Virtual Meet Up: Relaunching the Workplace and Managing Sales Teams Remotely

We’re easing out of lockdown and beginning to see a positive resurgence in the market – hooray! To avoid going in all guns blazing, it’s important to take a step back and consider – What does this mean for your sales teams? What does this mean for your business and competitors?

We aim to aid in sales leaders developing their teams and strive to help Sales Leaders win. It has become apparent during these past few months that companies that can adapt faster to the changing market conditions will emerge as winners. We will be addressing and discussing the ways in which Sales Leaders stay ahead of the game!

On Thursday 30th July we’ll be hosting another virtual event on what methods are working to lockout your competition in the sales process. We want to hear what methods you’re taking on, what’s been working for you, what’s not been working for you.

In uncertain times like these, you must keep investing in your own learning to stay ahead. Our events are a chance to develop on your sales teams as we ease out of lockdown and into a new normality. We have built an exclusive group of high profile MDs & SDs that are sharing experiences, knowledge and nuggets of wisdom. It is more imperative than ever to ensure your competitors don’t beat you to the punch – it’s not the time to sit idle.

Our previous events have tackled crucial topics such as relaunching the workforce.

As the furlough scheme threatens to come to an end, businesses have had to make some decisions. Discussions on relaunching the workplace couldn’t be more prevalent – businesses can only be as good as the people in them!

Some of the key topics raised in this session include:

The mental well-being of employees

Quite a broad statement can be reduced to three mains concerns:

  • The importance of being able to reopen the office environment to provide an alternative to home working and boost social interaction
  • Reintegrating team members currently on furlough
  • Supporting employees in adapting to change and the associated stress

Remaining attractive to new employees and retaining existing talent

This can be achieved by:

  • Providing an effective remote on-boarding experience
  • Integrating new staff into the company culture when an office presence is limited
  • Preventing existing culture/teamwork/collaboration from dissolving due to a lack of face to face contact

Reintegrating furloughed employees was undoubtedly the most discussed and the most difficult topic to tackle. There’s no guide to this.

However, some suggestions made included providing a ‘roadmap to relaunch’ which details the idea of providing a thorough reintroduction plan to include training, coaching and support to ensure staff don’t feel like they’re completely starting over.

The use of positive language has also been outlined as a key factor to introducing furloughed staff back to Working Life and the term “unleashed” was suggested in replacement for “unfurloughed”. It’s also important to keep the conversation going with staff members about how they’re feeling about coming back to work. Communication is key!

Another topic discussed has been managing sales teams remotely.

Some of the key questions raised in this discussion include:

  • How are you monitoring your team’s performance/work rate in this climate?
  • What are you doing to boost collaboration?
  • What tools are you using that improves your team’s productivity?
  • How have you adapted your own leadership style/approach during lockdown?
  • Will your team be in the office less in the future as a result of the pandemic?

“How are you leading your people in this climate?”

1) Recognising the change curve and appreciating that everyone is going through this change at a different pace

The required management style is all about support and giving people time to explore different ways of working and to try new things. Encourage creativity. If it works great, if it doesn’t no problem. ‘Bin it and move on.’

2) “I trust you”

Stepping away from KPI based management and utilising a humanistic leadership style. Understanding when to ‘manage’ and when to ‘support’. Many leaders felt that making staff feel secure was paramount and reassurance around job security where possible was key.

3) Helping sales people avoid burnout

With the lines between work and home life blurred, many sales leaders felt that their teams were being overly focused and struggling more than ever to “let work go”. The distinction between work and rest is crucial and leaders felt it was hugely important to support their team on this.

4) Coaching – the Pros and the Cons

Many leaders bemoaned the limited ‘accidental coaching opportunities’ as a result of lockdown. That small hint or tip that a leader can pass on when the team is physically together. Leaders agreed that the sales person worried about being perceived as ‘needy’ is suffering most as they’re the least likely to ask for help in a virtual working environment.

On the flip side, it was felt that virtual 1-2-1 coaching had seen sales people more willing to open up with the virtual barrier and comfortable home setting meaning the output of these sessions had been improved.

‘How can sales people help clients adapt to a virtual world?’

1) Video calls has been a barrier to customers

Many leaders observed early challenges with customers unfamiliar with using Zoom/Teams. Sales teams by nature have been constructed to engage customers in person and early adapters to video have benefited from seeing clients more open to closing deals virtually.

2) Educate don’t enforce

Customers don’t know where their budgets sit right now. No wonder sales people are finding forecasting difficult! Customers now have more time to invest in research. Educate them by providing more information about the problems you solve. Focus on facilitating their research instead of selling

3) Giving your people the right tools

Sales people need to be given tools to find a way to engage and build client relationships when face-to-face contact in not available. Likewise, many may need upskilling on finer sales techniques when traditional tells like body language is harder to read. Imparta and Soapbox were two suggested platforms.

4) What does the future hold?

The processes and values we pass on to our teams are vital. They formulate our identity as a business and help clients relate to our brand and proposition.

Bringing in future team members who align to those values has never been more important and some leaders argued that in time, this could be a more important metric then skill, competency or experience as teams look to grow post-Covid.

The feedback for our events has been amazing, some great discussions have been had and it’s a chance for Sales Leaders to continue networking with each other when it’s currently trickier to create those relationships.

Register your interest for our upcoming virtual event here

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If you are currently recruiting for a technology sales role make sure to speak to one of our team for advice, support and access to a network of the top talent in the industry.

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Warning Signs