Episode OneHundredSixtyTwo

Positive Outcomes of the Current Crisis

Guest: Mike Conti, Director of Business Development at G2 Crowd

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About This Episode

All of us have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of us are worrying for loved ones, others are struggling to cope with staying at home.

It’s hard to stay positive and choose optimism, but focusing on the good is more essential than ever.

I was talking with Mike Conti, Director of Business Development at G2 Crowd, before the recording, and we decided to just go unscripted.

“I have the good fortune and good pleasure of helping to be the talent pipeline of G2,” Mike said. “These are the future leaders.”

Mike and I had a great conversation about finding positives in today’s tough times — how this crisis reminds us that people are what matters most.

Bringing out the best in each other

Lately, when people ask, “How are you?” they are genuinely interested to hear.

“This uncharted territory is bringing out the best in humans,” Mike said.

People are showing each other that they care and are taking the time to do whatever they can to help one another.

It’s not just salesperson-calls-prospect right now. It’s lifting up each other with a little message or taking someone some food — or that pause of genuine concern when we want to know how the person we’re talking to is really doing.

“Regardless of how much this pandemic has impacted you personally, we can all feel for one another that this is changing our lives right now,” Mike said.

That closeness and bonding that our present struggles are bringing to our family and work lives are something that is going to carry us through.

“When you have something that impacts the world at a global scale like this, it brings us all back down to our core of, at the end of the day, we’re all just humans,” Mike said.

Remote work is all about culture

I asked Mike what it was like for him to transition his team to being fully remote.

His team is completely varied:

  • First job out of college
  • First sales position
  • Veteran seller who’s never worked from home

“I had that initial panic and freak out moment, Oh my gosh, we’re never going to hit our numbers. We’re going to fail. The worst is coming,” Mike admitted.

Whereas the reality is that everyone has been showing phenomenal commitment. “In some instances, we’re actually putting up better numbers now than we ever have before,” Mike said.

Working from home is a different beast if you’re not used to it.

Mike hopes to use this time for some forced adaptability and reflection. “How does this time allow us to think differently about work moving forward?” he said. “That’s the really cool thing that’s going to come out of this professionally.”

One thing that shouldn’t change is the emphasis on culture, whether we’re in an office or remote.

“Our teams have been able to be so successful remotely because we have a really strong foundation — and that foundation is the culture,” he said.

What matters most is the people and the culture they’ve created.

3 tips for remote work

Some practical changes brought about by remote work:

  • Recognize your peak working times

If your brain is “hot” from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM and then “cold” from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, let yourself be flexible.

Focus hard during the morning and save some easier tasks for the afternoon.

  • Take frequent breaks

Some managers can get freaked out by giving their people carte blanche on working hours, but that’s the way to build trust and show empathy.

Mike doesn’t work for eight hours straight right now, so he definitely doesn’t expect his people to work that way at home.

  • Leverage video chat technology

People are seeking genuine, authentic interaction with others.

“Video conferencing brings us closer together, and in this time when we can’t physically be in the same place, this is what allows us to have that human connection,” he pointed out.

“You don’t know what the other person on the line or the person next to you is going through,” Mike said. “Be kind, be a good human.”

(And honestly, this positivity should be the formula whether we’re in a crisis or not.)

Stay safe and healthy out there! We’ll see you next time.

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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