Each month, Artemis Partnership’s ‘5 Thoughts from the Field’ will feature executives from a variety of fields to hear their insight on business development, pursuits, secrets to success and more.
About Jonathan Bowman-Perks MBE, Global Leadership Advisor to CEOs & Executive Teams
Jonathan focuses on your personal behaviour and future business results. His vocation has been shaped by his Father’s heroic leadership role modelling and his untimely death, as a British Royal Navy fast jet Pilot. Jonathan’s life calling is to inspire you and your team to: find and live your “True North”, unlock your potential and make a real difference in the world. Jonathan is a Master Certified Coach (MCC), executive team facilitator, motivational speaker, philanthropist and author. As a Key Person of Influence (KPI) he focuses on current and aspiring CEOs, senior executives and their teams in the Corporate, Financial, University, Entrepreneurial and Retail sectors.
1. What are the biggest challenges business development leaders have had to tackle since the pandemic started, and how have they solved them?
2. What do you think lies ahead for business development leaders as firms start to emerge from the pandemic? New challenges? New opportunities?
New Ways of Working – it will be different. Do your SWOT analysis of your strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats to your business development? Do some good virtual brainstorming with your colleagues.
Really know your target audience. Use the virtual world to find everything you can about your target audience: their interests, hobbies, hopes, fears and what keeps them awake at night. Fully occupy their physiology and their lives - in your mind and see it from their point of view. DO their SWOT analysis for them. What are their challenges what are their opportunities?
Opportunities in the roaring 20s. Some sectors have done well in the pandemic and have got so much extra business they are overwhelmed by it. Others have hit a brick wall, but the demand will come soaring back when the brakes are taken off and people can meet face-to-face. So be ready for the pent-up demand in those areas and what could be like the roaring 1920s of people living life to the full.
Rule of three. Pick the right moment to commit yourself. In my training at the army staff college we studied WW2 German manoeuvre warfare tactics. They always worked on the rule of three. Firstly, your ME your Main Effort: where you put your best resources, people and focus. Then the secondary and finally tertiary efforts in reducing priority. If your main effort against the opposition is blocked and cannot make headway, then switch your effort to either of the other two and make them the new main effort.
3. It must be particularly difficult to coach or mentor the sales team in this environment. How are leaders handling it?
In my inspiring leadership podcast that I run each week I interviewed a CEO who is a great coach and mentor to her own sales team. This was the advice from Pamela Hackett CEO of global operations management consulting firm Proudfoot.
Top Tip: 1-5-30 She recommends you check in with your team once a day (1) - quick hi, in more detail once a week (5) for about 30 mins how their week went. Then once a month (30) chat for an hour for more detail on how their job and life is going - a more meaningful conversation. Get in that rhythm to check in rather than checking up.
4. It must be equally difficult for sales teams to maintain high quality contact with key accounts and prospects. What’s been working? What hasn’t been working?
Relationships. It’s all about the quality of your relationships. How good were you in building relationships when it was calm, long before the storm hit? If those relationships are built on sound foundations, they will not rock, stagger, and crumble, but they will withstand a pandemic and a recession. Build relationship now for further troubled times ahead.
Top Up Your Emotional Bank Accounts. Commit and invest in emotional bank accounts with individual clients.
Patience. Patience is a great quality. Whilst your clients may not have the cash flow to work with you right now, they will do in some future moment. They need to know you’ll be there for them in the tough and barren times for when that sunnier moment comes. So, actually you have to work harder than ever to keep relationships trusting and warm right now.
5. How can leaders best handle burnout? That of their teams and their own?
I’ve seen a lot of burnout; I’ve spoken to people sectioned in mental asylums. I’ve held back and reassured people close to taking their own life. I’ve recommended all take CBT therapy and get additional help.
Personally, I’ve even been seriously depressed and had suicidal thoughts myself; when the impact of the pandemic and the recession hit my own business very hard.
So, from personal experience and from the advice I’ve given others these tips will prevent burnout and help mental health for individuals and teams: