The outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is forcing sellers to work from home. About half of the sales professionals employed today are in inside sales, who sell remotely. Therefore, the transition for inside sellers won’t be as drastic as a field salesperson.
Inside sales reps might be used to selling from remote locations but this is not the same as selling from home. Assuming a smooth transition for your team may lead to unforeseen challenges down the road. Here are three key differences to keep in mind to help your team effectively transition to selling from home.
Even though inside sales people sell remotely, a vast majority of them are still in an office working and collaborating with other sellers. This type of group interaction is critical for sharing skills and institutional knowledge. That team environment is lost when someone starts selling from home. Take steps to make sure this does not happen for your team.
Some sales teams invest in instant messaging apps for immediate communication while other teams will leave their video cameras on so everyone can be in real-time communication throughout the day. These are just a few examples of how to overcome the loss of a team dynamic when members are working from home. Sales leaders have to be vigilant in taking those steps.
Sellers feed off of each other’s success. If a call does not go so well for a seller, it’s important to have a colleague or a manager available. When people are not around to celebrate successes or console one another after tough calls, it can be difficult to stay motivated.
Inside sales people with a role that focuses on top of funnel and prospecting activities may be affected more by a lack of motivation versus other roles. A prospecting focused role comes with a lot of rejection. A team environment and friendly competitions make rejections tolerable. If there are no people around in person, rejection could start to weigh heavily on inside sellers, particularly new ones.
As a sales leader, you have to frequently check in with your inside sales reps to keep them motivated and energetic.
Most inside sales reps can work from their laptop, but technology is still something to consider when inside sales people start selling from home.
Does your team record phone calls for coaching purposes? Will sales reps still be able to do that from home? Do the sellers need an extra monitor? Do they need a hotspot to connect to the internet?
These may sound like basic questions but it’s critical for sellers to execute their tasks. Make sure they have the right technology in place at home to do their best work.
Technology enables teams to sell from home and from the office, but they are not the same. Inside sales reps are used to having an office environment and that environment has a major impact on their success. Ensure your inside sales team does not lose the team dynamic or motivation when they start selling from home.