With the proper plan in place, senior leaders and managers can enact the right procedures to help sales efficiency and the team continue to crush sales goals even while remote.
2020 has profoundly impacted both businesses and consumers alike, especially in the world of sales. In particular, measures have been taken to support sales representatives to develop the confidence and skills for success in the digital environment, but many teams and businesses still struggle.
To help your sales team maintain or improve efficiencies while working from home, consider the following tools and strategies.
Present the Importance of Dedicated Office Space
Many distractions can prevent sales reps from maintaining productivity at home. In order to eliminate distractions, it is necessary to create boundaries between personal and professional obligations.
One method is to set up a dedicated home office space. Ideally, the home office should be established in a quiet, separate area to prevent interruptions from family members, roommates, and visitors even when living alone. This will ensure that employees are dialed in, focused, and respectful of clients and team members alike.
We’re getting more comfortable working from home and having our dogs and kids in the background, but depending on who your team dynamic and who you’re selling too, it may require a more professional space.
Ensure Secure Connectivity
Reps work with various software from customer relationship management, project management, and sales software to generate leads and close deals. Therefore, they need to have reliable and secure access to corporate resources.
Often, such tools are offered as software as a service and are accessed through the cloud. Having the proper connectivity to be able to access applications is essential to productivity.
Solutions such as a software-defined wide-network area (SD-WAN) help maintain a fast and secure connection for remote workers. Distributed teams can continue to have a smooth user experience, without sacrificing security and access to the resources they need.
Prevent Communication Silos
Sales reps working remotely can quickly begin to lose a team dynamic and create communication silos. It is essential to remember that all team members must make an effort to stay transparent and provide updates regularly. However, this can be difficult with a large team of reps.
Having a company-wide chat platform can keep everyone connected and on the same page. Slack is probably the most popular due to its numerous features, integrations, and shortcuts, but there are many other platforms that have multiple features and work for both written and verbal communication.
Make it a priority for your team members to check-in and communicate effectively.
Related content: 9 Rules to Effectively Communicate With Newly Remote Sales Teams
Get Serious About Your CRM
Building a healthy sales pipeline requires managing extensive customer data. Organizing communications, segmentation, contact data, contracts, sales reports, and more becomes overwhelming without a proper system. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software document and process critical information for teams.
However, in the past, your team may have gotten away with not entering ALL relevant buyer information because you talked about it in the office or if you needed to ask a quick question you could get the answer by leaning over and giving someone a quick tap on the shoulder.
Now that your team is remote, it can be more challenging for reps to be up to date on the latest developments in the pipeline.
Multiple reps may need to work on the same project and be able to quickly access and have the proper documents and updates at their disposal. This was always the case, but it’s more crucial now to get serious about entering your CRM data regularly and be more detailed to keep sales teams aligned, prevent misunderstandings, and better serve customers.
Hold Team Building Activities Regularly
Being personable, approachable, and able to connect with a diverse group of individuals is paramount for sales representatives. Team members can interact with each other at the office, practice sales pitches, obtain feedback, and ask for advice. However, just because a sales team has transitioned remotely does not mean that teams should not strive to interact virtually on a regular basis.
Team leads can schedule ten-minute daily morning chats over video calls to foster interaction and engagement. Evaluating and talking through client needs or practicing a sales pitch can build confidence and make all the difference for seasoned reps and new hires alike.
Speaking of new hires, interacting with coworkers is critical. New hires can quickly begin to feel isolated, and it is essential to make them feel welcomed and part of the group. Try setting up new hires with weekly check-ins with an experienced mentor. New hires will have a point of contact and gain the opportunity for “face time” to talk through learning opportunities and have a helping hand if needed.
Provide Methods to Track Time
Maintaining productivity while working remotely can be difficult. Sales representatives may be tempted to stray from work-related tasks and become caught up in personal matters or distractions, impacting the individual’s and entire team’s performance. Senior leadership can help team members by implementing company-wide time tracking software.
Such tools help provide individuals insight into how much time is being allotted to each activity and project. Observing time broken down can help managers make suggestions to team members to divide and conquer important projects and boost efficiencies.
It is important to evaluate your operations holistically from all angles. The key components of technology, strategy, and qualified and prepared representatives will help you to continue to drive sales. It is essential to invest in the proper tools and professional development to get up to speed in a modern sales and digital selling environment. Take a look at your current practices to determine what can be optimized to achieve goals.
Review and Strengthen Your B2B Sales Strategy
Maybe your team has been conducting operations and strategy a certain way for a long time, and it was working for a long time. But current circumstances may have caused existing procedures to be adjusted and have proven not as effective in a remote environment or your buyer’s needs have changed.
Take a close look at your processes. Are they flexible, efficient, and scalable, especially for remote employees and potentially remote buyers? Have you reviewed your current customer journey mapping, alignment, and technology, and optimize operations to fit a remote team?
Wrapping up 2020, it’s a good idea to take a look at what we call your back-to-market strategy and incorporate the nuances COVID and remote or digital selling has brought to the industry.
Contact Skaled to learn more about optimizing your tools and strategies to increase efficiency or take our free assessment to identify the area within your organization that could be performing better and aligns with your Q4 and 2021 initiatives.