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Sales Today Is More Essential and Challenging Than Ever: Optimizing Performance in a Time of Uncertainty

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COVID-19 continues to ravage businesses across the globe. From the declining stock market to remote work mandates and more, business leaders everywhere are being forced to rethink how they operate. To stay afloat during this time of uncertainty, organizations must recognize which department can make the greatest impact. The answer? Sales. Now more than ever before, meeting Sales quotas is of the utmost importance, and – for businesses to emerge from this unprecedented situation in a positive light – Sales organizations must throw aside age-old approaches and embrace Virtual Sales strategies. 

When Face to Face Goes Remote 

The challenges amid the COVID-19 crisis are two-fold: not only are Sales teams facing heightened pressures to hit quota and produce outbound leads, but – as remote work is now a public health necessity – productivity can be a challenge.

Sales organizations are historically run primarily from an office, in a face-to-face environment. While the process of pursuing outbound leads, managing inbound interest and conducting the general Sales process can be accomplished in any environment with a computer available, accountability is an entirely different story. 

Read more: Big Data: The Role of Predictive Analytics in Sales Growth 

During my decades of experience leading Sales and Marketing teams, I’ve learned these three methods to promote productivity and help motivate teams to produce optimal results while working in remote settings:

1. Take Advantage of Technology

Today, a number of tools are available at our disposal to track and motivate Sales reps. My team uses SalesLoft, a Sales Enablement platform to drive engagement, and Ambition, a Sales Management platform, to gamify the Sales process. Xactly, the Sales Performance Management (SPM) solution where I am Vice President of Marketing, can assess effectiveness by analyzing activity measurements such as logging calls and sending emails. On top of this, using Zoom to conduct virtual daily standups and Slack to continually communicate with one another helps keep sales representatives engaged and focused. 

2. Understand the Value of Virtual Leads

As social distancing has taken hold, major industry events are being canceled left and right. This begs the question: how important are events? In the Sales industry, events have traditionally been looked to as a necessity, an important aspect of the job that helps close deals and promotes lead generation

Virtual interactions are just, if not more valuable than face-to-face conversations. With this in mind, Sales organizations, in the long run, may want to reconsider allocating budget toward in-person events and instead prioritize virtual events and meetings – which in many cases yield stronger results.  

By removing the physical barriers, we can open meetings and events to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and that is the future. Our Xactly Unleashed Virtual Summit will be held on June 17, 2020.

3. Focus on the Little Things

As someone who has worked remotely for 10+ years, I know a thing or two about staying productive in an untraditional atmosphere. It’s important to stick to a strict schedule and approach each day as if you are heading to an office. Start the day by showering, putting on professional attire (no pajamas!) and making your bed. If possible, have a designated area or desk where you can work every day. Also, consider trying out the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a time-management method that breaks down your workday into intervals separated by short breaks to help minimize distractions and optimize productivity.

Sales teams are the lifeblood of an organization, and I believe that they can help lead companies through these trying times. If anything good comes from this situation, it’s this: working from home has forced us to re-evaluate how businesses operate. The world has shifted to a virtual environment in response to COVID-19. When we emerge from this crisis, I am confident that this shared experience and accelerating adoption of virtual practices will only make operations more effective and efficient.  

Read more: Using Online Forms to Supercharge Lead Generation

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