While the exact outcome of the current Brexit negotiations remains unclear, it’s inevitable that the UK’s relationship with Europe will be altered following the October 31st decision deadline. Many organisations have been struck by uncertainty as the developments have unfolded, with a reluctance to make major businesses decisions or increase headcount. However, the economy has continued to grow in the wake of the referendum, employment in the UK is at an all-time high and Brexit has even created jobs in the forms of business advisers and trade negotiators. This positivity is great news for sales teams who have been unsure about how their business will be impacted by any Brexit outcome. Although time will tell what the final decision will be, there are plenty of things you can be doing to prepare your sales team for Brexit.
Review your business plan
Your Brexit preparation plan should include a thorough review of your business plan to better help you approach and prioritise any actions you may take after Brexit. It’s important to understand where you’re at currently, what the implications of Brexit may be for your sales team and what you can do to minimise disruption. This should include how your existing plan might be impacted by Brexit opportunities and threats, and which key areas you should focus on first. Consider how a change in trade conditions, customs, tariffs and borders might impact your bottom line, as well as any potential impact to your business headcount and your ability to recruit in the future. While Brexit many restrict some of your sales activities, it could present opportunities in the form of new markets and increased international sales. It’s important to plan for every eventuality, and the sooner you do this the better placed you will be in October.
Keep up to date with recruitment
While there were initially strong concerns about Brexit’s employment implications, we’ve actually seen a continued and robust demand for labour. That, combined with the low rate of unemployment, has led to increased difficulty in attracting and recruiting the top sales talent. In fact, 44% of employers had greater difficulty in recruitment in 2018 compared to 2016, with more hard-to-fill vacancies on the market. This means it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your recruitment, particularly if you want to continue hitting your sales targets.
Brexit may actually serve as a learning tool, highlighting areas of weakness in your sales and marketing teams that may restrict you from growing in the UK or into other markets. To mitigate this, you should consider whether you have the existing expertise to make changes and upgrades to your sales and marketing plans, as well as identifying skills gaps that will emerge after Brexit. Sales people with a second language may be particularly beneficial if you are to undertake a market diversification strategy. A strategic approach to preparing your sales team for Brexit involves proactively looking for new skillsets and recruiting new talent to support you during and after any Brexit result takes place.
Think about developing your team
In an uncertain economic climate, it’s vital to know that you can rely on your board and sales team. Giving your sales team the chance to upskill and train in new areas can make all the difference when it comes to approaching challenges and developments like Brexit. A focus on upskilling and retraining existing sales people will help regardless of the Brexit outcome; 44% of Europeans lack digital skills, despite the fact the nine in ten jobs will require digital expertise in the future. Lateral career moves and stretch assignments may become more prevalent, with employers agreeing that upskilling employees for hard-to-fill positions is the best way to address recruitment difficulties in a Brexit age. As well as focusing on skills and development, you should also consider the wellbeing of your team. A mindful, healthy sales team that feels empowered and trusted to develop will be more productive and ultimately achieve better results for your team.
Address any weakness you have within your sales team now to ensure you have the strongest possible business come October 31.
Strengthen your sales team with BMS
Once you’ve identified how to prepare your sales team for Brexit, it’s time to identify skills gaps and either recruit or train to ensure your sales team is ready for the coming months. At BMS, we can help you with both. Find out more about us or contact us to see how we can help you strengthen your sales team.
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