Sales

7 Key Skills for Finding Balance and Making Sales More Human

Finding balance is key as we master our virtual sales environment. Here are 7 crucial skills for every individual, entrepreneur, start-up & sales team.


Yes, it’s true. We are working remotely. Yes, it’s true. We can expect this to continue for some time. And, yes, it’s true. We need to make sales more human. Finding balance is key as we master the new normal of our virtual sales environment. 

I’ve been taking an informal poll of colleagues, friends, and clients. I’ve found 7 key skills that I believe you’ll use to build balance and make sales more human. These skills are extremely useful for individuals, entrepreneurs, start-up teams, and sales teams.

 

Skill 01. Embrace Reality

Why: Working Remote Is Here To Stay

The pandemic has continued far longer and far more aggressively than we’d ever envisioned. In this time, we’ve seen how working virtually and selling remotely is the new norm. 

More and more people and companies are seeing the value of remote working. It’s safer. It’s more cost-effective. It promises freedom from tedious commuting and escapes from the cubicle life.

David Cook, anthropologist and remote-work expert, refers to the change created by COVID-19 as “the biggest remote work experiment in history.”

In short, by all accounts, many experts believe that virtual work is here for now—and we’re not going back.

 

Skill 02. Create Structures

Why: Certainty Boosts Results and Reduces Stress

One of the repeating themes from psychologists and mental health experts: structures reduce stress. This is a message that I’m sure you’re hearing loud and clear. It is true for individual sales reps and sales teams.

While our entire workday has changed, we can still establish structures. These may be even more powerful when we choose structures for ourselves. 

The first part of the action is looking at the value of structures. 

With the many changes, we’ve been facing in the world and our work, finding things we can influence and control helps to reduce stress. This may be as simple as having a cup of tea or coffee, organizing your desk, and setting time aside for account mapping. 

One of the best ways to structure time is to use a platform such as CoSell to build new partnerships and make introductions. 

While you are using the platform to find overlaps, you can structure your time for making warm introductions to key people. Many people like to structure their time with commitments as to how many people they will connect each day, week, month, and quarter.

Organizing structures may seem like a little thing. Keep in mind; it has a huge positive impact. Give it a try before you dish it.

One structure that experts recommend may surprise you. It is something we have traditionally complained, groaned, and moaned about: commuting.

 

Skill 03. Create A Fake Commute

Why: Create Work-life Balance

According to experts in digital distraction and work-life balance at e-WorkLife, commuting is an important time. It especially helps virtual workers find balance, improve focus, and create space. By adding a fake or pretend commute, professionals find they can leave their ‘home-work space’ and adjust their mindset towards working.

Some of the ways people are achieving this include:

    • Walking around the block
    • Getting a cup of coffee at a local shop
    • Walking the dog before work
    • Driving to a park, vista point, or coffee shop
    • Changing to work clothes
    • Creating a pre-work ritual to start your workday

If you and your sales team have been looking for a practical way to stimulate focus – share your pretend-commute experiments. It’s not just for starting the day. A pretend-commute also helps to separate work-time from home time, at the end of your day.

 

Skill 04. Develop Boundaries for Your Virtual Work Zone

Why: Increase focus and Decrease Disruptions

Working virtually has some caveats—especially for sales professionals who want to sustain ongoing success. 

Remote working is no longer the exclusive domain of digital nomads. It is no longer reserved for fearless soloists, blogging from a sandy beach. 

Nope. It’s you, your boss, and your sales team—and we are all getting used to the ups and downs of virtual teamwork.

Remote work zones are the spaces we create that support work. Think of them as architectural spaces for concentration, creativity, and focus. That is, that’s what we’d like them to be. 

However, if you’re living with roommates, juggling babysitting with sales calls, or sharing the kitchen table with a partner—your work focus is in danger.

That’s the results from academics researchers who have been studying the impact of working from home for over 10 years.

When you’re seeking balance, start by making the best use of your physical space.

