Episode OneHundredFiftyFive

Leading Sales Teams through Adversity

Guest: Ben Dietz, President of Mintel Americas at Mintel

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About This Episode

What a weird time to be living through right now.  

Entire sports leagues have ceased operations, cities are going into “lock-down,” and many small businesses are hanging on by a thread, having to radically adjust their operating model to stay open and keep people employed. 

With all of the noise, it can be a scary time to be in any profession. But how do you navigate the sales world in a time like this? 

Are people really itching to be sold to? 

How can you lead a sales team through a time like this and still feel like you have a soul when it’s all said and done? 

On this episode of the Sales Engagement podcast, we took a few minutes to sit down with Ben Dietz, President of Mintel Americas at Mintel, and chat about what leadership looks like in times of adversity. 


No professional has ever gone through any sort of major crisis and thought to themselves, “Wow, I wish I’d heard from my leadership LESS during that time.” 

Granted, we’ve never faced anything like we’re dealing with now, so there really isn’t a playbook on “how to navigate your sales team through a global pandemic.” But one thing is for certain, your team needs to hear from you. 

It may not be earth-shattering news, but your team needs to know that you’re there, that you’re listening, and that you are available as much as possible, because a lot of them are scared, and rightfully so. 

We don’t know what the future holds, or what our markets are going to look like when we come out of this. 

So as much as you can be, be visible to your team, and communicate with them regularly. 

Be Transparent

It’s okay to be human. 

We are all humans, and we all have emotions and feelings. And especially during a time like this, it is crucial that your team know how you’re feeling. Your team aren’t robots, and neither are you. 

In a world where emotions are seen as a weakness, have the courage to be vulnerable with your team. Let them know that you’re there for them, but that you’re anxious or apprehensive about where things are headed, just like they are. 

Stand Out

This is your time. 

We’re in a season right now where every person in the organization is going to need to stand up and take ownership of things. Because not everybody is going to be able to bring their 100% to the job right now. 

Kids are home from school. People are sick. They’re dealing with others who are sick. There are areas of the business that are possibly going to be missed. 

It’s a chance for you to step up, whether or not you’re a “leader” in your organization, and help take some of the burden onto your shoulders, if you’re able. 

The only thing in our lives that we have any control over is how we react and respond to the situations that are put before us. We can either shrink back, or step up. 

It may mean taking on a part of the business that you’re not used to.

It may mean lengthening that sales cycle and not pitching with the first email. The first email may just be a “We know these are weird times and we’re here for you” type of email. 

And that’s okay.

There is no rulebook. There’s no play book for how to steer your sales team through a global pandemic, but you can lead by example by communicating, being transparent, and seizing the moment and stepping up. 

This post is based on a podcast interview with Ben Dietz. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

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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