales enablement needs to happen to accomplish that goal? Organizations shouldn’t leave it to their sales leaders to figure it out on their own. Sandler’s research shows that 67.5% of leaders have not received training on how to lead remotely. Furthermore, despite the passing of a nearly a year since the first global lockdown, more than 42% of frontline sales professionals have not been adequately trained in how to sell remotely.

This calls for a dramatic change for sales leadership, across every one of the seven categories shared above. From adjusting sales strategies to re-examining every aspect of onboarding to implementing a re-skill/up-skill program. Sales leadership must absolutely be equipped to transition and pivot, again and again, in the digital selling ecosystem. Otherwise, they’ll be doomed to fly right by all of their virtual selling opportunities…and they don’t award frequent flyer miles for that.

Click here to access your report, Leading from the Front in Challenging Times. Review the data with accompanying observations and recommendations provided by the Sandler Research Center. Use this data to get a better idea of the current state of the sales space and then determine how you measure up.

 

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