The last year has been a challenging experience for every industry and profession worldwide – but especially to the sales profession.  Let’s take a moment to look back on what we were asked to do.

Last March we were asked to keep calling, keep communicating and keep telling our story while the virus grew and the world seemed to stand still.   While restaurant workers and hospitality professionals were sent home to shelter in place, we were asked to keep the economy moving.  Those that remained focused and used the time to add value and grow know that their team is stronger, more resilient, and ready to embrace any challenge thrown their way while capitalizing on new opportunities developed from their pandemic efforts.   Those who were paralyzed and stagnant during the pandemic are looking around wondering, “Now what?” Which situation applies to you and your sales team, and what should you do now?

NO MATTER your answers to these questions, you need to accept the past and focus on answering these questions:  Is your sales team meeting and/or exceeding revenue goals?  If not, why not and what are you planning to do to improve your team’s sales performance?  If yes, what are you doing to maintain momentum?

THE ONLY ANSWER:  To paraphrase one of my favorite authors and sales consultants, Mike Weinberg, KEEP FLYING THE DARN PLANE!  If you aren’t flying the plane, then start immediately. I am sure that some are confused by this, so let me explain.  Last year Mike shared a lesson he learned from his flight instructor.  This lesson was appropriate a year ago and definitely appropriate today.  His instructor told him that above all else, “fly the airplane!”  According to Mike, this was repeated at least 10 times responsively.  Then his instructor explained, “If you get in trouble, fly the airplane; watch your airspeed and altitude. Other things like navigating and communicating can wait. Fly. The. Airplane.”[1]

We are human and the things happening around us will distract us.  This is true when things are chaotic and when things are settling into a “New Normal”.  (I am sure that we all agree that the last 12 months has changed our definition of normal.) For sales, this means focusing on the basics – sales fundamentals.    It doesn’t matter what is happening around us, in sales it is imperative to have a proven repeatable sales process (PRSP) – the “instructions” to fly your plane.  These are the basics that will drive success.

Creating a true selling system and process will change things for the better. Imagine improvement in your lower performing sales reps and an increase in overall sales.  KEEP FLYING THE DARN PLANE!  START FLYING THE DARN PLANE!  Build a solid foundation of sales fundamentals, so you can maximize your opportunities before your competition does.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Beth McClary-Wolford is a salesQB that specializes in helping small businesses in the Chattanooga area score more! She provides elite sales management to small business owners on a part-time basis, providing companies with the skill and talent they need at a cost they can afford. ​ Contact Beth today to learn more about a salesQB flight plan!