As drivers of revenue, sales teams are always under pressure to perform, but COVID-19 has turned that pressure up exponentially. Everyone needs sales teams to exceed goals, but performing in a pandemic comes with some very real obstacles.
Buyers Aren’t Picking Up
It can be challenging enough to reach a buyer via phone when they are in the office. Now that many people are working remotely or working a hybrid schedule, it can be impossible to get a buyer on the phone or to motivate them to respond to an email.
If you can’t reach clients and prospects, you’ll need to adjust your approach. First, make sure your email automation tools include tracking so you know whether your messages are being opened. Second, use LinkedIn or other social media platforms to try and connect. Social media is a great place to get a feel for what your target prospects are saying and identifying opportunities to establish credibility.
Finally, if you’ve tried everything and still cannot make connections, you might need to think creatively about where potential new or underutilized markets might exist.
A Tactic Takes Off, Then Fizzles Out
Another vexing challenge salespeople across the country is inconsistency. Perhaps you figured out a message or strategy that worked in April and May, but by June, it stopped working entirely. Everything is in a constant state of flux right now, and with state governments changing their guidelines and restrictions almost weekly, there is an air of chaos that makes it nearly impossible to establish and keep a foothold.
You can combat this frustrating trend by sitting down once a week and planning your work based on news or changes that impact the customers and prospects in your niche. By focusing and planning in the near-term, you won’t feel like you are constantly behind the proverbial eight ball.
Your Motivation Is Low
Morale is a real problem right now for sales professionals. Rejection and buyer silence have always been part of the package, but since March, it’s been worse than usual. Add to that the fact that many sales pros are working from home with a house full of other people and activities outside the home are limited, and you have a recipe for motivational drought.
If your motivation is lacking, consider taking some time off and using that time to get out of the house. Even if you go on a day drip, get a change of scenery and do things you don’t normally do. If possible, try and unplug from your phone during your outing or trip, as well.
Next, talk to your colleagues and boss about your struggle. It can feel intimidating to admit to your boss that you’re not feeling motivated but frame it in a way that shows you are looking for advice and solutions. Also, your boss is human and living through COVID-19, as well, and the odds are high she’s also lacking some motivation and might appreciate the opportunity to commiserate.
COVID-19 has presented sales challenges – some new and some that amplify “typical” challenges. The key to overcoming these obstacles is adapting your mindset and approach and remembering that while it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, this is just a temporary setback. We will eventually come out on the other side.
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