On any normal day, you’re a dynamic sales or marketing team who loves strong coffee, office banter, and serving your client up with a “big idea”. But today, you suddenly need to swivel as a business to fit in the current COVID-19 climate… Can you switch to working from home overnight? How difficult is it to run a remote sales and marketing team? Will you be able to attract new leads and fresh customers with a dispersed team?
Just like this virus, making these changes to your operations is full of uncertainty. When flipping the way you run your workforce, a few glitches may pop up…
Firstly, your team has never worked remotely before – they’re a face-to-face kind of team. Sending them into the wilderness of working from home not only feels like a risk for your business, but you’re not confident the shared systems and drives are even in place to support your team. How will you know if sales pitches are actively going out? What is the quality of those presentations? How can you know (for sure), what your sales team is popping in people’s inbox… or if they are dropping off the radar?
You need a miracle.
It all feels like guess work – you need a miracle cure. Some kind of sorcery that helps you to maintain strong, business relationships with clients, while also fighting to secure the attention of severely distracted customers.
Today, you need to support a team who can successfully track and manage digital relationships. This has become a hugely valuable skill overnight. Introduce adaptive platforms and software that allows you and your team to develop this essential trait over the next 6 months.
We want to share some survival tactics to propel you through this storm. Not so much sorcery, but revolutionary to the way sales and marketing teams operate in the short-term. Ensure you consider all 10 solutions – is the chance to adapt sitting right under your nose?
1. How to host a remote meeting during COVID-19
If your team never worked remotely prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be a sharp shift in accessibility, productivity, and team culture. One of the first demands of a remote team is to host a successful meeting with colleagues or clients. Trial this first with a fellow teammate rather than jumping in headfirst with a digital client meeting! There is a silver lining to an online video call – it’s a chance to have a valuable conversation.
During an online meeting, listen acutely to what others are saying. Unlike an office-based meeting, you can’t tune out, fake it, or doze off as your colleagues pick up the reins. Your face is centre-stage and your response is a peer to peer exchange (not a reshuffling of power in the boardroom). We recommend digital tools such as Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom to run your remote meeting. Our practical advice is simple: sit close to the screen (not in front of a window), mute that mic when you don’t have the floor, never eat during a video call, and always remember when you are “live”.
2. How to pitch & sell remotely during COVID-19
As COVID-19 forces us to learn how to live in isolation for long periods, we must also learn how to work this way, productively. The same audience you were targeting pre-pandemic is still present, they’ve just gone digital. This changes the routes you have available when approaching potential leads – so stand out with a slick, professional presentation deck. On a platform like Sizle or Hubspot your final PDF can be tracked for open rates and individual slide engagement. It can even close with a customisable feedback form. For an extra layer of security, password protect an important presentation file or quote, and share the link via email, just like WeTransfer.
Access the kind of top-level insight and control you can’t get when delivering a physical presentation! The initial vibe of every pitch email you send (and the PDF attached to it) has never been more vital to growing prospective leads.
Tip: During remote working you can no longer read the room or lead a client meeting with swagger. Remote sales people rely on a strip of text in someone’s inbox and – if they secure a video call – their face fills the client’s computer screen. Your solution to pitching and selling in a remote environment is simple: create, send and track better quality digital communications 💌
3. How to survive in sales during COVID-19?
If there is one way to survive this pandemic, it’s with empathy. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects for a moment. What does their daily life look like during the Coronavirus outbreak? They’re likely in lockdown (or working remotely too), anxious about their health, their family’s wellbeing, and hugely insecure about their job.
According to Keenan, the author of ‘GAP Selling’, the messaging about the product or service you’re promoting should benefit your customers’ current state, “Focus on how you can help alleviate, mitigate or improve it”.
Tip: To help your business survive the crushing losses of COVID-19, communicate with your audience in a clear, thoughtful and empathic style. Set up a basic CRM system that collects recipient data to help form a consistent trail of messaging as you work to keep leads warm. Using a platform like Insightly or Sizle, the interest you generate by contacting companies via a simple CRM tool can be tracked and the messaging adjusted to match every individual you send your content to ⚡️
4. How to track sales pitches during COVID-19?
Sales reps, account managers and freelancers rely heavily on knowing how their pitch goes down. Your target audience is now super distracted, and your existing client base and valuable, long-term client relationships will likely be under strain until the pandemic passes. How can you proactively measure and react to this volatile sales environment? A good place to start is on platforms that allow email and link tracking.
Sending a proposal digitally puts your proposal at the top of the client’s inbox and tells you exactly when the email is delivered (or if it bounces), opened and engaged with. You don’t have to guess when the right time to follow up is, because the data will tell you.
We know every sales pitch matters, as it will help to support your livelihood. Give your pitch the best chance of survival when you send with tracking. Unlike other platforms, your leads can easily view a smart presentation on any device, while you can benefit from comparative analytics against similar pitches you’ve sent. By tracking your sales efforts you can visualise where the best value lies, and pour your energy there.
5. How to monitor potential clients during COVID-19?
Attracting new clients over the coming months is going to be a battle. With the right digital tools, we think it’s one you can win. The key is to innovate your lead management! Adopt a low-cost presentation platform that offers instant open notifications in real-time and free basic CRM functionality. As there is no clear way of knowing a prospective client’s individual situation (except the fact they are likely isolated and craving social connection), your business will benefit from tracking analytics. Allow your team to gauge the level of interest in the documents they send, rather than guess.
