2020 has been a rollercoaster to say the least. Thousands have lost their jobs and thousands more have been forced to change the way they work due to lockdowns and social distancing. 

Having recruited sales people since 2007 in the Australian market, I’d have to say current events have been the biggest shake up for sales professionals that perhaps we have ever seen (well at least in my time anyway). 

Other industries, sectors and roles have all changed significantly over the years. Factory workers have been replaced by automation and robotics. Marketing has evolved massively due to ecommerce and social media. Yet, sales and the role of a sales rep has stayed relatively the same. Sure, sales reps may now carry an iPad rather than a compendium and utilise data to determine which clients they see and when but ultimately the basics remain the same. 

For decades companies, sales leaders, sales people and their customers have placed a huge emphasis on the value of the face to face meeting. Culturally in Australia the face to face meeting has traditionally been a part of the sales process that helps to solidify the relationship and build trust. 

But now what? Social distancing has pretty much put a stop to it or reduced people’s willingness. Will video replace the need to meet in person? Will companies adapt their sales process? Will this change the way organisations train and develop their sales staff?

Perhaps there are also some benefits. No more driving all over the city and back in peak hour traffic for meetings. Reduced costs when it comes to interstate travel. Those short notice, Melbourne to Sydney days trips aren’t cheap!

Recently, Miller Leith surveyed close to 200 Australian Sales Leaders. Roughly 85% of Sales Leaders said they saw the duties/responsibilities of a sales person changing as a result of recent events.

This suggests there is change coming to sales teams all over the country. Sales Leaders, now more than ever will need to adapt and be ready for it. Will you be?

Miller Leith’s Sales Leadership Survey results are a great way for any sales leader to get an insight as to what colleagues and peers are doing in their individual sectors. If you would like to know more or see a copy of the report, reach out to [email protected]

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