With the majority of the global workforce working remotely, businesses have had to rethink and redefine their engagement and business models. It’s had a major impact on business operations, customer engagement, and sales processes. Sales has always been an interactive and customer-facing exercise. Whether it’s through personal meetings, mass events, trade shows, conferences or meetups; sales teams have relied on personal engagements to do business. But with sales reps now confined to working from home, finding new prospects and maintaining relationships with existing clients has become a challenge. It has become a matter of great concern for organizations and sales teams that rely on physical meetings or run primarily on customer relationships to find, nurture, and close leads.
But it does not spell doom for sales reps. Being able to adapt is key if businesses want to survive and thrive. With a slight shift in the mindset, you will always be able to find new and innovative ways to remotely interface with customers and reach out to new prospects. If you’re a sales leader, how do you keep your sales team motivated? During a time like this, your team needs your leadership and support. They also need you to regularly communicate with them. There are some really effective ways to do it.
Read on to know what you can do to keep your sales team motivated during times of crisis.
Set Measurable Goals and KPIs
Businesses understand that the current crisis majorly impacts the overall economy. McKinsey published in its study “The B2B digital inflection point: How sales have changed during COVID-19” said that sales leaders need to adjust how their organizations sell in the face of new customer habits and trying economic times as B2B sales operations going forward will look fundamentally different from what they were before the pandemic. With the sales team working from home, sales leaders must equip their sales teams with the right tools to enable them to meet their KPIs as they cannot venture out to meet customers. So, as the leader, you need to set measurable goals and KPIs for them. If you have a distributed team of SDRs, you can create structured goals, by giving them weekly KPIs. After all, routine helps us to stay focused. The routine can involve:
- Daily list of prospects to call.
- A certain minimum number of calls per day.
- Call logs, CRM updates and other metrics on how reps should report back to leads or managers with updates and with what frequency.
- Daily stand-up meetings or weekly check-ins. You can use various video conferencing facilities like Skype or Zoom.
When teams have a sense of urgency and clearly defined goals, they will be able approach their quotas more efficiently.
Challenge the Team To Find New Leads
In the B2B space, leads are the fuel that your sales engine needs to keep running. Marketing & sales teams are continuously working to generate new qualified leads. However, the lockdown means there is no event or client visits happening anymore. Thus, a great way to keep your sales teams engaged and challenged is to gamify lead generation and ask your team to find new leads. Some ways this can be done are:
- Research for leads from the existing database or CRM
- Find potential leads from existing sources, for example, the ScanBizCards app, the best business card scanner app, has an email signature capture feature which will help to find contacts from email exchanges, leverage such opportunities
- Network more on LinkedIn to grow your network and develop new contacts
- Follow up with leads who have not yet responded to build a future pipeline
- Contact leads who have not been contacted for a long time through emails, phone calls, or video calls
While they are at this, ask them to also clean up the database such that:
- Duplicate names are removed
- Errors in names and contact data are rectified
- Social handles of the contacts are added
- Labels to classify the leads are added
- Relevant notes about each lead are written
Having a cleaned-up list will also help as then the team would know who to follow up with and where these contacts are in the sales funnel.
Build a Culture to Stay Connected with Customers
When it comes to engaging with customers, the sales team is habituated to being on the field – be that shows, events, or meetings. During this lockdown, all this has come to a halt. Hence, they feel restrained in maintaining engagement. As a sales leader, you can chalk out a routine and also show them new ways that they can reach out to leads.
- Guide them how often they should contact prospects to keep them warm.
- Tell them of the best mediums. For instance, emails, social media, phone calls, and others.
- Teach them how they can maintain engagement without becoming a nuisance. For example, they could ask customers how they are coping and what kind of help they need.
- Inform them that during a time like this they need to be more sensitive and less sales-oriented.
Some of the best ways to stay engaged with customers are:
- Live video streaming where the team can have a question-answer session to discuss their issues and understand their challenges or what they are looking for
- Running contests and gamifying sales through incentives
- Getting in touch with influencers who will help to spread positive news about your brand in their circle
- Partner with other brands that are complementary to yours so that you can leverage on their brand equity
Teach New Skills
When your team members have a few extra hours a week saved from commutes , you can use this time to offer online courses to them. Picking up new skills would keep their spirits up. You could also give weekly or fortnightly topics that they would need to research on and present to the team. Both would act as stimuli to the brain, and keep your teams updated on new trends in sales. Give them sales training or refreshers, pair up BDRs or SDRs with high-performing reps. Coach them, do a few mock-call sessions, and give them content such as marketing / sales decks and other collateral to help them understand your product or pffersing’s value prop. This would also help them maintain focus on their work.
Engage with the Team Casually
Everything doesn’t always have to be work-related. During the pandemic when there’s anxiety in everyone’s minds, you should take time out to engage with your team casually as well.
- You could also create contests amongst team members and offer rewards and prizes to the winners
- Call up your team members just to talk to them casually. Speak to them about how they are managing and what challenges they are facing. Ask them if they need any kind of help
- Create a Slack chatroom or Whatsapp group chat for light-hearted chats
- Make lockdown videos together and share them on social media or internally
- Organize for lunch parties, cooking times, and gaming sessions online
Don’t think that this will lead to overcommunication. During this lockdown period, it is perfectly alright to stay in touch with our team members a little more than you would have normally done.
Share New Company Policies
With employees working from home, often their morale fluctuates because they are anxious about job security. So be open about all information about changes in company policy. Also, as the leader, offer thoughtful gestures as a human touch goes a long way in employees feeling more encouraged. For example:
- Send emails or hold video conferences to tell them that they will be taken care of
- Offer free Amazon vouchers or vouchers for essential supplies like food and grocery
Now is the time when you need to keep your sales team upbeat and energized. Come up with innovative ideas. Communicate with them and encourage them to share their ideas as well. The lockdown is an unchartered territory and we are all learners in this journey. So, learn and brainstorm together to keep your teams upbeat and help them to maintain focus on their job.