The knock-on effect of using email and link tracking is gaining access to a birds-eye view of your potential leads. Timely follow-ups can lead to more meaningful conversations, and in turn result in a positive sales relationship. If you have never used a CRM system before, here’s a simple tool that helps you build a simple database of valuable clients. Owning that database could be what separates you from your competitors after this global crisis comes to a close.
6. How to mindfully set up a home workspace during COVID-19
What is a mindful home workspace? Do you need ferns or a cute dog present? The flora and fauna may help, but the best place to start is by setting timed boundaries of when the work day starts and ends. It’s important not to impede on personal time, which is very easy to do when an entire team is working from home!
If you are managing a remote team, you want to ensure everyone is looking after their mental health, but you also want to know they are able to work without distractions. Setting up a mindful workspace requires a separate area of the home to be allocated as a temporary “office”. This should be designated purely for work, and ideally not in your bedroom or communal area. All the regular office regulations apply – recommended chair and desk height, footrest, adequate lighting, ventilation, smoke alarm, safe electrical equipment and privacy. There are extra measures you can take to make sure your staff are comfortable while working remotely, which may include borrowing office equipment. Keep all communication channels open, share those memes with your colleagues, and when you sign off – sign off.
7. How to maintain team wellbeing during COVID-19
Sales and marketing managers need to step up during this time of mass remote working. Their job is to support their teams as weeks may fold into months and the workforce becomes increasingly isolated. Set up channels for your team to interact beyond project work, such as Slack or Skype. Plan a daily check-in process as colleagues log in for the morning, and if needed schedule a brief Google Hangout call to each download your priorities for the day.
Think outside the inbox with ways to maintain team motivation:
- Use snail mail to send your team postcards from your home or “Staycation 2020”
- Create a Slack channel called the #watercooler or #quaranteam to share general thoughts
- Send the team digital vouchers for beers or a meal out together post-coronavirus
Tip: A little laugh goes a long way for boosting morale. So does strictly checking in with each other, so prioritise regular 121 catchups and give your remote worker the floor 💬
8. How to boost sales team motivation during COVID-19
A traditional Powerpoint presentation can now be transformed into a meaningful conversation. This doesn’t mean you simply ping off a few template presentations to leads, sit back and hope for the phone to ring. It means you need to gather insight from your slides and react accordingly. Powerpoint doesn’t give you the tools to actively do this. Platforms like Mix Max, Sizle and Hubspot are designed to provide you with real-time insight and connect you with the lead. With a distributed workforce, this gives power back to the sales people, allowing informed, smart relationship-building decisions to be made daily, plus the opportunity to boost conversion rates.
Sizle is a compass that enables teams to find and manage the leads that matter most. Passively track your team’s pitches without them feeling like a victim of micro-management. To stay motivated, stay connected. Working in isolation is actually a great chance to develop your presentation skills, especially with video conferencing becoming the new normal.
9. How to brief colleagues remotely during COVID-19
One option is to reach for the phone. The other is to send a PDF briefing document. What if you could tell exactly when this document is opened, read and engaged with? What if you could track the reader’s engagement with your brief without awkwardly requesting a read receipt or sending a tentative email?
Create, share and track a briefing template within your organisation, or externally with outsourced freelancers with a tool like Sizle. Just like Dropbox or Google Docs, you can share a document in seconds, with the added bonus of following the delivery trail. Rather than feeling disconnected, you may find you’ve never felt more “in the loop”.
10. How to position company tone of voice in COVID-19?
Shaping language to the situation at hand is a talent of the sales person, but we can all be forgiven for not knowing how to approach the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve had the pleasure of reading hundreds of COVID-19 themed emails and social media posts (as have you, no doubt), since the outbreak began, and one element stands out – businesses need to communicate in a clear, emphatic manner. Think of the flood of messages and news headlines being thrown at your audience daily! Your company likely launched public announcements regarding its approach to Coronavirus and government restrictions, but going forward it doesn’t hurt to revisit your messaging. If your messaging feels rushed, panicked, threatening or negative – reposition it. Avoid puns or connotations to the virus, leaving slapstick humour out completely. Emphasise availability for the customer, flexibility of your services, and the community you are supporting.
The way your business handles and communicates during COVID-19 may define it going forward.
Sizle was built to support organizations pursuing remote opportunities. To give your business the best chance at enduring the COVID-19 outbreak, adopt a sharing platform like Sizle that is secure, productive and provides real-time insight.
Your Digital Ally
What remote sales and marketing teams need right now is an intuitive presentation platform that helps start, nurture and grow strong client relationships. Powerpoint doesn’t always tick these boxes, and with long-periods of home-based, screen-attached people on the rise – you NEED to stand out.
Try Sizle as your go-to platform for sharing documents in fast, secure manner. Our platform is supported by real-time analytics and feedback, with every feature designed to make the process of presenting and pitching simpler and smarter.
COVID-19 is forcing us all to disconnect socially and reconnect in ways we’re not all familiar with. Growing your ability to maintain strong, interpersonal relationships online is now vital to your success as a professional and a human. You’re not a folder, you’re a fighter.