While avoiding Zoom happy hours, attending meetings in pajama pants, and calling the dog your “assistant” are all stale jokes now, working from home certainly isn’t. According to a Morning Consult survey first reported by Bloomberg, 39% of respondents said they’d consider quitting if their bosses weren’t flexible about them working from home. So, while we remain in our comfy clothes, what does the shift to WFH (as the kids call it) mean for new business opportunities and sales outreach?
To, once again, reiterate that WFH is here to stay:
- Working from home increases productivity by 13%. (Stanford)
- In the same study workers also reported improved work satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.
- 77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity. (ConnectSolutions)
- In the same study, 30% of workers reported doing more work in less time while 24% do more work in the same period of time.
Keep reading to uncover five ways your sales team can adapt its new business strategy to WFH life.
1) Be patient
WFH means both sides of a new business relationship have changed. Your contact at a prospective company may take longer to respond because their colleagues aren’t as readily available as they were in an office. Communication may be stiffer, too. Remote work has increased our reliance on Zoom and Google Hangouts while decreasing our dependence on the good old-fashioned phone call. I, for one, don’t want to work on my personal cell phone. Remember that delays don’t mean you’re being ghosted.
2) Reevaluate your sales metrics
These waiting-games will affect your sales cycle and, ultimately, your success metrics. Instead of missing goal each month, take an honest look at your goals versus the trends of the last two quarters. Are they still realistic? What else has changed other than slowed down communication? Maybe new clients now need a more WFH-friendly onboarding process with individualized training or support. If you’re not sure where to begin, send a survey to current clients asking them how their processes have changed.
Sales has always been about relationships. Success depends on nurturing existing clients as well as acquiring new ones. One of the best things to come out of the pandemic, for me at least, is speaking to people from an environment they feel safe in, their homes. Leads may be more relaxed and personable, allowing salespeople to connect on a human-to-human level instead of buyer-to-seller. Be engaging and authentic. Open the conversation asking about creating their office space, the pet wandering in and out of the frame, or the children’s art hanging behind them.
4) Track everything
If you work for a company that has a good CRM, take advantage of as many features as you can. Intelligent software can help you keep tabs on current and potential customers, personalize communication, and customize each step of the customer journey. Failing to maintain connections can cost you. Once you automate your processes, you’ll wonder how you ever got anything done before.
5) For managers — motivate your new business team’s performance
Recognize the challenges that WFH selling presents. While performance metrics are important, look beyond the bottom line and create a supportive space to discuss remote-work related pushback, decision-making lags, and employee happiness. How do you measure happiness? Use an employee feedback tool to uncover what’s working and what isn’t. Check in regularly and allow for honest feedback to maintain trust and collaberation.
At the end of each week or month, ask:
- On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate your week/month? Why?
- What’s working? What are you proud of?
- Where do you feel stuck or confused?
- Do you have any questions about our sales process, company, or team?
- What is your personal goal for next week/month?