Lockdown doesn’t mean shutdowns
How to maximise your sales while working from home
Almost 18 months into the global pandemic, and much of the world is adept to working from home. In the UK, three long lockdowns have resulted in WFH as the default option. In the US, 71 per cent of workers who were office based before now WFH, and most prefer it.
The home working model comes with a big suite of benefits. Reduced commutes and increased flexibility can have a positive impact on the environment and mental health, with evidence pointing to increased, or at least unchanged, productivity.
In New Zealand, where pre-pandemic life has continued with minimal disruption the home working situation has been slow to catch on. That’s not because people don’t want it. More than 40 per cent of employed Kiwi’s did some home-based work during the first lockdowns, and 89 per cent wanted the situation to continue.
There are some genuine challenges to home-based work, particularly for sales. But with the right support there is no reason why sales staff can’t outperform themselves. Here are five tips for best practice:
- Get remote sales tools sorted: Check your team have all the tech they need at home – have they got a good mobile plan? A decent desk? Fast wifi? Talk them through minimum requirements and offer financial help to upgrade their home set up. Oh, and give them all a decent set of headphones.
- Fast-track facetime: Make sure your team are using a good workflow management tool for full transparency, and decent communication and/or collaboration software, like Slack or Trello. Encourage your people to make good use of their synched online calendar. Schedule in regular professional catch ups as well as socials – Zoom social quiz anyone? But don’t fall into the endless meetings trap. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
- Adjust your outreach strategy: If your team are used to selling face to face, you might be freaking out about transferring that to digital. Thankfully, the techniques are mostly the same. Remind sales staff to keep it personal – don’t endlessly copy and paste that same email. Follow up is even more important, so encourage a robust schedule of checking in on contacts. Keep tight notes of each interaction in case those Zoom meetings start to blur into one.
- Re-purpose gained time: Kiwi’s will save at least two to five hours a week by not commuting, which offers a great opportunity for sales staff who have wanted to upskill for a while but were struggling to find the time and energy. Give your team a chance to do remote, online courses to gain or refresh some essential skills.
- Master the virtual product demo: This is one your team can practice with each other online. No doubt your team already know your product or service inside out, but it may take a few goes to convey that warmth and authenticity in a digital room.
David Forman’s Sales Performer – On Demand course offers the chance to upskill in your own time while still getting human supportblending the best of digital and face-to-face learrning. Get in touch to find out more.