Four Tips for Sales Professionals to Thrive in a Remote 2021
Sales professionals – many of you will be remote AGAIN in 2021, and while this definitely sounds appealing (and many of you have done it for years), there are also some landmines to avoid in the ‘new normal’. We’ve heard from many sales leaders that have been impacted by the pandemic in 2020 telling us they were going to get through it however they can, but as they look towards 2021 (and beyond), the plan is to get back to running their businesses as they have before, remote or not.
This means that there will be less leeway moving forward for performance, regardless of external factors, as compared to 2020. There were a lot of ‘passes’ given out in 2020 that won’t be renewed in the new year.
So what does this mean for you and how should you adapt? Here are 4 considerations as you kick off the new year.
First, like always, success will afford you much more leeway. So in practical terms, don’t lose sight of that, and don’t allow what’s happened in 2020 to be viewed as excuses, regardless of how challenging your selling circumstances are. If you’re hitting your number, extreme flexibility will be afforded and you’ll have leeway to continue to work when you want, where you want. We know – easier said than done.
Second, follow the process. With limited visibility of leadership to physically be near you all the time, you can offer much more visibility by adhering to their process (regardless of whether you agree with all of it). The most obvious way to do this is to update your CRM system. Remember, your pipeline is a reflection of YOU as a sales professional. Execs across the company are looking at this (hopefully). This doesn’t mean you have to be crushing your number, but it does mean that you need to accurately represent your pipeline. Have stages, close dates, and next steps updated. Start with the basics. Log your calls. It’s not hard.
Third, engage with your peers in other departments. It’s something that’s easy to do when you can drop by on your way to the break room, but a conscious effort may be required to engage on Slack or remotely. Stay engaged with CS, sales enablement, marketing. Offer feedback, update them on deals they may have been involved in. Be visible. Many sales professionals don’t truly understand how much of an advocate these peers and colleagues can be.
Lastly, also related to visibility, engage with your communication tools. Always have your video on, get more comfortable with Slack or whatever communication tools your org is using. Set time aside to respond to those messages. Create ‘high priority’ rules when a leader messages you so you’ll see it. Again, be visible.
These are not huge shifts for many of us. But remember – just going about your business as normal, but from a home office vs. ‘in the office’ will result in weaker results, weaker relationships, and questions from leadership. Proactively having answers to those questions will keep you ahead of the game.
We’re with you in 2021 as always.