Skillfully Leading Forward from This New Place

Resilient Sales Leaders Build Resilient Salesforces

By David Yesford

In times of change, resilient sales leaders need to mindfully pause and emerge with a proven process to foster a salesforce energized in its commitment to develop and sustain customer relationships, using creativity and opportunity to drive results.

What can you do as a sales leader to lead yourself and your sales team to success while in the midst of change? Traditional face-to-face access to customers, key stakeholders, and decision-makers is no longer the norm. With virtual sales fields the new reality, effective sales leadership communication and coaching tactics must adapt.

In this article, we’ll consider the likelihood of your organization surviving or thriving during these challenging times based on:

  • What you tell yourself about change
  • How you deal with and refocus dispersed energy
  • How you lead through change
People often confuse resilience with toughness. Toughness is like a shield against life’s troubles that allows you to continue forward. Resilience is when you allow the troubles to go through you and enter you, changing you, then going forward from this new place.

— Sebastián Lelio, author of Gloria Bell (movie), 2018

Understanding Resilience as a Wave vs. a Shield

Deloitte Insights1 believes that a typical crisis plays out over three time frames:

  1. Respond, in which a company deals with the present situation and manages continuity
  2. Recover, during which a company learns and emerges stronger
  3. Thrive, in which the company prepares for and shapes the “next normal”

Three potential mindsets can occur among employees during change, which have a large impact on your employees’ engagement and energy:

  • We’re in crisis. Can we survive? It feels like it’s only a matter of time. Employee engagement dims and people live in the loss.
  • We’re changing again. Will the changes work? It feels like in-between times. Employee engagement is unpredictable, and people get burned out or put their energy on hold.
  • What is our potential? How good can we get? This feels like opportunity. Employees are fully engaged and committed.
In order to successfully move through organizational change, leaders must first reflect on their own situation and deal with their own concerns as leaders first.

David Yesford

“David Yesford, Senior Vice President of Wilson Learning Worldwide Inc., brings along over 30 years of expertise in developing and implementing human performance improvement solutions across the globe. He is an active member of the Wilson Learning Global Executive Board, with current responsibility at a global level.

Mr. Yesford is the contributing author of Win-Win Selling, Versatile Selling, The Social Styles Handbook, The Sales Training Book 2, and several other books. He has been published in numerous business publications throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, and he is also a frequent speaker at international conferences and summits.”