Dan Smith is the VP of sales at a major pharmaceutical company. Dan Smith has been a sales leading figure within the Pharmaceutical Industry for the last ten years. He’s spent the bulk of his career in the pharmaceutical industry in various marketing and sales roles. He reminisces about the time when “we were expanding our sales force each year, at least”. He recalls the good old days when he attended sales meetings that were extravagant at exotic locations and was having fun.
The year 2009 is the first time Dan acknowledges the necessity to shift to a minor sales team. The company is currently facing problems with patent expiration, has difficulties obtaining coverage from formularies for new medications, and is experiencing less access to doctors. Over the last six months, Dan has been working behind closed doors to study a myriad of sales forces alignments, permutations, and configurations. He has presented three times to his corporate VP and boss. Dan is convinced by the executives that his strategy is logical.
Dan has carefully designed an innovative method of marketing and has a strategy that is based on making “Moments that are Magical” for his clients. He has listened to his customers’ demands and is working to transform the company to make it more efficient and focused. The days of sloppy detail are over. Sales reps must make a difference on every single call. They have to provide value to their clients and help propel the business forward.
In the next few days, Dan will implement his restructuring strategy. That’s when the rubber hits the road. He is aware that the following weeks will be complex and demanding. He has a crucial leadership role to fill. Being his sales executive coach, I have been privy to his goals for the past six months. We’ve had a long conversation regarding the pressures and burdens of his duties. I’ve been an ear and have assisted him in developing the necessary skills for managing change for leading the organization’s transformation.
Dan has, hopefully, laid the foundation to be successful. Prior to launching, Dan has a 4-part strategy, which I’ve explained in this article.
1. Make sure all your ducks are in order.
Legal and HR have all paperwork in the correct order. There are packages that have been prepared for every sales representative who has been dismissed (severance letters, outplacement services offers, etc.). Personnel who will reach out to sales reps have been instructed and are well-equipped to convey what’s going on.
2. Act quickly.
Even although Dan has attempted to keep the situation quiet, rumors of layoffs are bound to be heard, causing stress for everyone. The media is abuzz in fear, and it is adverse effects on productivity, morale, and focus. This is an excellent reason to set deadlines and be sure you’re meeting them successfully and effectively.
3. A new vision for the sales team is set and is ready to be implemented.
Dan is prepared to concisely and clearly communicate what he believes is the future. Dan will outline what the company can expect to accomplish differently. The new structure for sales is like, and which roles and duties of team members will be. He has meticulously crafted the reasoning behind the downsizing in order to make it easier for the general public to understand.
4. Schedule personal meetings.
Dan considers that it’s crucial to be able to speak face-to-face with every employee. Make sessions short and concise. Giving those being dismissed with respect, acknowledging their efforts, and providing fair severance compensation was crucial to the employee. He understood that word gets out quickly and how employees are treated when they go out conveys a message to the remaining sales personnel. He tried his best to make sure that sales reps were treated with respect and dignity with regard to the transition package and in a manner that was respectful.
Now that the word is out, Dan has laid out three objectives for the sales team
1. To keep all the top performers
2. Regain your productivity and enthusiasm as fast as is feasible
3. Transition to a new method of operating business.
Dan realizes that his success with his new plan is contingent on the support of his sales managers. To allow any change management strategy to be successful, it must be led by the frontline. This is a crucial moment for Dan, who has to communicate effectively with all employees. The front-line managers of his company will be looking to Dan for guidance. He will serve as the role model. His behavior and behavior during the beginning phase will send an important message to everyone on the team.
Dan worked on changes over the last six months. He’s had time to confront his own anxiety, guilt, and worries about the effect his ideas have on the company. His management is on the other side and is just beginning to come to terms with their own emotional issues. They’ve lost colleagues, sales reps, and even friends. They’ll need to confront their emotions as well as their grief, anxiety, and fears. Dan, along with me, has come up with an approach to assist him in transitioning his company to a new direction.
1. Make them feel loved.
It is essential to gain their trust before you can win their minds. The managers must be convinced of the new changes and their future within the company. The real work begins once all announcements are made, and the elimination of layoffs has been completed. The senior sales manager has to concentrate their attention on the remaining managers of sales as well as sales representatives.
2. Develop an empathy-based leader:
It is essential to be open. Listen. Help your employees manage their emotions and show empathy. If you show concern and enthusiasm in the process, you’ll be working to bring everyone back on track. Create weekly meetings for the group to get an update on the process is going. Remove the smaller flames and work to stop them before they turn into infernos.
3. Provide Help:
Your efforts should be concentrated on coaching and encouraging individuals to succeed in the transition to the new direction. Be accessible, present, and available to your employees. It may be beneficial to provide your sales manager access to an executive coach who will assist them in tackling any problems. A coach for executive sales can help in accelerating the process by providing an impartial listening ear and an avenue for managers to talk about issues that they aren’t at ease discussing with you.
4. Encourage and communicate positivity.
Your message should reflect optimism and have a “can achieve” attitude about the change. Make sure to promote positivity and optimism in all of your communications. Make sure you emphasize positive developments and all successes, however small. Celebrate each accomplishment and let the individuals who adapt faster be role models for your team.
You may have guessed; Dan is a fictional Executive. He is a representative of all Vice Presidents of Sales in the business who have over the last few months announced a reduction within their organizations. I would like to encourage sales executives who recently had to go through a downsizing experience to talk about their struggles and triumphs if you’d like to share your personal experience. I would like to hear your comments or concerns.