Until recently, the work from home realm was perceived as something reserved primarily for MLMs or startups. It seemed pretty appealing, albeit a bit mysterious, this work at home life lived by about 7 percent of workers.
That has all changed amid the season of COVID-19 as the workforce has been walloped with needing to pivot its strategy completely. NPR estimates that about 1 in every 3 people are working from home because of the outbreak of the virus, including sales reps all over the country.
Handshakes and meetings have been replaced by Zoom calls and emails, completely upending the sales process so many sales reps are accustomed to thriving in.
It may feel like a confusing and frustrating time to be meeting quotas and targeting quarterly sales goals. But it doesn’t have to be.
Creating a plan to thrive in an at-home working environment can be broken down into a handful of easily executed steps. When you take the a little extra time to execute on a plan, the results will show.
Create a Workspace
In this case, we don’t mean a virtual workspace (that’s on deck, though, don’t worry!). What is the one place in your home you feel the most creative? Where do you do your best thinking?
We are not suggesting you set up your new office in the shower – while there is plenty of research on why that’s a thing – it is necessary to establish not just a designated works space. It is equally important to ensure it’s a place you feel comfortable and productive working in.
This is incredibly important during what is a transitional time for many employees who have grown accustomed to the morning commutes, watercooler conversations, and general routine associated with going into an office each day. It’s been a shock to the system for many, making it even more vital that your designated workspace is also one that makes you feel at ease.
There’s no coworker lingering in your cubicle regaling you with the 17 minute story of his trip to Home Depot over the weekend. Chances are the time it takes you to walk to and from the bathroom is shortened, not only by actual distance, but by the people you may encounter on the journey. But distraction in a work-from-home environment is incredibly real on a whole other level.
There’s laundry to be done, dishes to be put away, and, in many cases during this pandemic, spouses who are also working at home. Add a few children to the mix who are also working through the physical and psychological changes associated with everything going on. Child care centers are closed, summer camps are canceled, and most “normal” summer activities are not happening. They’re bored. And they need 2,303 snacks a day.
Relax. It is possible, through establishing boundaries and exhibiting a new routine, to stay focused and get the job done. Whether or not you’re working at home solo or with a whole new group of “coworkers,” it’s imperative to set expectations for the day and week ahead.
Keep to a work schedule that, granted, may be different than what everyone is used to. And when it’s time to be done with work, shut your computer and walk away. Recharging will help you focus even better the following day.
Check in, not on, people
Whether you’re a brand new sales rep or an experienced director or head of sales, it has never been more crucial to check on people instead of checking in on them. That may mean picking up the phone instead of shooting a quick text and asking, sincerely, how they are doing.
This is a new experience for all of us, and knowing that your clients and employees alike feel valued is evolving even more rapidly than the apps making connection more distant. Add to that the emotion you can gauge more effectively on the phone than in writing and the phone call is an excellent choice in these times.
That may mean taking extra steps to make sure you have the best quality internet connection and up-to-date technology (cell phone and computer).
Focus on results, not time
Showing up to an office doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the work done. The element of wasted time is real, and discipline to stay on task is required in any work environment.
Borrowed from ghostwriter, speaker, and contributing editor at Inc. Magazine, Jeff Haden, the idea of focusing on results (instead of the time it takes to produce them) paves the way to sales success working from home.
“Results, not presence, are everything,” Haden says. “Great remote employees focus on accomplishing objectives as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Utilize the best sales tools for working remotely
Once you have the space you need to make the most of your time working from home, you need the sales tools in place to seamlessly transition to a cloud-based workspace. And you owe it yourself and to your career to make selling from home as simple as possible.
Working from anywhere, anytime has never been easier than it is with Aleran’s suite of products, which are specifically designed with the sales person’s needs in mind.
Our software allows sales reps to set up accounts, import customer lists, curate your digital catalog, set customer-specific pricing/product assortments, and assign reps, all from the comfort of your home office (or any office, to be honest!).
Receive and modify incoming orders, set preferences, make list updates, run reports, assign territories and allocate commissions, all from your desktop or laptop using RepDesk and RepPad from your mobile device.
Customize everything from business rules to selling strategies and integrate with your ERP and other best-in-class third party solutions using a combination of our RepDesk technology and other products like Vendordesk, Catalog Catalyst, and Marketplace.
Aleran makes selling simple
Until recently, only 7 percent of workers were accustomed to the whole idea of working from home. Cheers to them, because the one third of us who are now in the same boat can probably agree: it’s different than we envisioned it to be.
The good news is different doesn’t have to equate to harder. Change isn’t scary – there is a unique chance to grow and thrive amid the chaos, and that is what Aleran is here to help you do.
For more information, to schedule your demo or set up a free trial, call 888-388-2408 or visit us online.