This year was unlike any other: A global pandemic, quarantine, business shutdowns, a social justice movement, a presidential election. Through it all, sales leaders navigated uncharted waters and emerged stronger. In many ways, 2020 brought about essential changes in the sales world — the events of the year just sped up the timeline.
As we head into a new (and much anticipated) year, we’ve learned so much. Many of those lessons must be taken with us into 2021 to continue to make changes and grow as a business — and an industry.
To help you do just that, check out some of the best sales podcast episodes our team hosted on SalesEngagement.com in 2020.
Racial tensions reached a boiling point this year. As a result, companies began speaking up and speaking out about diversity — and making a commitment to do better. How do you turn that pledge into meaningful action? You must weave it into the DNA of your business, and not treat it like a box that gets checked. Like everything else, this starts at the top.
On this episode of the Sales Engagement Podcast, we sat down with Elias Torres, CTO and Drift co-founder, for a conversation about diversity in the workplace, and the difference that having a founder of color can make.
“When you have founders of color, diversity isn’t a byproduct. It’s in the DNA of the company. It’s who you are.”— ELIAS TORRES
What do you do when your tried-and-true sales techniques no longer align with the current sales climate, as we saw this year? Refine them — don’t throw them out. For example, instead of asking for a sales call, offer to buy lunch and have it delivered to the prospect. Meet over Zoom to talk about opportunities to work together. Gauge their interest. If it doesn’t work out, they still learned about your business, and you got to support a local restaurant.
To learn how you can tweak your own sales tactics, check out this podcast on playbook optimization with Evan Carlton, Sales Enablement Manager at Matillion.
“Sellers already have a tough job. It just got a lot harder.”— EVAN CARLTON
The word “soft” is often viewed negatively in sales. However, soft skills actually produce hard sales results. As a sales leader, you have to connect your emotional skills with your sales skills to help your team thrive. That means mastering the three E’s: emotional management, emotional self-awareness and empathy. Hone in on your soft sales skillset. Listen to this podcast with guest Colleen Stanley, CEO of SalesLeadership, Inc.
“With sales leaders, coaching salespeople is often not the real problem. So you have to say, do they need more hard skill training? Or EQ? It’s usually a combination of both.”— COLLEEN STANLEY
Listening is the most underestimated skill in sales. Ask open-ended questions, truly listen for the other person’s answer, and respond to what they’re saying. A well-positioned question that stemmed from the conversation shows deep, active listening.
In this podcast, Remy Piazza, Chief Sales Officer, North America at Bureau Veritas, shares the three pillars of building a strong sales culture. Unsurprisingly, it starts with listening.
“When you have a conversation with someone, a real conversation, you’ve got to actively listen and respond based on what they’re telling you.”— REMY PIAZZA
The days of networking at big industry events may seem like a distant memory now. That doesn’t mean that networking is obsolete, says Victoria Salazar, BDR Team Lead at Reachdesk — like everything else, it has simply evolved.
Consider joining groups that resonate with your self-identity, such as “Women in Sales Everywhere” (WISE). Common ground is a great place to start when forging new bonds. You could also join groups where you have a shared cultural heritage, role (parenting, entrepreneur) or hobby (travel, art, exercise). Also, don’t overlook your current coworkers or team members in other departments. You might work together now, but who knows where you’ll both be in five years. Most people will be open to meeting virtually for a coffee and a conversation, especially if you work for the same company.
For more tips on how to network remotely, check out this great Sales Engagement episode.
“Finding the groups that I identify with — that was the first step.”— VICTORIA SALAZAR
During our Unleash Summit Series, we shared innovative strategies and best practices for sales leaders.
Here are three of the Sales Engagement podcast episodes that resulted from that series for your listening enjoyment:
“How to Build a Virtual Sales Team” with guest Britney Bartlett, Senior Director of Global Virtual Sales Specialists at Cisco
“Managing with Humanity” with guest LaKendra Davis, Assistant Vice President of Government Solutions at AT&T
“Unchanged: What Doesn’t Shift in an Economic Transformation” with guest Bill McDermott, President and CEO at ServiceNow