Sales Team working from home. Is it possible?

The sales team has one job, but it takes a lot of effort to get optimum results. Salespeople in our staff use a wide range of methods to get to the end goal. A lot of hours is spend writing targeted emails, talking on the phone, trying to get on the phone with the purchasing department of our target clients.

It’s an exhausting job, but they always manage to get results at the end of the month. After all, for a company with no investors, we need to make sales to keep the gears working.

But if your sales team’s outreach strategy includes, making cold phone calls, writing more emails and trying to talk to the right people, does it matter where the sales rep is sitting?

Sure, the office has its vibe and sets everyone to get into the mood of work. But due to our global efforts to quarantine the Coronavirus, we are looking for alternatives to work away from crowded spaces.

The scope of this article will explore the possibilities of managing a sales team working from home.

 


Addressing the Current Situation

With everyone locked in their homes due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, we all have to pitch in to give our best to save everyone.

A lot of people are risking their lives at the frontline, for us. We have nothing but support and respect for them.

Most businesses have stopped and the government around the world has ordered to carry out only the essential activities within a very strictly followed period of the day.

 

Intandemly is account based marketing sales-based company. It’s not in our culture to sell when the whole world is on fire. There are a few businesses which are thriving and right now require more labours than before. Sadly not all businesses are fortunate to be in such position.

During these hard times, we at Intandemly are catering to businesses who are trying to keep the lights on.

 


How is Sales Team Working

Currently, 100% of our sales team is working from their home. We are determined to help our Nation’s initiatives to flatten the curve. Luckily for our sales team, Intandemly’s platform is perfect for Work From Home.

Madiraju Nischal, our innovative developer, has given us the following general tips.

  1. Get as far away from your comfort zone as possible
  2. Keep a list of daily task and deadlines
  3. Have a routine, and repeat while getting ready to work

Read this: How To Generate Sales Without A Marketing Budget

 


Work from Home Tips for Sales

Here are a few tips to work from home

  1. Start your day with a call to your Sales Manager.
  2. While working, try to keep only 1 tab open.
  3. Take up the Pomodoro approach and take frequent brakes.
  4. Focus on completing more tasks per day over spending more hours ‘on the job’
  5. Take notes, and keep write report as the day progresses.
  6. Setup daily tasks, weekly tasks and monthly tasks.

 


Sales Team, Working Remotely

Here’s how we are keeping the ball rolling at intandemly.

Sales Manager:

A lot of sales manager take calls through the day and write an email, all while managing a whole team of aspiring and energetic Sales reps. Work from home may feel unproductive for managers because they lose the element of being in present and observing the reps.

Our founder Sampath Mallidi once said:

“I’ve been in sales for half of my life, we can smell talent and bullshit miles away.” Sampath went on to say “I know my sales reps are working hard”. And the number reflects just that.

He doesn’t need his reps to work from the office. A phone call with a person will tell him how the sales reps are performing.

 

Here’s is our Tips for Sales Manager:

  1. Start your day by briefing your legion on the daily tasks
  2. Encourage Sales Reps to work 1% better than yesterday
  3. Provide positive feedback on victories and losses of your Sale Reps. Times are harder than usual right now.
  4. If you can’t manage all your Sales Reps in your Sales Team, your Sales Team is too big

It’s the culture you build with your existing staff, moulds the next generation sales rep.

Please note: Recruits and newcomers in any industry or field learn more by being around the team. Most people learn valuable lessons by accidentally eves dropping. Be in frequent contact with your teammates in a group or on a 1-on-1 basis. All of them.

 

Sales Reps:

  1. Start practising Task-Based Work, over Hour-Based Work
  2. Focus on one task at a time
  3. Share your yesterday’s work experience with your fellow teammates and manager. It’s therapeutic.
  4. Encourage your teammates to try innovative ways to approach clients.

Please Note Empathy the word of the hour.

 


How to Build Better Sales Habit Working from Home

James Clear’s book, Atomic Habit has a really good example of how to develop a habit which makes you good sales.

