The coronavirus pandemic, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, caused the world to experience two years’ worth of digital transformation in just a few months.
The dramatic shift to remote working was a hit for even the most technical savvy companies.
Businesses rushed to put technologies and systems in place to help their staff complete their daily work activities from home without impacting on service.
The second UK lockdown and the imposed social distancing measures needed to keep staff and customers safe means it’s likely that remote working will stay in some form for the foreseeable future.
Adapting to this new normal means that managing and utilising your sales team remotely will be an important aspect moving forward.
We spoke to Chris Southern (our General Sales Manager for Enterprise Solutions), to ask his advice on how to do this effectively.
As people are forced to work from home, they may be confused about what this means. Creating a clear work from home policy provides guidelines on what is expected from them as they carry on remotely.
This should be an organisation-wide effort and should cover:
Make sure everyone has the equipment they need to complete their work duties.
With the shift from face-to-face meetings to virtual, your team needs to ensure that they can make meaningful relationships with their leads via phone, email and video.
Here at Midwich, we have a vast array of products available to help keep staff connected and productive. These include monitors, webcams, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, audio, screen mounts and more.
Ensure that confidential information and equipment are protected. Set guidelines on how information should be shared across the business, and which tools or systems can and cannot be used.
Synchronise files to servers and do not store company information on personal drives at home.
Use the right technology to keep track of your team’s sales activities. With remote workers, you should still look to have the same amount of contact as you would in the office. This helps to remove the feelings of isolation. Utilise your UC platform to have regular group calls to keep the team working collaboratively.
Getting your sales team to keep recording their sales activities in a CRM is really important in a remote team. Encourage them to update their activities daily and to flag up any problems early.
If you have a reduced team, use your CRM to identify the highest priority sales opportunities that your remote reps are working on. Segment these from the low impact activities like following up cold leads and share the workload.
With the current situation, now is an ideal time to work on strategy with your team and customers. With less travel and restricted business activities, take advantage of setting up meetings now that may have taken months to organise prior to the pandemic.
With the shift to remote working, companies have adapted their educational offering by putting courses online. This allows people to access important industry and product updates while in the comfort of their home.
Encourage your staff to take advantage of these webinars to upskill and to stay up to date with key developments within the industry.
If you have introduced new processes or equipment, create training around each step. Run remote workshops and use screen recording to allow reps to see what these new processes look like in practice.
While working remotely, utilise tools like Zoom, Teams etc to video call your team in place of face-to-face meetings.
Check-in with your team and host informal virtual meetings to boost camaraderie.
Review your internal communications strategy to ensure that your team are up to date with key company information so that they feel included.
Here at Midwich, supporting our staff and customers is paramount. To accommodate the current situation, we are offering online demos of our products and our interactive MiSupport training courses have gone online too. Demo kits are available on specific products for customers to trial at home. Additionally, we are also starting to take bookings for small group demos – while adhering to strict social distancing requirements – at our experience centre, Innovation House.
Finally, but most importantly, prioritise your team’s health and well-being.
What we have learnt from the Covid-19 outbreak is that things can change quickly and so even the hardened salesperson can be affected.
Make sure that you provide support to your team and help them to look after themselves both physically and mentally while encouraging them to follow the imposed safety practices.
Maybe offer flexible working hours so that they can alter working hours for unexpected changes and be open with communication.
As we all learn to adapt to the new normal while emerging from the pandemic, technology will play a pivotal role in helping businesses to adjust and futureproof themselves.
Here at Midwich, we have a wide range of home working, UC&C, streaming and meeting room technology to help sales staff stay connected and work effectively, contact your account manager to find out more.