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We have just finished 3 days ‘IRL’ (in real life) with our Syndicate and Academy members.  How was it? In a word, it was fantastic to be back amongst the different groups and to feel the energy that is created when you put sales leaders and salespeople in a room together discussing openly and honestly the things that matter to them the most.  It was the first time that we had been together since the end of last year as we missed our chance in February due to the lockdown and I can’t put into words how good it was to be back, in the flesh so to speak.

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Sales Syndicate and Sales Academy last week.

There’s been a common theme to this blog lately – change. And one thing we can be sure of is there is more change coming! Talking to a client recently they commented that their team was sick of change (they actually coined the phrase ‘change fatigue’) and said that they just wanted to bed down some status quo. I also recently saw a quote on LinkedIn where someone stated that this era of ‘agile’ was at the risk of companies never having a proper vision or direction. Fair comment I reckon. I heard another anecdote recently that we have never moved so fast, but will never move so slow again. That all seems a bit exhausting and these comments are surely driven by the fact it’s been one hell of a 12 months.

It does raise the question of how much change is a good thing? If you use an analogy from the America’s Cup, the on-screen telemetry shows that every time a boat tacks, they lose speed, not gaining full speed again until they’ve sailed in the same direction for a period of time. Interestingly, the winning boat in every race in the final was the boat that tacked (changed direction) the least number of times.

In response to Covid alert level restrictions over the past year, we made a change and added ‘online’ to the programme collection. There is no doubt that this decision to move quickly online kept our community alive and it has reinforced the importance of human connection.

So here is my sense of what the next 6 - 12 months have in store. 

  1. It is time to steady the ship (I’ll stick with my Americas Cup analogy for now). That means affirming your direction and focus, limiting the number of pivots (yip, still using that word), avoiding ‘change fatigue’ and focus on building some straight-line speed again. But all the while keeping that human connection, valuable relationships, trusted partnerships and team spirit top of mind. This is particularly important if you are part of a team, working with clients and even more so when you are in the sales environment.
  2. Care and concern for staff wellbeing has never been more important and there will be extra concerns about the risk of burn out and mental health.
  3. Careful management and open dialogue on flexible working is crucial. Did too many companies suddenly jump to “let’s all work from home”? I spoke to an Australian contact recently who said that his company gave their team the option to work from home, to work at the office or to do a mix. He had chosen work from home and was now regretting it. For me and for most people in sales the human connection is all too important, and it is making this a priority that will elevate a company’s worth both from a consumer and an employee point of view.

So yes, change has happened and is happening, but maybe it has highlighted what is most important – the human element. Although we are hard-wired to resist change, keeping the human connection just might be how we get through it.


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