    • Identify an area that is purely for work
    • Organize with a desk, chair, light, and WIFI set up
    • Keep the work area free from distractions
    • Set up a schedule if you share workspaces 
    • Create physical boundaries between work and non-work activities 
    • Use different computers for work and play activity

Take a look around at the area you’re working in. Is it organized for being productive? Are you able to separate your work zone by place, time, or other markers? What is one step you can take right now?

 

Skill 05. Focus on Sales Productivity

Why: Reclaim Your Creativity, Focus, and Time

It’s tempting to jump into what should be different with the world, your workspace, or your work colleagues. We’ve all done it. 

However, everyone is dealing with changes and challenges. 

The best starting place is you. Experiment and explore how to strengthen your focus on productivity in sales. Learn what you are doing with your time, attention, and work habits. Track your habits, make adjustments and find what works best for your productivity.

With all our focus on the new normal and adjusting to virtual working, experts note that many people are finding that they are working more – but creating less. This tendency shows up as doing little stuff—answering emails, sorting files, and spending time on details. Yet, the bigger stuff like deep thinking, innovative account mapping, and sales model design is more elusive.

This is why it’s so important to understand how you’re using your time and organize for the highest levels of creative productivity.

As you grow your self-awareness, you’ll see new ways to bring creativity, energy, and focus to your work. 

Some starting points include:

    • Track your time – where are you spending time that is rewarding and unrewarding?
    • Track your attention – what are you focusing on?
    • Organize your day for uninterrupted chunks of time 
    • Practice the Pomodoro method to create increments of focused time
    • Work with a timer or app to support your new habits

 

Skill 06. Make Time to Stop

Why: Support Your Health and Well-Being

Since many of us are working from home or a home office, it’s tempting to keep ongoing. We add a couple more sentences to that sales report. We do a little more research on a client. We jot off a few more emails. 

But while we are doing that…what else is happening? We are losing the boundaries between focused creative work – and time to switch off.

Many people are recognizing that this is not productive, healthy, or sustainable. 

If you are looking at your health and well-being, making time to stop is vitally important.

Some ideas to consider:

    • Decide on a specific time to stop—no excuses
    • Schedule an appointment with a friend or colleague to add accountability
    • Mark the end of the workday with an end-work ritual
    • Change clothes, change music, change rooms
    • Go outside and go for a walk or run
    • Set an alarm...or three

 

Skill 07. Renew Your Energy

Why: Strengthen Your Optimal Well-Being 

As we are finding, working at home has advantages as well as hurdles. You may be wondering when you can return to your office and familiar routines.

Until then, it’s important to act as your coach or mentor. Set up a specific ritual to make time for self-renewal.

Every person does this in his or her unique way. For some, it’s switching into doing yoga or Pilates. For others, it’s playing chess or playing a video game. For others, it’s being in nature or sketching. 

Finding your sources for renewal is how you’ll refresh yourself, support your health, and strengthen your creative focus.

A few ideas on self-renewal:

    • Get moving – exercising is invigorating
    • Stretch into new flexibility with yoga, Pilates
    • Get out in nature and shift gears
    • Listen or dance to your favorite music
    • Play video games solo or with friends
    • Practice mindfulness breathing 

If you’re short on ideas, look to your own experience. What activities have you enjoyed and found energizing? What did you love doing as a kid? Maybe there is some activity or passion that has your name on it. Give yourself some time to explore and experiment. 

You are the one in charge. Finding ways to renew your energy is entirely up to you – have some fun and enjoy all the rewards.

 

Sum Up

While working virtually, these 7 skills can help you thrive in our new normal of remote work. As we build these skills, we can achieve balance and boost productivity. 

Building these skills is a way to find balance and make sales more human. 

By optimizing your virtual sales performance, you can join successful businesses that are shaping the market and realizing significant revenue potential. Partnership Co-Selling is how you can virtually qualify B2B sales opportunity. You can use this to boost sales, expand your network, and grow profitability.

Using a platform like CoSell.io is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams.

If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.

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