In 2014, the London subway system (the “Tube”) suffered a major disruption. A worker strike meant that the Transport for London (TfL) service that operates the Tube had to shut down many stations and routes.
For commuters, it was a huge annoyance. Most had to find new ways of getting to work that avoided the stations and lines that were taken out of service. It was a major pain in the ass. But eventually life went back to normal.
Later, a group of researchers examined the data from the Tube shutdown to look for patterns in the ways that people changed their routes. They discovered that a small subset of commuters — about one in twenty — did not go back to their old routes after the strike ended.
You see, not every commuter was taking the fastest or most desirable route to work before the strike. But they never tried different routes because, like most of us tend to do, they got set in their ways. The strike forced them to try something new. And when they did, they found they liked it better than the old way.
Right now, no matter what business you are in, your organization is experiencing a major disruption. You’re probably experiencing a lot of anxiety and hardship in both your personal and your professional life. It sucks.
But there may be a silver lining.
Already, you’ve probably seen people commenting in social media that having a little extra time to spend with their families during a quarantine isn’t all bad. And the crisis will also likely have some unexpected positive impacts on businesses.
You see, the pandemic is forcing businesses to do some things in new ways. Your sales ops team is likely trying new processes and approaches you never would have tried before.
And that’s great.
We always recommend that B2B sales ops teams set aside some time for strategic thinking. But finding that time to think and experiment is hard.
The pandemic is forcing organizations to look at things in a new way. And some of those new ways might be better than the old way. Maybe working from home is more efficient for certain segments of your workforce. Maybe teleconferences are more effective with some types of prospects than in-person meetings. Maybe you’re selling new products or services that will continue to be valuable.
We’re willing to bet that your company will try at least one thing during the crisis that will actually be an improvement over the old way of doing things. Smart sales ops teams will be on the lookout for those “blessings in disguise” so that they can capitalize on them when the disruption is over.
You can learn a little more about the types of strategic improvements you might be able to make during this time in the webinar From Tactical to Strategic Sales Ops. It explains the type of thinking that can help you spot the unexpected opportunities that are arising during this time.
Things are tough out there. No question. But we are confident that you will find some silver linings if you look for them.