By Xantel Bekker, Marketing Manager at Itec SA
Like most South Africans, I’m a bit sports-crazy. Rugby? Yes, please. Cricket? I’m there. If the ‘Bokke’ are playing, I’m busy. One of my favourite times of the year is the pre-season, when we’re all getting ready for the action that’s about to take over our lives.
And then it struck me: right now, the business world is effectively in pre-season. Post-COVID, new normal, hybrid life – whatever you want to call it, it’s looming on the horizon. And just like any sports team, we as businesses should be hard at work with our pre-season preparation so we can hit the ground running when the new season starts.
Share your vision, and show real leadership
All team coaches and managers know the importance of having everyone on the team sharing the same goals, knowing the vision you’re all working towards, and united behind the team leadership. This is a great time to revisit your strategy and vision, while encouraging and motivating your team for the months ahead.
Make sure you have the right team in place
Look at your structure. Ensure you have the right skills in the right positions to achieve the results you’re looking for. Attitude is everything: what you’re looking for is a team that’s hungry for success, willing to work hard, and ready to work and grow together.
Focus on skills development
Now’s the time to be investing in in-depth product and sales training, to ensure that your sales teams have a cost-effective solution that will save money and time for their clients, and ensure no time gets wasted on hopeless deals or incorrect decision makers. Systems training ensures efficient deal processing, from new lead through to closing the deal. Industry training gives your team the knowledge to share success stories and challenges within the right verticals.
Remember, practice makes perfect. This means role play and interaction; a clear online selling strategy; and getting ready to go to market with webinars, white papers and case studies. Embrace feedback from colleagues and be self-aware.
Get your stadium in order
Make sure your back-office systems and processes are upgraded and ready for action. Invest in best of breed technologies and platforms to enhance speed and ease of use, and make sure your people have access to all the tools and resources they need to maximise productivity.
Get your fans on board
Start marketing your brand and team on the right platforms now, and make sure you’re already having conversations with your ‘fans’. Tell your clients about the latest trends, and how to overcome challenges. Build rapport now, so that the ticket sales roll in when the season starts. Know what the market is looking for and what they need and be ready to add value to your customers in a unique way that cuts through the clutter.
Once you’ve done all this, it’s just a question of keeping your team motivated. That way, when the world opens up again, you’re ready to roll. Don’t get caught under-prepared when the new season starts! It’s your time to shine.