With remote working rising amid COVID-19 uncertainty, sales professionals have had to adapt to engaging with their prospects in different ways. This is a stark difference to the usual hustle and bustle of life out on the road or in the office.
Without a chance to properly prepare for remote working life, the last few months have been a steep learning curve for many businesses and their sales teams. Here are a few ways to ensure your sales team stays productive and keeps selling from home.
Productive selling from home
The transition to home-based selling can be tough. However, there are some quick wins to make the transition easier.
Before you do anything, rethink your expectations and be patient. There may be some pipeline volatility, and you might have a drop in sales as you adjust to remote working. Don’t panic. You can bounce back stronger. Keep in touch with colleagues and customers, be open to new ways of working, set up a proper working space, prioritise activities and promote positivity.
Use the right technology
Today’s technology makes remote working easy. There are plenty of tools to ensure you and your team can remain connected and productive. Chat messaging, video communications and collaboration tools are integral to successful remote working.
Use automation tools to eliminate annoying admin work, reduce manual tasks to free up selling time, and streamline the processes of the people. While video communications and chat tools help connect you to your prospects, e-signature tools can help you close more deals. Think about what tools can help improve productivity and sales performance, and pick the best for you.
This uncertain time is the perfect opportunity to connect with your customers. Find out how they are getting on and if you can help. Additionally, use the time to identify new prospects qualify leads that had previously been on hold or were moved to closed lost, and reconnect with cold leads.
Building better relationships is a great strategy for successful remote working.
Working remotely can be a lonely experience, especially for salespeople. You need to remain positive during isolation and accept that certain things are out of your control. Instead, focus on what is and maintaining active relationships. Try these to help:
Set a schedule: We are creatures of habit, and we love to be prepared for the day. Prepare for the day as if you were getting ready to go and see a prospect. Set time aside for getting dressed, eating, working, taking breaks, downtime and so on.
Stay connected: Don’t forget to socialise. It’s easy to stay connected while you sell by using virtual channels to chat with colleagues. Use video channels over text or email, as seeing and hearing friendly faces makes socialising more personal.
Look after your wellbeing: Think about exercise, diet, sleep patterns and mental health. If you want to sell successfully when working remotely, you need to make sure you are in the right physical and mental ‘space’ to do so. Look after yourself and the rest will come.
Staying in touch
Despite the current economic climate, you might find that prospects have more time to take your calls. Respond to any prospect queries with a video call suggestion to try and build a stronger relationship. Then tailor the chat to suit their current needs. Your website is also a goldmine for keeping in touch with leads. Monitor website activity and reach out to leads and prospects.
From a management point of view, clear and concise communication is needed to set expectations and establish home working processes. For instance, decisions on flexible hours, working time, tools to use, catch-ups, revised targets, support when needed.
Rethinking your offering
Obviously, the shift to selling from home favours some products/services over others. If your product/service has suddenly become less accessible or desirable, the key is in finding ways to make it relevant again. Can you switch to an online product? Can you switch to home delivery rather than requiring a physical visit? Can you provide a virtual product, rather than in-store?
Innovate and explore new opportunities
If you were ever considering looking at new industries or geographies, now is the time. Have a look at what industries and countries are least affected by the COVID-19 crisis and come up with some fresh messaging to relate to them. Additionally, tweak your existing messaging to adapt for industries significantly affected by Coronavirus and think about how you can help them.
The sales life balancing act
Finally, you need to make sure work and personal life don’t simply blend into one while you are selling from home. As important as it is to continue business as normal, you don’t want your personal life to suffer. You have to make room for non-work activities. Try using the Pomodoro (break management) principals to take breaks. If things get too much, remember, stress leads to burnout, which results in poor performance. Know what is expected of you, and set work boundaries. Use an agenda every day to tick off what you want to achieve.