In the book, Clear gives an example of a young salesman who kept two jars on his desk with 120 paperclips in our jar and the other jar empty.

After every phone call he made, he moved a paperclip from one jar to another. He would do this throughout the day until all his paperclips had moved from one jar to the next. Ultimately he became the company’s best sales rep.

 

The example Clear gives is a young salesman who used to keep two jars on his desk with 120 paperclips in one jar at the start of every day. After every phone call the man-made, he moved a paper clip from one jar to the other. He would do this all day until eventually all of the paper clips had moved from the first jar into the second. He became his company’s best performing sales rep.

Paperclips were just a cue for him to become motivated to make the next phone call.

Activities like this can be practised to improve efficiency working from home.

Avoid Burnout

Working long hours may sound productive, but it has the opposite effect. As mentioned in the article above, we strongly endorse the task-based workday over the hours-based workday.
At the end of the day what matters is if the tasks were carried out. By ending up pursing long hours over a single task, we end up wasting too much time over the small things.
It starts causing fatigue and boredom. Nothing kills motivation more than boredom.

How To Do This?

Start the day by creating a list of a few tasks you want to complete for the day. This list can be self-created or given by your manager.
What matters is you take these tasks, work them one at a time.

 

Battle Isolation.

Work from home is mostly working alone. You end up not talk to anyone for the better half of the day. While working in a traditional environment, we talk to a lot of people. We get up to grab a cup of coffee and stop by the booth of your colleague to talk about that one Master Chef Australia Episode.
We Socialise.
This element is lost working from home. But it Doesn’t have to. Isolation is good but when consumed carefully and in small quantities.

Here’s How You Fight Loneliness

Thanks to the so many tools out there, is it completely possible to talk with everyone over the internet. Zoom, Skype, Slack are just some ways to be in touch with your colleagues.
As a company is important to create a culture to allow people to discuss topics such as Burn out, lost of motivations, feeling overwhelmed, depression and anything in between or beyond.

 

Struggling Mental Health

Ever felt of the these? Chances are you will feel one of these along your journey as you progress in your career, working from home.
Read these, and check if you have been in any of these situations.

    1. Sitting in front of the computer, but not feeling like working
    2. The regular job has lost its charm.
    3. Headache, Fatigue, Body Pain.
    4. You feel like your work doesn’t add value to the Company.
    5. You feel your Personal life is struggling because of your work style.
    6. You have the constant urge to prove your work, but never had what it takes to take the first step.

If you have had a flashback of your self in one of these situations, or something similar, relax. you are not alone. Everyone at one point in their life feels like this.

hell, a lot of people feel this while working in a regular office environment. It’s completely fine to feel these. But to hid them from your college and not talk to anyone, is not the way to go about.

How Do You Leap Over These?

Take a break.
No, seriously. I have been through all of these feelings, and coincidently on these days, I was either working long hours or was trying to over-deliver.
World’s top Sales Reps have reportedly closed a deal which seemed to be lost. But managed to talk them sanely after taking a break.
Here are a few ways to take a break while working from home

    1. Walk to the next room
    2. Check if your plants need water.
    3. Play a quick game on your mobile device. You are an adult, you’ll know when to quit.

 

Read Books

We recommend the following books.

  1. James Clear’s Atomic Habit
  2. David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) and Jason Fried’s Remote: Office Not Required

 


Conclusion

Working from is possible for salespeople. Reach us at contact@intandemly.com to learn how our team is using Intandemly’s platform to work from home.

Also remember, Empathy is the word of the hour.

