PayPal, a Salesforce customer, wrote this article.

When the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic last month, I was two weeks into my new job at PayPal. As the new head of global sales, my main goal was to give my team everything they needed to help our customers. But, of course, the tactics change dramatically when the world gets hit with a health crisis and our entire staff starts working from home. A lot has happened over the last few weeks, but I keep coming back to one idea: How can I help? How do I help our customers? My employees? My family?

Below are a few new ways I’ve been thinking about sales leadership, along with a few actions I’ve taken to guide our employees and be there for my loved ones. Hopefully, it provides the inspiration you’re looking for, as we all continue to grapple with our new normal.


1. Helping customers and the community

PayPal has always prided itself on our commitment to our customers. The arrival of the coronavirus has only made that more essential. Whether it’s businesses that have closed their physical doors and need to sell online or consumers who are looking for a secure way to pay, we are here to help.

In the past 25 days, we’ve enabled 96% of our workforce to work fully from home, ensuring people can continue to use our service to buy food, pay their workers, donate to relief efforts, and send money to loved ones back home.

We’re doubling down on our efforts to support small businesses. They’re the foundation of our economy, but most at risk during this time. Many are facing supply chain challenges. Others don’t have enough capital to survive closures. 

Business owners call our customer service lines, asking how we can help them stay afloat. They’re asking about everything from taking out loans to securing lines of credit for themselves and their customers.

In response, we’ve taken several actions to help our merchants access their funds, increase cash flow, expand protections, and defer repayments. These include:

  • Waiving chargeback fees for merchants if their customer files a dispute with their credit card issuer through at least May 31, 2020.

  • Waiving fees on instant withdrawal of money from a PayPal business account to a bank account, Mastercard Debit, and Visa Debit card through at least May 31, 2020.

  • Expanding the window of time in which merchants must respond if a customer files a chargeback dispute until May 31, 2020.

  • Allowing merchants with existing PayPal Working Capital, PayPal Business Loans, or LoanBuilder loans to request deferred repayment for 30 days at no additional cost.

  • Suspending all PayPal Working Capital, PayPal Business Loan, and LoanBuilder repayments for the next 30 days for areas that have received a Major Disaster Declaration by FEMA.

We’ve also launched a website with educational resources to help businesses make the transition online, including insights on maintaining cash flow in the current climate, switching to digital invoicing to save money, and setting payment terms to encourage early payments.

On a consumer level, we’re leaning into what we’re most known for: paying for online purchases and person-to-person payments. We are covering all processing costs for donations made through the PayPal Giving Fund to charities providing relief and recovery efforts. So far, our users in the U.S. alone have raised more than $300,000 for organizations, such as the American Red Cross and Feeding America. 

And we will continue to identify opportunities to do more for all our customers — merchants and consumers — during this difficult period.

Ultimately, this is our time to step up. And it can be yours too. Think about what your business can offer to help your customers. Is it sharing best practices? Extending payment terms? Or even just listening to what your customers are going through? Every little bit can help build community at a time when many of us may be feeling isolated.


2. Guiding employees through change

In any business, employees are your greatest asset. It’s vital that you take care of them.

At PayPal, we continue to pay employees who can’t work because they’re sick or need to take care of someone who’s sick. We’re also asking managers to accommodate those with childcare or family care challenges by developing flexible working arrangements to prioritize work-life balance.

We’ve sent out surveys for employees to share feedback regularly, so we can determine what additional measures may be needed during this time. Our senior leadership team meets daily to discuss those results and other top of mind issues to make sure our employees get what they need. 

At the end of the day, policy changes and employee outreach can help ease burdens, but they don’t erase the anxiety many of us are feeling. Sometimes that requires a more personal touch.

I’m taking the time to check in more with my sales teams, whether that’s holding staff meetings or personal one-on-ones. Employees are juggling work on top of family, health, and safety. So, now’s the time to listen to what they’re going through and let them know you care.


3. Showing up for family

Right now, I’m in the process of moving. I have a college kid who’s returned home after classes were canceled. I’ve got a 7-year-old and 2-year-old running around in sore need of extra attention. And like many other parents, I am homeschooling too. How am I dealing? I am planning as best I can and trying to keep a positive attitude.

I do what I need to do at work, and then I spend time with the kids. It’s not perfect, but I’m trying to be in the moment with the people I love — whether that’s leaving the phone at home while we go outside for a walk or rescheduling a meeting until after bedtime.

If you’re like me and you’re navigating both career and family, you’ll never feel like you’ve got the balance completely right, but that’s ok. You’re there. And that in itself helps everyone around you.

For more inspiration, watch our webinar on how 3M retrained its sales team to support global demand for face masks. Or read the rest of our Leading Through Change series.

Need more help? Salesforce experts are here to guide you through COVID-19. Check out our one-stop shop of resources.