Does the new world have you wondering what your next step is going to be? Here’s what we’re recommending to all our sales training partners in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. When management consultant Albert Humphrey created the SWOT Analysis in the 1960’s, he probably never guessed that his concept would be a great planning guide in light of a major health and financial crisis 60 years later. Salespeople and Sales Managers need to be proactive now, even if your business has been forced closed. It will reopen one day and when that happens you need to be ready. If you are lucky enough to be part of an organization that can still be open, even partially right now, this is also extremely important. It’s time to think outside the box.
What is SWOT?
It’s an acronym for a basic, yet effective business strategy and sales planning tool. It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s smart thinking especially now given the change every business is encountering by the new world.
- Things your company does well
- Things that separate you from your competitors
- Skilled and knowledgeable staff, other internal resources
- Things like intellectual property, capital, proprietary technologies, and other tangible assets
- Anything your company lacks
- What does your competition do better than you?
- Limitations in your resources
- Unclear or no Unique Selling Proposition
- Exclusivity on specific products or expertise
- Few competitors in your area
- A recent need for your product, service or field
- Press/media coverage of your company
- More competitors in your area or industry
- Changing regulatory environment
- Negative press/media coverage
- Changing customer attitudes toward your company
Fight the urge to think that everything is a threat right now. Throwing your hands in the air and waiting for things to settle down is reactive and dangerous. Could your SWOT analysis change in the face of new developments announced daily? Yes. That’s why your SWOT analysis needs to be fluid and kept constantly current. Failing to plan and planning to fail sound opposite, yet they can have the same result – trouble for you and your company.
The SWOT Exercise
Salespeople should complete their own SWOT Analysis in each of the four areas for as much individual creativity as possible. You could easily ask other staff members to contribute as this is a great internal exercise. Then, get together as a group online and have everyone share their opinions. You’ll be amazed at how much great content will be discussed. Record all suggestions in each area. Having a visual representation of everyone’s thoughts is a smart idea. Cross out the duplications and put a star by the best points that everyone agrees are highlights in each area.
Discuss actionable steps based on:
- Maximizing Strengths
- Managing Weaknesses
- Capitalizing on Opportunities
- Minimizing Threats
This is a great opportunity for everyone to roll up their sleeves and proactively focus on what can be done given the current situation. It’s also great for morale because people feel like they’re doing something to tackle current challenges. It’s especially important for Salespeople who are paid to be professionally optimistic in the face of adversity. We need to be there for our clients who are dealing with the greatest business challenge in several decades.
Excellent Examples of the Next Step for Salespeople and Sales Managers
Necessity is the mother of invention. This phrase is becoming even more true because smart Salespeople and Sales Managers learn to adapt quickly while their competitors stand on the sidelines waiting for clarity. While there is no clarity right now, there certainly is creativity and ingenuity. Doing a SWOT Analysis can create some excellent ideas and give staff something positive to focus on.
Liquor Stores Deemed to be Essential Services
We’ve all figured out that liquor stores and cannabis retailers are seeing a surge in business. People are playing the role of employee working from home, parents are becoming teachers, and also trying to be there for our elderly loved ones. Friends and family are now shut-ins. Others are newly unemployed and in need of reassurance. Consumption has skyrocketed and will continue to do so for now as people self-medicate.
Check out the creativity of a smart Liquor Retailer who took the threat of Covid-19 and made it into an opportunity for home delivery. They give you two options – for pick up, a minimum order of $75 is required and they will gather your order. For home delivery, it’s $100 with a $10 delivery fee. That’s just smart upselling and a time when people are totally OK with it.
What will your business do?
You have a choice to make. You can play the role of Victim and do nothing or be the Victor by being proactive. Start with a SWOT analysis and get your best minds at work now.
If the timing is right to upgrade your sales skills, consider our online course The Sales Skills Incubator for $199 CAD on sale right now for $99 CAD including tax – that’s more than 50% off until March 31, 2020. Simply use the coupon code 99dollarspecialoffer at checkout. We’re also in the final stages of producing our latest online sales training course, Negotiating 2 Party Payoffs. Every great Salesperson wants to learn the skills of being a great negotiator. If you wish to be notified when the course is launched or future sales ensure that you are signed up to receive the PROSALESGUY BLOG by email. If you prefer reading, check out our book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on Amazon.
If you’re a Sales Manager interested in Group Sales Training, Individual Sales Training, or Online Sales Training in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary or Toronto please give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to speak with you.
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY