To be quite honest with you, I don’t care how many employees you have in sales. Everybody in your company is in sales. Everybody in your company needs to be focused on impacting the bottom line. Because at the end of the day, if we don’t make more money, we don’t get paid.
One of the biggest mistakes that I have seen over the last couple of months is this: companies have decided to pay their employees at home for no work.
Now, don’t get me wrong, you should take care of your team members. You should absolutely be focused on taking care of your team members.
But PPP or no PPP, if I am going to be spending dollars on our team, I’m going to get creative with how I can get an ROI for every dollar spent. You might not be able to take the team into the building anymore, but you can still find value. Does that make sense?
I have some advice for companies who are scrambling (all of us): step back, look at the data, and start planting seeds.
THE 3 THINGS YOUR WHOLE TEAM CAN DO, STARTING TODAY
1. Step Back
I had a client who had 60+ employees sprinkled throughout a number of locations. When the pandemic hit, the company just started paying them week after week to stay at home. They got to spend a lot of time with their families and were obviously crazy grateful to their employer.
But any company—I don’t care what company it is, mine included—needs to manage the profit and loss statement. You’ve only got so much cash to burn. You’ve got to still run your company as the CEO, chasing opportunities and finding value.
I encouraged this client to use the time to form a mid-year kickoff meeting. It was a chance for each and every employee to get involved in the big picture. They could step back and talk about all the things that the company does really well, and all the things it does poorly. They could identify the weaknesses and strengths, threats and opportunities that they saw.
All of that can be done remotely. In fact, the distance from day-to-day operations can help your team identify better ideas and new approaches.
The company was able to create proactive action plans. And now 60+ employees are working to make that company stronger than ever.
2. Look at the Data
Any company can use the time that they’ve got right now to dig into the data. This is exactly what our company did. We had a handful of projects that we had set out for next year—and instead, we moved them up and got in front of our data.
You don’t need a billion data points to make a smarter decision. No matter how little the data was, we looked at what the data was telling us and how that might improve our company.
Additionally, as you dig into the data, you’ll start to notice data you wish you had noticed before. When we started looking at stuff, we found better ways to start tracking things in our company. We had the opportunity to test out new tools. We launched a few new trials in key areas where we really need to get better at data collecting and interpreting. In just a month and half of trials, we also found two new pieces of software that are going to dramatically improve how we handle and use data.
We’ve used this time to enter a space of growth. We have a cleaner, clearer path to hit our 2020-2021 company objectives.
What filing cabinet or folder of data and documents have you put off? If you’ve said, “we’ll get to it when we get to it,” now is the time to get to it.
3. Connect with Your Customers, Audience, and People
We took it upon ourselves to start just reaching out to customers, clients, and people. If you’re like us, your schedule has been disrupted. While it might not be easy to find the time for communication in between events and contracts, you might find yourself with more time now.
At the least, you might have a handful of employees whose jobs really do rely on physically being in your location. That’s okay. You can put them in charge of communications for the time.
In the interim, break your contacts into three categories: customers, audience, and people.
Start with your customers, and have your team do customer care calls. It might go something like this:
“Hey John, this is Tiffany Largie with Do the Damn Thing Nation. How are you doing? It’s been some time since we connected. I hope you’re doing well and staying safe. We just wanted to reach out to see how you’re doing. We’re still here for you! Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help. :)”
There are two other areas that you can absolutely slam dunk- audience and people. Your audience is your prospects. These are people who have engaged with your company or brand previously. Each company might define its audience a bit differently. For us, this area was people who we had spoken to live and in-person in the last two years. That’s a lead that we generated from being on stage or at an event.
When your team does audience outreach, it might go like this:
“Hey, how are you doing, Jessica? This is Tiffany Largie. Man, we met you a couple of months ago… …and we’re just checking in on our community. How can we support you in this time?”
Finally, your third group: brand new people. I mean, think of how many people you or your teams have connected to on LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Instagram over the years.
It takes no more than 30 minutes to reach out to a couple of dozen people at the beginning of every day or the end of every night. You just have to copy and paste a message. It’s time to start moving those contacts through some sales cycles. Reach out to people that are long overdue and get your team to jump in.
START PLANTING SEEDS
I want you to think of this time as an opportunity to strengthen your foundation and plant seeds.
Those are really the only two things that kind of matter in business. It can be tough to find the time to do it, but it’s the only way to keep making progress.
You need new seeds because you need new things to grow. And you need new things to grow so that your company makes more money. And you need to make more money so that you can pour more into the team that’s supporting you. Those seeds mean more money to pay new hires. Those seeds mean a greater impact on the planet that I love.
So that’s my advice for this time. Take a deep breath. Get your whole company to step back and look at the data. Then start making contact with your customers, audience, and people. Get some new seeds in the pipeline.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN THE NEXT HOUR
- Start organising groups and meetings where you can think about the big picture of your business. How can we be better? What are our weaknesses? What would make us more money?
- Look at the data. How can the data inform better decisions? (As you dig into the numbers, think about the kind of data you wish you had and what systems you can put in place to get that data in the next 6 months.)
- Put systems in place to contact your customers, audience, and people. Do you have employees who are under-utilised at this time? How can you make more connections and reach out?