The world economy is facing challenges we haven’t seen in my lifetime. The impacts caused by the various sharemarket crashes, the GFC, political instability, etc won’t have a patch on the lasting effects caused by this current pandemic. ‘Unprecedented times’ we keep hearing – it sure is!
In times like this, businesses will need to differentiate themselves and articulate their value like never before. And that requires all those who contribute to the sales efforts to have the mindset and the skills that will set them and their companies apart from the rest. Sadly, many are ill-equipped to do that.
Hold on – so, you’re saying that with my business facing reduced revenue in a really tough trading environment, I should commit funds to invest in the development of my people?
A resounding YES! Even more so when it comes to your salespeople.
It might sound strange to suggest spending more as your revenue seems set to shrink – but here’s three crucial reasons why you should:
- With a likely reduced market in which you will be operating, you need to ensure your people can maximise opportunities to increase your slice of a smaller pie.
- Organisations that invest in their people have much better retention of staff and those staff are more engaged – reducing recruitment costs, minimising the need for training of new hires (ironically!) and avoiding lost productivity as new people get up to speed.
- When the market improves (and it will), you need your team to be ready to hit the ground running – to have the tools to grab the opportunities immediately, not to lose months of growth potential as they learn and hone their skills.
There’s another reason that is super relevant right now. A sometimes forgotten aspect of face-to-face (F2F) training can be the opportunity cost of having people out of the business and not producing. With many salespeople unable to work at full capacity right now, this eliminates that cost and keeps them engaged, using their time for productive learning – a win win.
Most smart business leaders would digest those points and see some logic in them. Of course, it makes good sense – until they have to open their chequebooks!
I know what you’re thinking – clearly, as co-owner of a business training company, I’m going to expound that message to boost my own sales opportunities.
So, don’t believe me – have a read of some of the countless articles and studies done over many years that provide concrete evidence that those businesses that invest in their people in tough times reap the rewards and outperform those that don’t (both in the tough times and after). These studies come out of Harvard, MIT and respected UK institutions and go as far back as The Great Depression and sharemarket crash of the 1930s, right through to the aftermath of the GFC that hit a decade ago.
It’s not easy! We’re all looking at how we can reduce expenditure to try to minimise profit losses in this new world. But fortune really does favour the brave! Be as bold as you can, continue to invest in your people, as their mindset, skills and their resulting actions will play the biggest part of surviving – maybe even thriving – through and beyond these crazy times!