Take care of your self and your family. Stay at home, Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

Myk Pono’s Podcast Episode

Questions I ask in this episode:

  1. What is nurturing? lead nurturing, and customer nurturing?
  2. Why is a nurturing strategy essential for growth?
  3. How a company’s growth stage impacts lead scoring
  4. Why a prospect’s FIT and PAIN are at the core of any lead scoring strategy
  5. How to design a lead scoring system
6. What is a target (or SDR-ready) score and how do you select one?
  6. What are the factors that drive lead scoring?
  7. Reaching an SDR-ready Score
  8. Static vs. Predictive lead scoring
  9. What are the biggest mistakes when it comes to lead scoring?
  10. What are the primary categories of drip email campaigns?
  11. Segmentation can increase the effectiveness of your drip email campaigns

 

Relevant Free Giveaway: Sales Plan to get Leads For technical Founders

 

In the episode you will learn:

  1. Nurturing: Lead Nurturing and Customer Nurturing
  2. Lead Scoring Strategy and Design
  3. Drip Emails As A Primary Lead Nurturing Mechanism

Myk Pono on Designing Lead Nurturing, Lead Scoring, and Drip Email Campaigns

Check out more

Todd Hockenberry

 

Questions I ask on the show:

  1. Can you give us a little background about Tube Form Solutions?
  2. What was TFS struggling with?
  3. How did TFS achieve 10% growth last year after being flat in previous years?
  4. What was the reaction from the sales team?
  5. How has all of this changed the day-to-day activities of the sales team?
  6. What are the three best actions that been taken and have changed the way they do sales?
  7. How much did they believe in inbound and inside selling in 2016?
  8. What are the key takeaways for other manufacturing companies that are struggling with sales?
  9. Final tips

Relevant Giveaway: Free Sales plan for Technical Founders

 

You will learn:

  1. How the manufacturing company shifted its reliance away from traditional outbound and in-person selling
  2. approaches and invested in inbound and then inside sales resources and systems.
  3. How they adopted sales and marketing technology to help them create, track, and satisfy demand.
  4. How in just one month, they generated over 90 new leads. Some of those leads turned into sales immediately.

 

Check out more

Dorien Morin-van Dam on the Power of Twitter for Marketing

When marketers talk about the power of Twitter, what they’re really talking about is the power of people. A Twitter influencer is someone who consistently creates quality content, engages with their audience and stays within their niche. They also are personable, courteous, kind and helpful. They are true leaders and are great Twitter influencers.
In my interview with Dorien Morien-van Dam, she goes in-depth and explains how to focus on quality over quantity matters, if you want Twitter efforts to have an impact on your bottom line.

 

Dorien Morin-van Dam’s Podcast Episode

 

Questions I ask:

  1. So what is an Influencer and what does an Influencer really do?
  2. Why does one want to be an Influencer?
  3. How do you find and identify Twitter influencers?
  4. So, how do you really become a Twitter influencer?
  5. How do you become a Hub influencer and a bridge influencer?
  6. How do you understand What People In Your Industry Enjoy Reading?
  7. What are the best ways to engage with another influencer?
  8. What are the signs that you would become a twitter influencer in your industry?
  9. Whom do you get influenced by on Twitter and why?

 

In this episode:

You will learn

  1. Identifying influencers in your niche.
  2. The difference between a Hub influencer and bridge influencer.
  3. Tips on having an editorial calendar specifically for twitter.
  4. Effective ways of engaging with an influencer
  5. How to use content produced by your influencer.

 

Check out more

Sales Competition can be Healthy

In this post, I am not diving into details as to how we salespeople can crack a deal, Instead, I would outline on how you can stay ahead of your sales competition when you are primarily being evaluated by your prospect.

I love my clients! They are a wealth of information for me. Upon a personal survey that I had conducted with my clients, I found an interesting fact: Did you know that in the B2B space, every business before choosing a vendor, evaluates at least 4- 6 companies on an average? Out of which, post their initial meeting the number drops to 2-3 companies. This leads to a series of discussions with the shortlisted companies and finally, the deal happens with the best company that matches their fit.

With that idea, I asked my clients as to why they choose me and my business ahead of my Sales Competition? I compiled their answers into a single word which was refreshing and motivating for me. Well, they said they felt “CONNECTED” and hence my company could make it into the shortlist.

Now you can ask me, “So, How do I be connected to the prospect instantly and gain trust?”

The answer is simple, it’s information.

 

Yes, with information about their company, you will be able to relate to their problems 52% faster than trying to understand their needs on the first sales call.

