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COVID-19: 5 options for stuck-at-home Sales Reps
Sales managers and executives have entire outside field forces quarantined at home, unable to do much. We put together four ideas for reps to keep momentum going during COVID-19
Business continuity is possible.
With the COVID-19 global outbreak and increasing levels of restriction for even basic daily interaction, thousands of outside sales reps are now stuck at home – leaving entire field forces unable to perform. Since revenue is a lagging indicator from sales activity, we have yet to see the full negative impact of the situation, but it’s bound to happen. Keeping sales momentum going is critical right now – especially in the face of shrinking pipelines, and decreasing face-time access to customers.
Below are 5 options sales leadership can use for reps to keep things moving.
Set up a virtual meeting with an expert/KOL and your customer:
Goal: Establish yourself as a value added partner by bringing in an expert to go over ideas and options with your customer. By leveraging a KOL, or MSL for HCP interactions, or a software architect for sales, you can address key concerns as well as uncover previously unmet needs.
Plan: Contact brand/marketing teams or engineering teams to gather a list of available speakers who can act as liaisons in meeting. Leverage existing scientific or technical materials, prep and rehearse a script for your HCPs and customers (or use your existing speaker bureau in Pharma). Schedule a virtual meeting with your customer and support staff. Assess KPIs for success including increasing meetings, and identifying unmet needs.
Outcomes: Track questions that come up from the meeting, and provide a follow up action plan based on those questions.
Set up a virtual summit with customers from different companies to create community, and share best practices:
Goal: Take advantage of home-based time to leverage getting many customers together at once to maximize efficiency, shift brand perception,
Plan: Determine high value educational content, or a panel discussion among peers. Email or call customers to assess interest. Send out direct calendar invites to all summit participants and production staff and conduct the virtual summit. Assess measurement KPI on client contacts and unmet needs identified.
Outcomes: Establish value-add contacts with customers, from an open discussion with client, gather unmet needs for follow up solution actions.
Attend advanced internal product training, or internal cross training:
Goal: Improve skills and increase knowledge to leverage once the crisis has passed.
Plan: Work with commercial sales teams and external vendor identify value training opportunities and convert skills programs to virtual format.
Outcomes: Rather than waste time or get busy work done, reps gain valuable knowledge and skills for leverage now or later.
Setup virtual role play with your colleagues:
Goal: Improve skills using peer-to-peer learning, establish greater rapport with colleagues.
Plan: Set up a planned session by sales territory with a focused agenda on different role play topics. Invite team members and production staff to the session. Show “What good looks like” for each topic. Run role play in small breakouts, switch it up and do it again.
Outcome: Dialog and specific sales model technique development, have some fun, build team rapport.
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