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June 9, 2020

How are You Arming Your Team for the Crisis?

GUEST: Dustin Deno, VP of Sales, North America at Showpad

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It’s become a cliché almost instantly, but “the new normal” is so apt.

Even if you were remote before, now every day is take-your-kid-to-work day.

Everyone’s navigating a new normal. But leaders need to chart the course.

Dustin Deno, VP of Sales, North America at Showpad, is a skilled cartographer when it comes to remote work and company messaging.

He came on the show today to explain what you need to know to sail the murky waters of COVID-19 and beyond.

Dustin covers: 

  • How to adjust to working remotely
  • How to change your messaging overnight
  • Why intent is more important than ever

The Do’s and Don’ts of remote work 

For many people, working from home is new, so some learning curve is expected. Still, it’s vital you do learn.

Even as some businesses begin the process of reopening, we don’t know how long the crisis will last. And even when it’s over, the world of work probably isn’t going back to normal.

So what can you do to adapt to the remote-work renaissance?

Well, for starters, are your teams equipped to do their jobs?

If they’re missing any of the tools they need to function day-to-day then you can’t expect them to have the same kind of productivity.

Assuming they’re well equipped, the biggest challenge when transitioning into a remote workforce is the isolation. And with COVID-19, this isolation is permeating everything, not just the job. So you’ll want to engage more with your team.

Try doing daily standups, collaborative meetings and projects and, especially, socially-distanced fun like happy hours over Slack.

Whatever you do though, you need to stay connected.

If you maintain engagement, then your employees will stay engaged with their jobs — and may even begin to enjoy having more time with their families and skipping the commute… and, let’s face it, pants.

Finally, you need to provide proper training for the new world of remote-work, because it’s not just business as usual.

Make sure you actually train your team for this crisis. Otherwise, you’re sending them into a gunfight with a knife.”

DUSTIN DENO at Showpad

The whole world has changed, which means you need to, too. 

What message are you sending? 

The most obvious example of this kind of training comes when you realize everyone has a new go-to objection now. The pre-COVID approach just isn’t going to fly.

So, you need to equip your team with new tools — you need to train them on what to do in this new confusing world.

This means entrenching your team in the present and enabling them with new ways of doing things. It means effectively leading in order to implement change across the broader team. It means using your technology to dig into every individual rep.

But you can’t stop there — don’t just speak, listen.

Especially to the calls. You need to verify that your team is following through on the new approaches and seeing where they need to reiterate.

And, if you can’t tell by now, taken as a whole these steps aren’t minor tweaks. In fact, what you are doing is changing your entire company message — maybe even your value proposition.

Your reps need to be prepared for this change.

And, of course, with this comes practical concerns like looking at every message your company is putting out into the world and making sure you’re not being insensitive.

If you have an ad about sneezing in strangers’ faces on a cruise ship, now probably isn’t the best time to run it, right?

Your entire value proposition could have changed overnight. In this new world, we need to take a step back and understand what our new messaging is.”

DUSTIN DENO at Showpad

Look around at what’s happening to other companies. Who’s winning and losing in this crisis?

Outside of certain industries with direct hits no amount of agility could solve — travel, concerts, coughing competitions — the companies who are doing the best are the ones who are the most agile. There isn’t really a choice anymore.

You need to listen, engage and be ready to pivot when necessary to survive and thrive through this new world. 

Why intent matters more than ever

You could probably amend this subheading to the very clunky: “Why intent matters more than ever…more than ever.” Yeah, it’s excessive, but it actually makes sense.

The sales landscape was already going through seismic shifts that made this statement true before COVID. Now, it’s doubly true.

You should take advantage of the tools out there to gauge consumer intent and research it across the entire internet.

I’m tripling down on intent. That’s how our new messaging will resonate.”

DUSTIN DENO at Showpad

If you understand intent, then you can reach out through thought-leadership, resources and tools to add tremendous value to those who believe your solution just isn’t a top priority.

And you can shift your sales-driven effort towards people who have intent.

This blogpost includes highlights of our podcast interview with Dustin Deno, VP of Sales, North America at Showpad.

Subscribe to hear this episode and many more like it. For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.