The transition to remote working or telecommuting amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone. Besides moving to new technology and operational plan, the skills gap has been haunting both large and small organizations because of its unmerciful effect on sales performance. According to a recent McKinsey Global Survey, close to 9 out of 10 managers and executives agree that their companies either expect skill gaps to develop within the next 5 years or face them already.
Besides the difficulty of coaching during the pandemic, maintaining a quality and clean database is significant in reaching your sales goals amid the Covid crisis as well. There has been an increased digital transformation because of the pandemic. Digital engagement through personalized, targeted content is more important than ever. Even your best SDR possessing the most envied sales skills will not be able to easily push prospects down the sales funnel without using quality data.
Old office desk phone numbers are useless because everyone is working remotely. And, the past year has seen massive layoffs and hiring sprees depending on the industry which accelerates data decay.
Reskilling and Upskilling are Prerequisites for Sales Growth
During these uncertain times as the pandemic continues, companies are required to reskill or upskill their workforces. Employers may expect trainers to get new employees up to speed on their new responsibilities remotely. Managers and leads are required to learn virtual team management and how to maintain cohesion when all of their team members are working from home.
For example, banking sales reps will need to be trained more in empathy, patience, or other behaviors. This is because they’d be, more often than not, serving confused and distressed customers due to sudden changes in operations and the use of certain banking products and services.
Consider another example of a company requiring its employees working remotely to get used to fully digitalized operations and in-person training via live video. Employees may also be expected to learn to maintain effective CRM in-home or remote settings without the comfort of a well-equipped office environment.
4 Ways to Use Sales Coaching to Improve Sales Teams
Invest in sales training now: There’s no running away from employee training investment, especially when the pandemic is likely here to stay for a long time. Don’t commit the mistake of procrastinating coaching expenditures or slicing learning budgets—you’d only be regretting it later. Now is the best time to build the resiliency and efficiency of your learning ecosystem.
Partner with coaching platforms: Your partnership with sales coaching tool providers and sales performance management platforms can come in handy. These partners will already have ready-made, proven, and professional solutions to fill the skills gap and bring about the behavior change you expect in your sales team.
Leverage asynchronous coaching: You also need to focus on asynchronous sales coaching along with real-time learning and analytics. So, your sales trainers/managers can’t give you excuses like non-availability or lack of time for not coaching. Furthermore, asynchronous coaching is highly applicable in a remote working environment where on-demand learning or assessment during non-selling hours becomes possible.
Use comprehensive coaching suites: Using platforms that offer all-encompassing sales coaching suites is cost-effective and allows seamless coaching or assessing experience for both the trainer and the trainee. For example, ExecVision’s comprehensive behavioral coaching solution based on real conversation insights covers features like performance dashboards, customizable scorecards, conversation sharing, annotating, self-reviewing, and feedback requests. Its Coaching Plan feature provides tracked and clearly defined coaching plans and uses AI to recommend behaviors and skills of your sales reps that need extra attention.
4 Ways to Use Quality Data to Optimize Sales Performance
Work with accurate contact data: Whether you’re prospecting, nurturing, following up, or closing a deal, you cannot expect results without using high-quality data. Poor data quality can not only affect your sales team’s performance but also hurt your revenue.
According to SalesIntel’s eBook titled ‘Bad CRM Data: The Silent Revenue Killer’ published in June 2020, sales reps lose over 27% of their time due to inaccurate data. An average B2B company loses 12% of revenue because of bad data.
Look to connect to mobile numbers: At least half of the time, around 5 million employees work from home. With a high number of people telecommuting during the pandemic, your SDRs must have access to work mobile numbers of prospects or customers to achieve better connection rates and eventually better sales.
According to a recent independent case study titled ‘Revealed! SDRs are 7X More Likely to Reach Prospects Using SalesIntel Work Mobile Numbers,’ work mobile numbers can increase your chance of connecting to prospects by nearly 7X compared to direct dials.
Convert raw data into enriched data: Data enrichment can be key to powering your sales team and giving them a valuable tool to work with. It helps you to comply with GDPR and CCPA regulations, personalize your outreach campaign content, execute advanced segmentation to avoid targeting the wrong prospects, and score leads using the most valuable data points.
Data enrichment is a time-consuming, tedious task and requires the right tools and proficiency. With a reliable B2B data enrichment partner, you can get the maximum value out of your data. For example, SalesIntel offers access to over 5 million human-verified B2B contacts that are 95% accurate and reverified every 90 days.
Use data from automated sales technologies: Start investing in sales tools that not only help you to expedite prospecting but also provide you relevant and accurate data. For example, SalesIntel’s updated version of RevDriver, a free Chrome extension, allows B2B companies to find decision-makers for targeted accounts, reduce prospecting time on LinkedIn and other platforms, easily access firmographics to reduce pre-call prep time, and export contact data directly into your CRM.
Another example could be ExecVision’s Conversation Intelligence software which extracts valuable data and actionable insights from your customer-facing conversations. The technology helps to provide improved CX, make informed sales decisions, identify keywords that drove or lost sales, and manage different coaching tasks on a single platform.
Undertaking agile ways of working enables your company to know which of your sales reps need reskilling or upskilling, prioritize skills gaps, and clearly understand skill deficiencies in your sales team. Having said that, nothing can replace sales coaching and quality data in your COVID-19 sales strategy. So, start investing in these valuable commodities now to reap rich sales benefits later on.