Below are the quick guidelines on how you can gain insight into a company that you want to work with:

 

1. Company news

This is the most under viewed section by the sales executives when they visit their prospects website. The easiest way to stay on top of a discussion while on a sales call is by knowing the history and current happenings in their company. In today’s world, more than 73% of companies update their website.

Primary sources are company’s RSS feeds, blog posts, and make sure you follow your potential prospects on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as social platforms are updated first. Some of the other sources for gathering information on public companies are BusinessWeek Online, Company Research, and Hoovers Online.

 

2. New funding

A company with strong funds is a very comforting factor for sales executives. When on their site, click on the “Investor Relations” tab. For large companies, you will be able to access and listen to publicly available quarterly earnings and annual reports. These reports also cover information including new products, company risks, and whether revenues are growing or stable. If you are talking to a start-up, check out its profile on Crunchbase, Angel list or lead411.

 

3. Are they hiring?

This is one of the most important pieces of information any salesperson needs to know before a call. If a company is hiring for a position, it talks so much about their growth plans/ current situation or needs.

For example, if you are selling marketing software and you notice that your target company is looking for an SEO specialist, then they are very good chances that they would listen to your offering. It will also give you enough intelligence to build a strong relevant story.

Company’s career page, linked in the career section and few local job portals can give you this insight. Also, keeping a track of the HR profiles of your prospect company on LinkedIn can give valuable feedback as they are always on the hunt for talent.

 

4. Territory expansion

Territory expansion is solid proof that the company is growing and is ambitious. One of the key reasons to expand overseas is diversification. Another reason to expand internationally, of course, is to fuel financial growth. Foreign markets offer new sources for revenue and profit margin expansion.

The best way to know if they have geographically expanded is LinkedIn. If you run an advanced search on the employees of a company; you would have the information as to all the locations the employees are located in. Many companies tend to have smaller teams or sales teams in new locations and that can be valid evidence about their presence.

 

5. Upcoming events

You must be aware of the events taking place in the organization that you are talking too. Google News is an easy way to dig up the recent press.

Go to news.google.com and search for the company name and read the stuff posted out there.

The person that you are scheduled to talk may have been mentioned in the recent events and being able to actively engage in that conversation comes across as impressive.

It’s good to follow the company and its leaders on an ongoing basis. (Even if you are not scheduled for a meeting with them.) Newsle is a great source. You can enter anyone’s name and the site will keep you updated any time there is press on that person. Google alerts can be very helpful here too.

Relevant: How to Arrange Events to get Leads

 

6. LinkedIn profiles

Running through linked profiles of the employees gives you a great insight into the kind of people that work, their skill level, and organizational hierarchy. With such information, you will know whom to address over the call.

Culture and office environment are so important. If you are a vendor looking to service them for a long period, the company will want to know if you are a good fit with their culture. Information on this can be found in lots of different places like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

 

7. Shared contacts

There is an old saying, “People only want to do business with people whom they know”. Always pay attention to all the shared contacts you have. Bringing out their names on the call builds trust by 37% more than a cold reach.

LinkedIn and sidekick software provide these awesome features on shared contacts.

I once had a call with the CEO of a mid-sized software company. Out of my research, I had a common contact who knew the COO of the company. Over the call, when I mentioned that I knew John who is a friend of their COO, I gained the instant trust and I could get a lot of their attention for the rest of the call.

 

8. Rivals of your prospect

Look up Sales Competition competitors by going to the LinkedIn company page and scrolling down to the “Other Companies People Viewed” section. There should be a few sales competition there. Do the same thing with the competition you find until you have a pretty good sense of who the big players in the field are. (Or, if the company has a Crunchbase page, you should be able to find a list of competitors on its profile.)

These are just some of my views. I would love to hear from you on what has worked for you? Feel free to share your experiences.

 

Conclusion

Remember that, throughout your sales call, your objective is to be convincing when you say, “we would want to work with you and we see a great fit” Back this up by being able to talk about what makes both your company’s unique, and express your enthusiasm by showing off your knowledge and the value you bring in.