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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Is the Work From Home Environment Affecting Your Performance?

Talents Most Affected by Working From Home

Sales coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Each salesperson on your team offers a special blend of talent. As a leader, your responsibility is to coach based on a clear understanding of all their strengths and weaknesses. 

You know that coaching your team as individuals is essential to their growth and success. But for a remote sales team, coaching takes on a higher level of importance.

While the environment has changed, your rep’s talents have remained the same. Since moving to remote work, we’ve noticed a few talent combinations that are hindering salespeople from performing their best. Have you?

Remote Work Amplifies Talent Weaknesses

2020 Talent Magazine - Square ButtonReps who relied on the people, energy, and atmosphere of the office to stay motivated now find it hard to stay productive at home. Sellers who easily bonded with clients face-to-face find it difficult to make a connection through virtual meetings.

These are just two observations noted from sales leaders since transitioning from an office environment to a remote workforce. However, based on the themes provided by the Online Sales Talent Interview (OSTI), the tool we use to help guide our clients to hire and coach superior sales talent, there are more talent combinations sales leaders may be overlooking.

Low Discipline Working From Home

A seller strong in Discipline is organized and orderly, diligent about work, and manages time well. However, when weak in Discipline, they’re often unprepared and lack urgency.

A salesperson that demonstrates weakness in Discipline may find working from home more difficult because they don’t have access to someone who can support them on the details. They can’t pop in their manager’s office throughout the day to ensure they’re focused on the right activities. 

Virtual Sales Coaching Recommendations

Since transitioning to remote work, is one of your reps frequently unprepared and inconsistent in execution?

You can help this salesperson by checking in on them more often than you would with someone who has strong discipline. This means possibly scheduling a 10-minute focus meeting each morning to discuss the top priorities and plan for the day.

Also, the individuals on your team who struggle to hold themselves accountable may not meet expectations and deliver results like they do when they are in the office with a manager who motivates them to keep going.

If you see these behaviors, have a follow-up, accountability meeting to ensure the seller accomplished everything they said they would. You can also send a recap after their one-on-one meetings, so they have next steps and deadlines in writing.

People Acumen Talents Shift 

Sellers who have strong People Acumen talents are often thrown off guard by not being able to meet with clients in-person. Face-to-face communication is how they connect with people and pick-up on non-verbal communication cues. Video meetings don’t feel the same as physically being in the room.

Virtual Sales Coaching Recommendations

Are you noticing that your once outgoing seller is now a little camera shy? Have they slowly been turning towards more of a fixed approach rather than personalized approach?

Help them by practice by warming up the conversation on a video meeting. The more you use video, the more comfortable you become. And, whether conducting meetings over the phone or by video meeting, advise this seller to pause often and ask questions like, “how do you feel about that?” They were good at sensing this in person, and questions like this will help them obtain a better sense of connection.

It’s also a good time for your Relationship developers to do things that will set them apart in this time, like send the client a hand-written note or an article they think might interest them.A Guide to Getting Comfortable on Camera

Positivity Isn't Always a Strength

The talent of Positivity can certainly help us get through difficult times and see the bright side of a situation. Sellers who are naturally positive have an easier time adapting to changing situations and seeing the possibilities even in challenging times. However, sellers who don’t possess the talent of positivity may struggle to overcome adversity.

Virtual Sales Coaching Recommendations

To coach a seller weak in Positivity, allow them to share their feelings and get negative thoughts off their chest. Help them work through the negative feelings by discussing the positives, benefits, and examples of success.

Let them know how things will work as opposed to what might go wrong. Give them time to adjust to the changes that are affecting them. Most importantly, know that positivity is contagious! Lace your words with optimism and use positive messaging, appreciate little wins, and consistently promote positivity.

When sales managers understand and develop the innate strengths of their salespeople, it allows them to create customized coaching plans that lead to increased sales performance — whether working from home or in an office!  The Talent Bank Worksheet

Topics: sales talent sales coaching