Being prepared for a state of emergency isn’t usually on the list of priorities for most corporations, and the global pandemic has shown this quite clearly.
For many companies, the resolution for government restrictions due to the pandemic was to work from home. That was a reasonable solution, but it’s not easy for a sales team to cooperate if the members aren’t close to one another. In fields like this, it’s imperative to have excellent communication, as the schedule and workload can change dramatically throughout the week.
Luckily, there are ways to make sure your sales team doesn’t skip a beat, even with everyone working from their home office. Here are five steps for a sales team to consider to remain efficient while working at home.
Your house has that comfy vibe that can make you less productive. You will always be distracted by small chores, the TV, or the noises your family makes. That’s why you have to create a special space that will serve as a workstation.
Try to make a functional home office. Dedicate one room or just one corner of the room to your job and adjust it to feel like your office space. Avoid interactions and concentrate only on the job during work hours.
Plan your daily routine and get up for work just as you would if you were working at the office. Even if it seems like there isn’t a real purpose to it, go over the usual pre-work rituals like putting on a shirt and fixing your hair. It will get everyone in that keen professional mindset.
Every day you have strict tasks to handle during work hours. An excellent way to avoid home distractions is to make a strict deadline for every task. Some things will be urgent, making them your priority, while others will be more flexible. If you’re overwhelmed with work, try to separate your schedule into several sections, with breaks in between.
You can also have a motivational treat, a coffee break for every big task you finish, or basically anything that will help your team relax and keep everyone sharp.
Even if you currently have a reduced workload, that’s not a reason to takes your job lightly. Taking care of all the tasks that aren’t urgent right now will impress your clients and bosses. It’s also a good way to prevent future bottlenecks, as simple tasks can quickly pile up.
Working from home means you’ll have more time, so use that time to hone your skills. Read, research, and think of new ways to explore your profession, improve teamwork, and build your careers.
It’s the perfect time to invest in the future. Work on your soft skills as well, and try to become a more reliable teammate or a more competent leader.
You have access to tons of online courses on anything from effective communication, planning, and organizing projects to conflict resolution and other leadership skills. And you have all the extra time in the world to practice and get good at these areas.
It won’t just make everyone’s job a lot easier and make you and your teammates feel less stressed out – it will also increase your chances of a possible promotion down the line.
Adapt to working from home as fast as you can, then start to improve your team’s efficiency by optimizing everyone’s schedule. Even with a perfectly designed home office, clear work schedule, and an understanding family that doesn’t interrupt you every five minutes, everyday life will interfere with your work to a degree.
Everyone’s situation is a bit different, so it’s important to delegate tasks in a way that keeps the workflow steady throughout the day.
John may have to take his dogs for a walk first thing in the morning, while Susan is an early bird but has to take an hour or two off at noon to prepare lunch for her kids. Have John handle the 1 o’clock Skype call with a client, and let Susan focus on smaller but time-sensitive tasks that have to be dealt with first thing in the morning.
Know your team, understand their abilities and the limitations of their schedule, and plan your workdays accordingly.
A sales team must keep in touch, so organizing a video meeting at the end of each week is a good solution. Besides that, keeping in touch and keeping a friendly-professional atmosphere is essential for the team to stay as productive as possible.
Video conferences are a great way to stay in touch and keep everyone up to speed, but only schedule them when you need to ad keep the meeting short to avoid wasting time.
The pandemic has been a trying experience for sales teams around the world – it’s hard to adapt to a new working environment, especially one that you associate with leisure activities and rest. For a job like this, it’s essential to stay positive, creative, and open to new ideas. Consider the tips we mentioned above and do your best.
Remember to work as a team at all times, and clearly define your work hours to limit distractions. Who knows? Maybe if your team proves their proficiency during the state of emergency – your company might change to the work-from-home practice later when its all over.