18 Sep 2020
Leaders of Technology firms are under the spotlight for paving the way during the pandemic
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Here's what tech leaders are saying about leadership during times of COVID-19
The current global crisis has catapulted the use of technology to centre stage for businesses of all sizes. Customers are adapting to new working environments, still grappling with innovations in work style, data, AI, supply chains and massive changes in the medical field.
Conditions and predictions for the future vary widely across countries and from company to company. All, however, acknowledge the centrality of technology to the future of work and life in general.
Technology companies have had to adapt quickly in the last six months. Never has it been more important to be closer to your customer and the nuances of this vary greatly from one country to the next.
We asked 50 country, regional and global Managing Directors of Software & Services companies about the last six months’ experiences in Australia and New Zealand. The findings of the report explore six areas that have evolved during the pandemic, including customer buying behaviours, sales culture in a non-office environment, local leadership, remote working, managing performance remotely and diversity.
When it came to sales activity, 83% of the leaders interviewed expected the generation of new pipeline business to become more challenging the longer remote working was enforced or encouraged. In fact, many have already seen a drop in new pipeline business of between 20-40%.
It’s clear that a new playbook for tech sales teams is emerging. It’s now considered normal for senior executives and subject matter experts to join key meetings virtually, yet a remote pitch is only half the battle. Now, a hybrid model of virtual and in-person customer engagement appears to be the most effective way of winning new business.
At the same time, we’ve found that the archetypal tech sales leader had also changed as a result of the pandemic.
In the current environment, those leaders who focus on their team, culture, lead indicators and customer-centricity, are outperforming those who previously banged their fists on tables and demanded daily forecasts.
Command and control type leadership was in its death throes just before the pandemic, but Covid-19 has proven to be the final stroke for those characteristics. New challenges around employee morale, motivation, team collaboration and cultural cohesion all require a different leadership skill set and approach that will be unfamiliar to some but completely natural to others.
Nearly all respondents reported that morale across teams had dropped, the longer remote working had been in place, resulting in an intensified focus on staff motivation initiatives.
Despite clear rules of engagement emerging across many aspects of the technology industry, the future role of the office remains ambiguous, with many possible variations on the format being considered.
These findings and much more are available in the full report below. We hope you find them as fascinating as we have.
Technology Insights Whitepaper
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