November 19, 2020
It’s safe to say that none of us could predict how our lives would change due to Covid-19. A year ago, we were all in our offices, perhaps enjoying a morning coffee with colleagues, or running around from meeting to meeting, demoing our products to new prospective clients and shaking hands without a second thought.
Fast forward a year, and the pandemic has changed many companies and industries, as well as the way sales teams operate. It has propelled us to innovate and adapt, and changed the way we conduct our daily business during this “new normal.”
Now many of us are working from our home offices, opening our mornings with a coffee and meetings via Zoom, or another video chatting platform, hopping from virtual meeting to virtual meeting and conducting remote sales demos.
What hasn't changed is the task at hand. Sales teams still have deals to close and KPIs to meet. Due to our current circumstances, it is now more important than ever to enable sales teams; to continue educating your experienced sellers and ramp up new reps remotely, to help them advance and succeed, and ensure best practices are being consistently followed, even if from afar.
Here are several ways to do so.
Some people may find it easier to work from home, others may have a long list of distractions. Either way, sales managers should have a clear and structured process for their teams to ensure things flow smoothly, that employees are following best practices, and everyone is in the loop.
As a seller, when you’re far away from your team, you’re not exposed to what your colleagues are doing. This means you may be missing out on new ideas or even creating your own best practices based on what you’re experiencing.
For sales managers this can create chaos. In the office it’s easy to check in on your sellers, help them work through issues they may be having and give advice. From far away, not being able to do so, it could mean losing control of the team's processes completely.
Implementing clear and structured processes, most importantly best practices, is even more important while working remotely than in an office, that way sales teams know exactly what to do, how and when and managers can monitor their team’s progress, wins and hardships.
For instance, if you haven’t been using demo playbooks, now is the best time to create and implement them. They can not only empower remote sales teams by helping them navigate through best practices, but also allows them to easily log info and insights after every demo. Best practices create more consistency between colleagues by ensuring that your A players’ best practices are shared amongst your team.
As a sales manager, this also allows you to hold your team accountable by promoting data logging and generating discussion amongst colleagues about these practices, why they worked or didn’t work, and how they can be improved.
These are times of uncertainty, and compassion is key during times like these. Many people and companies were affected by the pandemic, with budgets being reallocated, employees working from home, and some companies re-thinking both short and long term strategies. Some prospects you will be reaching out to and talking to may be working from home, dealing with things such as remote schooling while trying to complete their own work.
For these reasons it is important for our sales team to be personable, kind and understanding, they need to show compassion to those they are speaking with.
This can be done by merely promoting personalized intros to start each demo and discussion. Sellers should ask the prospective client about their current situation and their company’s current situation, show an interest in what is going on in their geographical location, and make them feel as if they are there to help them through the situation. Using these personal intros and small talk can not only help sellers understand how to approach the rest of the conversation, but can build trust between the seller and prospective client.
Likewise sales managers should provide their teams with the right sales playbook for the prospective client’s situation - whether this specific company has struggled or has innovated and is flourishing. Covid is new to everyone and it affected many companies and positions. The seller needs to make sure they are understanding the situation of the prospect and the effects that Covid might have on the company they are working in. A more personalized approach is the key to Covid times.
In an office it’s easy to just walk up to your sales manager’s desk to discuss ongoing issues, tactics or successes. But managers may not be as accessible at home, and we suggest ensuring an open channel or communication. This doesn’t just mean answering phone calls or emails in a timely manner, but also encouraging your team to share valuable information that can help others in their tasks and provide sales managers with proper insight.
Similarly, you want to give your team the chance to continue growing, as a team and individual sellers, by growing their knowledge base. There are countless reasons for sales managers to promote knowledge sharing, especially during this “new normal,” as many C-level executives have spoken about recently. Giving them ways of communicating with one another will foster knowledge sharing in the long run, and yield a stronger, more cohesive team.
Demo platforms are now able to aggregate and store data that is easily accessible during daily or weekly meetings. This allows for you, as a sales manager, to be up to date with everything that is going on with your team and ready to offer praise or advice during your talks.
In times like these we should look for the bright side, the opportunities, and not just focus on negative effects. Times of crisis are a great opportunity to re-think workflow processes and encourage innovation within teams. Should you update your best practices? Are you correctly measuring successes and failures? What are your best sellers doing that other sellers can adapt?
Modern day tech has provided us with tools that can help sales teams complete their work smoothly with platforms that collect data that can be shared with one another. These tools with automated insights are key to getting a fresh look at what you’re doing and what you may want to change based on tangible data from demos your team has conducted. You can compare what you did these past few months during Covid to what you did before: is there anything you can learn from this time period that can be beneficial in the long run? Is it perhaps time to alter your strategies?
Giving your entire team access to this data and brainstorming together could help build an even better strategy going forward.
Covid-19 has changed the way we work, but this “new normal” can also yield great opportunities if navigated correctly. To do so, it is imperative to give your team the necessary tools, build confidence, and remember, you are a team regardless of where your new office is.
Demoleap arms your sales team with the proper tools to manage and execute demos seamlessly, while continuing to learn and improve processes. The AI-based “co-pilot” offers real-time sales assistance, automatically follows the correct remote sales demo playbook and navigates through the demo, allowing sellers to focus more on clients and stories they’re telling. The platform’s analytics offer insight about each demo, allowing the sellers to see where they can improve.
Curious about how Demoleap can improve your demo process? Schedule your demo today.
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