Three Ways to Help Your Sales Professionals Return to Work

July 14, 2020 by  

If you have ever been out of work for an extended period of time, then you might remember the challenges with getting the momentum and motivation back up to where it was.
Maybe it wasn’t due to a job loss. Maybe it was when your summer break ending and that first week back at school. Exciting, interesting, anxious, and not productive.  Right now it is likely due to the pandemic.
There will, of course, be challenges when your employees return to work, and especially salespeople. Either the transition from working at home or getting back to work being off will require a shift back into the normal work routine. Yes, there will be some excitement of going back into the office similar to those first days back at school. But there might also be a level of grogginess and resistance to the previous routine.
As leaders, it is important to ensure that you are aware of this possibility. It could take your sales team some time to warm back up. When you combine that with their fears/concerns about being in close proximity to customers or coworkers, they will be distracted and less effective than in the past.

Here Are Three Ways That Could Help You Handle This Reentry Phase with Your Salespeople:

1. Refresh Understanding
Ensure that everyone on your team knows what your company’s mission is and the core values that make up your culture. Constantly reminding your sales team about why you are there and what part they play in the mission of the company and the value to the customers will help everyone focus on what is most important. Also do what you can to bring your company’s mission and values into the conversations with customers, especially when making sales calls. This will allow you to sell from a place of opportunity to help your prospects and not feeling or being seen as opportunistic.

2. Listen to Concerns
In addition to following the guidelines for what needs to be in place for the safety of your employees and customers, have regular meetings with your team and listen closely to their concerns. Some of your team will be eager and willing to jump back in and others will be more anxious. The careful balance is that you want to listen but you also don’t want to encourage the anxious energy. Mitigate where you can, support them at all times, even if that means some of your team cannot come and work during this initial return phase.

3. Be Realistic
Set realistic goals and timelines for their sales production. If you have been closed down or operating with a skeleton crew and your product/service has an extended sales cycle then it will take them time to build that pipeline back up. It will also take the reps time to shake off the internal cobwebs. For most companies, sales volume won’t be like it was before – not any time soon. I have seen owners reset their figures in their mind, but the real key is to be honest and transparent and set proper expectations for your sales team. Even if it feels grim with little chance to earn a bonus or commission it is better than getting everyone excited and failing to hit the numbers.

The truth is that not every business will survive this time in our history. Many have already closed for good and others won’t be able to sustain even after reopening their doors. Those that do make it will most likely not just survive but will thrive and flourish. The success of your sales team will be the key to your recovery from this.

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