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Remote Work & Sales Development

Staying Close & Connected While Practicing Social Distancing

With the rapid spread of COVID-19, in a few short days, business and life as we know it has changed drastically. While the world has been asked to practice social distancing, how do you still manage to grow a pipeline and close deals with a global pandemic at hand? 

Businesses everywhere are scrambling to find ways to stay connected with their customers and with each other during this crazy time. Whether you’re team is filled with work from home newbies or a seasoned vets, finding ways to stay connected is more important than ever. 

Migrating to remote work has unique challenges for individuals across various different functions. However, the below tips are designed with the Sales Development Representative (SDR) role in mind. The tips below will help SDRs to both keep their pipelines moving while staying connected with team members while remote. 

Responsibilities of a Sales Development Rep (SDR)?

Sales Development Reps are responsible are traditionally responsible for outbound prospecting. Organizations can have an in-house SDR team or often will work with an outsourced partner to execute their sales development functions. SDR teams leverage sequenced emails, calling, voicemail, social media, website chat and more to connect with prospective clients. SDRs are tasked with generating and progressing leads through the sales pipeline. SDRs often work alongside the marketing team and are responsible for qualifying and nurturing leads before introducing them to account managers or sales reps to land the sale. SDRs are often held and measured to a variety of KPIs and metrics including:

  • Leads Generated
  • Email Activity
  • Call Activity
  • Meaningful Interactions (Ex. Conversations with Decision Makers)
  • Appointments/Meetings Scheduled for Account Managers
  • Website Chat's Managed/Received

What to Consider When Moving Your SDR Team Remote?

When the time comes to move your SDR Team remote, make sure that you have considered the following:


Tools/Technology for a Remote Sales Development Rep (SDR):

While having the right technology and tools in place for SDRs is crucial regardless of location, having the right technology for team members to maximize their day while working remote is especially important. Take note of the following tools for your remote SDR team:

    • Phone System (Ex. 8x8, Nextiva, Vonage, etc.)
      • Many phone systems today are VOIP, and are being routed to SDR's computers. This allows for an easy transition when working remote. For those that do not have a VOIP system, many organizations are setting up call forwarding to be directed to SDR's cell phones while working remote. 
    • Email
    • CRM System (Ex. Salesforce, HubSpot, Microsoft CRM)
    • Marketing Automation Tool (Ex. HubSpot, Pardot)
    • Sales Engagement Tools (Ex. SalesLoft, Outreach, Salesforce High Velocity Sales)
    • Data Enrichment Tools (Ex. Zoominfo, InsideView, D&B Hoovers)
    • LinkedIn 
    • Collaboration Tool (Ex. Microsoft Teams)
    • File Sharing (OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive)
    • Bandwidth/Speed (Confirm Adequate Internet Speed and Call Quality from Remote Team Members)


Culture & Communication:

Having a remote SDR Team requires the right culture and effective communication from management and fellow team members. The Sales Development Rep role is a difficult role that is constantly changing and evolving. Effective Sales Development teams need to have a means of staying connected to share new ideas, and remain positive throughout their day. Consider the following:

    • Hold daily team meetings using a video conferencing tools. Virtual face-to-face meetings with colleagues is a productive way to get things done when working remotely. 
    • Send out regular communication and be transparent with team members
    • Encourage employees to engage with social media posts to help stay connected with what's going on within the company. 
    • Share tips through internal channels (Ex. How to stay organized, tips for leveraging company tools, etc.)
    • Consider the use of a Learning Management System (LMS) to share training and be able to report on employee completion and comprehension.
    • Leverage internal surveys to gather feedback from team members on things they feel are going well and things they would like to see improved
    • Leverage IT Ticketing & Cases to ensure that your team has a quick and easy way to communicate any technical issues they're running in to. 

Going remote in response to the coronavirus was to ensure the health and safety of employees and their families. However, while it may mean changes to how one maintains company culture and moral, finding new and creative ways to do this needs to remain a focus. 


Visibility & Accountability:

With the right tools in place, a focus on culture and communication, many of the struggles of remote work can be avoided. However, one of the most crucial things to consider is visibility and accountability. Make sure your team has has access to view results and activity and ensure proper accountability measures are in place. This is crucial not only to ensure results are being achieved, but also to provide insight to all team members on what is expected. Leverage technology and tools such as Microsoft Teams for real-time collaboration, shadowing, and troubleshooting of issues for team members. Ensure that your team has access to real-time reporting & analytics on their performance and clearly defined expectations for activity expectations related to:

    • Work hours & schedules
    • Policies for calling off
    • Performance Improvement Process/Plan for under-performing team members


How Concept Is Working with Our Clients through Remote Work

Over the past week, Concept has proactively prepared a strategy to allow for our employees to work remotely in the event alternative work arrangements would be necessary.

With remote work as Concept’s determined solution, we have used the above steps and tips to equip our employees with the necessary equipment & technology required to perform their daily responsibilities. The metrics we hold our team accountable to will not wavier as the location of their work is altered. In addition to our performance management team, the call quality monitoring performed through our VoIP phone system will continue and increase with the circumstances. As an organization we commit to fulfill our customer’s needs, as discipline is the backbone of Concept’s culture and business.

Concept understands the importance of keeping our employees safe and healthy maintaining and the importance of our clients’ sales pipeline. We are ready to tackle this new business challenge with a clear-headed strategy and to meet the CDC and federal, state, and local governments’ guidelines for COVID-19.  Stay connected, stay calm, and stay healthy.