Remaining Effective as a Salesperson While Working Remotely
If recent global events have you scrambling and looking to reinvent the way you conduct “business as usual” in a remote work environment, you are not alone. Creating a plan and focusing on your ability to be flexible and adapt will represent the difference between just staying afloat and thriving in this changing landscape. Whether you already have a plan in place or are starting from square one, here are some key components to keep in mind in order to maintain productivity and keep your sanity while moving to a virtual office.
Prepare Your Day
Anyone who works from home will tell you – flexibility is definitely one of the biggest advantages to the remote working environment. But without a plan, it’s easy to get off track. Experts agree the best way to stay productive is to set a schedule. Get up and ready for work as if you were heading into the office. Set calls or video conferences early if you need the extra incentive to get going in the morning. Consider using a tool to make your daily call/meeting schedule if it helps you to stay organized and to add a level of professionalism – Calendly is popular with many sales reps. According to Salesforce, most sales reps like to make sales calls early in the day, but consider your own temperament when scheduling calls. It is wise to block off time for sales calls versus prospecting to stay in the same mindset (think: not switching back and forth).
Prioritize your daily activities. This enables you to maximize your time and effort. As a salesperson, a good first step is to identify or review your goals. This exercise allows you to lay out how you plan to reach each one, and break them down into daily, weekly, and monthly objectives. Be sure to identify items you are able to track and measure, or you won’t be able to make proper adjustments if things aren’t going as planned. Frequently assess your daily activities to make sure they are accomplishing what you set out to and make adjustments as necessary to stay on track.
Preparing the physical space from which you will do business is just as important as setting your schedule and goals. Trying to completely replicate your workspace at home isn’t necessary, but take time to remove clutter and distractions. Also, pay attention to what’s behind you – it’s what your colleagues or clients will see if you are using virtual meeting applications.
While flexibility ranks high on the list of advantages of working remote, isolation tops the list of disadvantages. Stay connected to your colleagues and preserve communication among team members. Without being in the same physical space, it’s easy for teams to lose alignment, but utilizing technology as much as possible creates a connected, collaborative remote working environment. Remote conferencing services, such as Zoom, allow for face-to-face meetings to move to video/webinar calls. This shift can apply for internal meetings as well as current or prospective clients.
With so many options for remote collaboration, it is also helpful to be upfront regarding preferred methods of communication. Does your team prefer to video conference, or is a call an easier option? Would your new client like to be contacted via email or do they want to set up a virtual meeting? Being flexible and prepared is key. Check out our free Virtual Meeting Checklist to ensure you are well prepared for a virtual meeting.
With a flexible day also comes an inevitable amount of downtime. Making the most of your schedule means filling this time with useful tasks to bring you closer to your goals. Avoid time wasters like social media (some experts suggest logging out of these applications all together unless you utilize them for business). Schedule calls and check-ins during these less busy times. Make it a habit to follow up with a couple of people daily.
At least once a day, take the time to log all of your activity into your CRM. This will also help you to know that you are spending your time on the right activities by getting feedback from your sales leader based on the data. If your organization doesn’t have a process for prospecting and tracking activities, build your own.
Finally, continually improve your sales craft by seeking out (at least a little bit of) new knowledge daily – formal trainings, webinar, articles, time with a mentor, etc. Align this development with your objectives. As you expand on your sales skills, you will move closer to your goals.
Staying productive and thriving while working remotely can be as simple as setting a schedule that coordinates with your goals, keeping communication and collaboration channels open, and making sure you have a plan for your downtime. Utilizing technology effectively can ensure you not only maintain the status quo but drive revenue and sales to new levels in this environment.
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