The Year of Recovery

2020…COVID.  Lockdowns…


Sorry, I don’t mean to be triggering…!

But around April last year organisations pretty quickly realised that in such an “unprecendented” year it would be unfair to expect their sales teams to achieve original sales targets.  In fact, 2020 couldn’t have been further from business as usual with entire industries literally shut down with all of the flow on impacts on suppliers and customers reliant on them for survival.  For those industries in fortunate positions, there was the inevitable product shortages as stock from Chinese supply chains sat at the dock for months.

The pie shrunk for a while.  And it was like we had 7 countries with 7 different sets of restrictions, rules and ways of working.  In some ways, it still does a bit.

But we got through it.  Well, many of us did….just.  And as CFO’s examined their financial statements, they communicated a very unanimous and clear message to the business – we must recover that shortfall!

There’s 2 ways to recover that shortfall –


ONE: Increase revenue

TWO: Reduce overheads


In my opinion, it must be both.  And sales teams MUST understand how to maximise margin and EBIT.  It’s not enough for sales people to simply elevate revenue through sales because sales at any price can be an absolute disaster.

This is where commercial selling enters the picture.  But does your sales team even know what this means or how to apply a commercial approach to the way they sell?

Failing to support your team with the RIGHT approach is like sending an army into battle with sticks instead of guns.  Any sales program worth its salt in 2021 should educate sales people to sell in a way that:


ONE: Maximises top line sales

Understanding where growth will come from: which industries, which customers, what focus, potential value

Knowing how to realise that growth: the right approach with the right customers in the right way at the right time

More in the pipeline, increased conversion rates, reduced sales cycles


TWO: Reduces cost of sales

When to drive/fly, when to use technology (yes, the phone as well as Zoom)

Every car that is on the road costs the business: petrol, registration, tolls, parking, servicing

Who can afford additional days spent in quarantine – if in doubt don’t


THREE: Reduces cost to serve

SLA that has considered all points of the business

Understanding and communicating the value chain

Knowing the impact on margin of delivery, stock on hand availability


FOUR: Delivers positive commercial outcomes to both parties

The real cost of discounting

Understanding how value is measured beyond price and how to have the value delivered conversation


Give your team a fighting chance and set your organisation up with a stronger foundation.  Regardless of the nuances of the year that’s been, it’s better customer engagement.  No time like the present to get this started.




View our other posts

Energy flows where intention goes

I’m not one for denying reality.    When it comes to a healthy emotional and mental outlook, accepting reality is a key component.  And as I write this, Victorian small business, in particular, has been assaulted with another lockdown on a weekend that many in...

The Year of Recovery

2020…COVID.  Lockdowns…   Sorry, I don’t mean to be triggering…! But around April last year organisations pretty quickly realised that in such an “unprecendented” year it would be unfair to expect their sales teams to achieve original sales targets.  In fact,...

If you think there’s more, there probably is…

What a revelation!? If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably allowed yourself at times to entertain the notion that there is more possibility for you….even if you don’t know right now how to access it.  More roles, more revenue, more market share, more customers,...

Pressure reveals mindset

Getting back into a rhythm of market contact this year is going to be interesting to say the least.    In some sectors of the market, in person meetings are still rare indeed.  In others, market contact is all about being respectful of time which seems to be even...

I don’t “sell”

Every now and then I come across professionals who say things to me like:   “I’m not in sales.” “I’m not a salesperson.”  “Selling leaves me cold”   When I ask about their roles, it turns out that while they’re “not in sales”, they’re responsible for :...

Entitlement vs gratitude

I heard a story the other day that I found troublesome but not uncommon.    And it’s something that will absolutely separate those who will be ready willing and able to make the most of 2021 and those who won’t be. The first story was that of an employee who was...

Making the shift from Knowing, Doing to Being

I’m not interested in what you know, how long you’ve known it for or even how much you know.  I am happy that you know it.    Experience shows me though that it’s not knowledge that changes things, it’s the application of that knowledge.  We can know a lot of...

Choose Enthusiasm

Joy!….What is it good for….absolutely everything!  Say it again!   Customer service people, sales people, leaders of people….those of us who work with others to achieve an outcome understands the power of enthusiasm.  Of bringing joy to a situation.  It’s...

Are you successful in spite of yourself?

Success.  Achievement.  Getting results.   In sales and in sales leadership, there’s a measure of success: improvement in sales, improvement in margin, increase in average transaction value, reduction in sales cycles…So when targets across these measures are...

2021 Starts Now

Victorian sales teams: if you’re waiting for the end of lockdown until you can get back out there in person to see your prospects and customers, stop waiting!  The time was 2 months ago.  Act now.   I say this because it’s like we’ve been wading through treacle...