As our new reality sets in and the impacts of COVID-19 are felt throughout the business world, we want to provide best practices and resources for how field sales teams can “weather the storm.”
At SPOTIO, our goal is to be a resource for our customers, partners, and prospects as they consider ways in which they can continue to move forward during these difficult times.
What we know
This virus is real.
This should be taken seriously. It’s being spread at an unprecedented rate and while it presents itself as the common flu for the majority of the population, it has fatal implications for others. As business leaders we must be empathetic to our teams, prospects, and customers and treat this very cautiously.
Listen to authorities and stay abreast of the situation.
This will end.
COVID-19 will run its course. Governments will get this under control and life will eventually return to normal. We have seen the spread slow significantly in other countries like China and South Korea and there are signals of them returning back to their way of life.
When that time comes for your country, you should be prepared rather than overly reactive.
Business strategy matters.
Although it’s not clear when the pandemic will end, we do know those businesses that properly prepare and leverage these uncharted times will come out ahead. Now is the time to work smart and not panic. The best companies see crisis as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
What should field sales teams do?
That being said, we also recognize that our customers rely on sales teams in the field to bring in revenue. So you must consider new and creative ways to continue to drive business without further spreading the virus, and abiding by the restrictions that have been put in place.
For Residential (Business to Consumer) Field Sales Reps
Proper interaction. We know people are home but we also understand you must keep at least a 6 foot buffer between you and someone else. Knock and then step back at least 10-12 feet. Don’t shake hands – but be sure and explain why. Wear gloves for an added precaution. You can make your pitch, leave your flyer, and practice social distancing at the same time.
The two ideas can coexist.
Get digital. People are home and have extra time on their hands. However, face-to-face communication is discouraged. One way around this is to knock the door, distance yourself but invite them to join a digital demonstration or education session of your solution. We’ve seen other residential D2D teams doing this with raving success.
Knock smarter. Avoid the homes that fall into the highest fatality rate. You can use lists or features like lead machine for this to ensure you don’t accidentally knock a home you shouldn’t. Don’t risk it.
Stay organized. We have heard many stories of reps having great success during this time but it’s easy to get sloppy. Keep track of where you’ve been, re-knocking best practices, and move leads through your process thoroughly. What you do now will impact your business in the coming months.
For Commercial (Business to Business) Field Sales Reps
Multi-channel. We know many businesses are working from home and restaurants/bars will be closed so approaching them face-to-face won’t be possible. However, this is a great opportunity to reach out through other channels (voice, text, email, social) and offer something of value to help your prospect out.
Something as simple as a note of encouragement if you have an existing relationship can go a long way. If they’re cold prospects, it may make more sense to provide a digital demonstration of your product and set up a post-Coronvirus meeting once things return to normal.
Tune your pitch. Ask people in your network for ideas on how to tune your pitch. This can be done in a social venue like LinkedIn or more on a 1-1 level (mentors, colleagues, etc.).
The idea here is to get better. Get honest feedback to find out what sounds good and where you might be getting stuck.
Clean your CRM. Sales reps are notorious for dirty data in their CRM. However, now is the time to clean that up. Not only will you get a clearer picture of your pipeline but you’ll score bonus points with your management team. This will put you in a favorable position as you strategically drive your number going forward.
For Field Sales Managers & Leaders
Dig into your sales activity data. Figure how things like your teams knock rate, conversion data, best performing leads, etc. This stuff is out there and available but tough to sit down and think about during the day-to-day. If things have slowed down for you, figure this stuff out so you’re ready to go once the virus pandemic comes to an end.
Optimize your territories. Which territories are performing best/worst – why? Do you need to coach your teams or managers in those territories? Now is a good time to run the data and figure out what’s going on there.
Hardware/software audit. Are your teams using up to-date systems and tools? According to the 2019 State of Field Sales Report, many outside sales orgs don’t have what they need in the field. Maybe it’s also as simple as updating your teams operating system on their mobile devices. Use this time wisely to correct the little things.
We hope this article will help as you consider ways in which to thrive during this odd time in history. Our world has been through many crises before and while this one is unique, we recognize everything will return to normal soon enough.
Don’t wait for COVID-19 to end before adjusting your sales strategy. Rather, adapt and innovate to ensure your position in the marketplace is ironclad.
Check out our webinar on how to get the most out of SPOTIO during this trying time:
Customers will still need new windows, insurance, business services, solar panels, etc. We encourage you to use this time to get better.
One of the core values at SPOTIO is “find a way”, and we hope this inspires other companies and field sales organizations to do the same.
Good luck out there and stay safe!
Questions or comments? Contact SPOTIO at [email protected] or comment below.
SPOTIO is the #1 field sales software that will increase revenue, maximize profitability, and boost sales productivity.
Want to see a product demonstration? Click here to see how SPOTIO can take your sales game to the next level.