Nobody can prepare for unpredicted change to the life we all know as happened with the global COVID-19 pandemic starting in Q1 2020. Dealing effectively with every combination of turbulence in economics, physical and mental health, human resources, supply chain constraints, processes, and more had never been written in any user guide, training, or “how-to” book surrounding this combination of events and effects, especially not in this modern world full of technology.

I turned to my experience in studying several subjects professionally, scholastically, and personally to navigate through this messy time that turned our lives upside down. Throughout my career, I’ve been credited with my agility, empathy, and ability to look at all issues from a granular view as well as from 30,000 feet above, adjusting my zoom accordingly. My collegiate studies of business economics, business law, technology, psychology, human resource management, business administration management, marketing and branding were all going to come into play daily and in a way that I had never used them all together before.

Leading others successfully though this crisis was going to take sharpening my skills, learning new ways to use data and technology, and innovating to reach our internal and external clients efficiently and effectively. Taking my findings, applying them to the new and changing data, formulating new solutions, and explaining the “whys” to my team, who would be executing on achieving various goals, became key components for success. My team finished 2021 at 187% to sales target which was an increase of 86% from 2020 year-end results. Cox Automotive creating and fostering new ideas and tools toward the insulation of continued client and employee success was the most supportive effort I’ve seen in my 25-year career working for several top companies.

The technology enabled throughout this process was critical in obtaining our sales goals. Setting up an entire workforce with home offices was the most obvious and primary change, especially with the onset of supply chain challenges. We changed the dashboard views in our CRM and created more custom reports than ever. We also adopted the use of multiple video and text platforms. The change from in-person to virtual product demos and meetings including finding the right software, people user training to learn and implement best practices, and managing and measuring that use and success were the biggest shifts we had to make. We added customized live and prerecorded training courses to our learning library targeting many topics to keep employees current with market and industry changes, strengthen leadership skills, promote career growth, formalize mentorship efforts, and overall invest in our people.

The strategy piece involved referral partnerships with our other internal business units and software integrations to strengthen our data utilization across platforms while bringing end-to-end solutions to our clients to solve for their changing requirements. This was critical to help them thrive through consumers’ needs and desires for digital interaction options.

I’m looking forward to speaking in further depth about these topics and more at the 4th Annual Sales Team Accelerator Retreat: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange, on June 22, 2022.

“The postings on this site and in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cox.”

Jacci GrilloAs Director of Sales Northeast for Kelley Blue Book/Cox Automotive, Jacci Grillo is responsible for coaching a team of Regional Sales Managers who serve Kelley Blue Book customers spanning 13 states. In this role, she collaborates with key Cox Automotive business unit partners to help dealers acquire inventory and achieve their automotive industry growth goals. Jacci joined Cox in 2012 and is focused on aiding in career growth and development of her team, providing guidance to her mentees, and to her peers inside and outside the automotive business. You can find other interviews and articles featuring Jacci at