Dave Boyce, CSO for Xant, hosts this webinar with guests Lindsey Armstrong and Chris Harrington to review how we can lead from home effectively during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.
In this article:
Tips for Leaders During Coronavirus
Meet the Speakers
Chris Harrington was CEO of Omniture and Domo. In 2002 he became the President of Omniture and built revenue from $3.5m to $500m. He rose the company to the number one business in web analytics, went public, and then sold to Adobe. From there, he went on to be President and on the board of Domo, which was also sold in 2018. Chris is now the CEO of Xant.
Lindsey Armstrong, Board of Directors at Oracle and Salesforce, is one of the world’s most accomplished B2B revenue leaders. She has been running global organizations for over 30 years. While at Symantec, she ran the EMEA division and grew sales from $10m to $2b under her leadership. After that, Lindsey moved to Salesforce and now advises Xant.
Both speakers are influential leaders who’ve managed through economic downturns.
The Current Situation
We are currently in week three of quarantine, which is the first of its kind, particularly in the internet age, so we’ve never experienced this before, and we are still working things out, and learning how to lead from home.
As we scramble to make sense of the new normal, home offices are set up, and we’ve been practicing remote working for a few weeks. However, we now move on to the harder questions like – how do we lead from home?
As leaders, our people are counting on us for direction, so how do we give them what they need to succeed? In this crisis, what’s our responsibility as leaders during and after this crisis?
We know our economy is going to be a remote economy at least for several more weeks, so we need to lead our teams into a future where businesses are intact, our customers are succeeding, and our people have jobs.
RELATED: HOW TO LEAD FROM HOME
Being able to have eye-to-eye contact and the ability to read a room are powerful factors that we don’t have anymore. The interpersonal relationship is critical and a powerful asset. It’s, therefore, especially important to build adapted ‘in-person’ experiences to keep teams motivated.
It’s essential for people to understand that you’re reliable, for example, keeping up with 1:1s and calls. Try to keep habits the same, like meeting times. Try and follow protocol to be more productive.
Set out a clear expectation of your employees and verify practices through written confirmation. Actions should still be taking place; they are just in a different format and in a more challenging setting. Lay down the new protocols, and if people operate outside of those, make sure they understand the parameters, correct any bad behaviors, and hold firm to agreed practices.
Have discipline and respond to queries and emails quickly, ideally within the day. Let your team know you are available for them.
These unprecedented times call for lots of communication; there’s no such thing as over-communication. Communicate via email and share insights, for example, sharing about how to deal with childcare, will bring the community together. If someone calls you, try and push that to a video call to maintain digital face to face contact.
Continue to reach out and have empathy for your team and customers. Find a way to align your product with what people need at the moment, and ensure services are practical. Be sensitive to people’s situations; sales still need to happen in an economic downturn, but balance that with the appropriate level of communication that’s required. Empathy, rather than sympathy, is what matters.
Make sure people are being listened to and heard. As a leader, gather your own bearings, rally your team around your customers, for example, ask how they are doing, and ensure a customer-first environment. Keep your mission the same, and pay attention to your customers.
Leverage tools that will help you to close the gap. Some things remain the same, and some things we can do to compensate and bridge gaps, given the current scenario.
Look at how you are measuring your people and make sure quotas and targets are adjusted to suit the environment.
Take the opportunity to make improvements and continue with improvement plans. Let your team know you’re still interested in them and don’t neglect the coaching and continuous improvement; coach them because they need this now more than ever.
Key Points how to avoid distraction
- Lead from the front
- Give practical advice
- Be authentic
- Keep a steady rudder
- Take advantage of tools to help you stay in contact with your teams (see free options below)
- Set and monitor protocols
- Be empathetic
- Maintain coaching activities
- Value customer interactions
Be a Community
Be part of a community to survive the coronavirus crisis; share best practices, and support each other. Care for your teams and come out stronger.
XANT is offering Playbook software for free during the pandemic crisis to help people while they figure out how to work better remotely; head to XANT Cares.
Other software providers who are providing 100% free services include Winning by Design, Qualtrics, Showpad, Tiled, PandaDoc, Muck Rack, and SalesIntel.
You can also head to our website to find out further advice on how to work from home better.
How are you leading your B2B teams? What positives will you take away from this situation? Share your ideas in the comments section below.