3-part mini-series on managing the sales force during the rebound

Last month, FIPP ran a popular Insider webinar series on Managing the Sales Force During the Rebound, which you can now view freely on our YouTube channel. Introduced by FIPP President & CEO, James Hewes, the series was hosted by media industry leaders Jim Elliott and John French, who interviewed other experts in the space. 

The three short 15 minute sessions looked at how salespeople are beginning to get back in-front of customers following lockdown, plans for returning to the office, what’s happening with hiring and onboarding, and the effects of various technologies including sales empowerment software and video conferencing. We here pick out some highlights from the programme, as well as the links to each individual session video. 

Episode 1: Kate Spellman, CMO of Questex, on handling the return to live events:

“It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride… it depends on the state, and if that state is opening. For example, we have two shows in May, one of which was initially scheduled for California, but we moved to Arizona because California wasn’t open. It’s been a lot of that back and fourth.” 

“And then at the same time literally daily discussions on safety. So we’ve launched a programme across Questex called Be Safe, and although we’re not requiring vaccinations we are going to be doing a lot of safety precautions. For example, for our first show, which is a meetings planning show, everyone will be tested before they go into the building.”   

You can view the full episode here

Episode 2: Simon Leslie, Co-Founder and CEO, Ink Global, on morale amongst the salesforce today: 

“It’s been a little bit like breaking up relationships over the last say 20 weeks. Every day somebody else comes along and says it’s not you it’s me, and I’ve got to go on. Because they haven’t had the opportunity to be making the money that they had over the previous decade I guess. So we’ve lost a lot of staff… we probably went from 150 sellers to maybe 55-60 and we’re now re-recruiting again.” 

“In the states it’s been a little bit less challenging, because the markets have remained quite buoyant and the airlines have continued to fly. In Europe, all our airlines have been pretty much grounded and in Asia same again. So keeping them all engaged at different times, keeping the messaging right for depending where they are in the cycle has been a real challenge.” 

You can view the full episode here

Episode 3: Steve Grossman, President, Steve Grossman & Associates, on looking ahead to what the sales process might look like as we begin to move out of the pandemic:

“I guess the only answer I can give with any confidence is we’re gonna be hybrid. But what we started seeing right from the beginning, and I think that it’s continuing, is the efficiency at both ends of the sales equation to doing things virtually. So not getting on planes as often as we used to – we used to get on a plane really at the drop of a hat for a one hour meeting, and therefore spend 8hrs in the air.” 

“And looking back that was nuts. It was nuts from both a time efficiency and cost efficiency standpoint. So I think it’s going to settle in on, you’ll still have the face to face, but that will likely be after you’ve had a series of virtual calls… face to face meetings will then come if there’s a real need to literally go in and do whiteboarding or have a dinner with people or something.” 

You can view the full episode here.  


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