Collaborative Selling

How Are You Responding to Challenges of CoSelling?

COVID has affected our way of connecting, collaborating & confirming involvement. Here are 9 best practices in response to the challenges of the pandemic.


With the calendar turning, we are at the beginning of a new year. There’s yet another new year to celebrate—The Year of the Wood-Ox. According to the lunar calendar and the Tibetan calendar, February 12 marks the start of a fresh year.

Many sales professionals are happy to have another chance to get past the challenges of the previous year. The big one of course is the pandemic. While we are hopeful and looking ahead to getting the coronavirus under control, many sales leaders have told us that COVID has been the biggest challenge of the last year. It has affected our way of connecting, collaborating, and confirming involvement. 

 

How Are You Responding?

In talking with sales leaders, many have told us that these conditions have been stressful and disruptive. The top concerns include worrying about health and safety, challenges of working from home, and shifting to effective virtual selling. With many challenges, at the very least, it’s been a huge learning curve.

So often, I’ve wished to sit down and share a cup of coffee. I’ve dreamed of being able to talk things through in an informal down-to-earth way. 

I’ve got a cup of steaming coffee ready here. I hope you get one too. Let’s have that chat about the challenges—and how you’re responding. Let’s do that right now.

 

What’s Your Biggest Challenge?

Stress and Anxiety

There’s no question that a global pandemic has been stressful and produced anxiety. It’s ranged from a low-grade uneasiness to full-on anxiousness. Many sales professionals are realizing that different members of their team experience different challenges.

It’s taken a toll on our bodies, our mental health, and our emotional health. 

Health and Fitness 

Stress and anxiety take their toll on the body. It fuels coping responses—such as stress eating. Weight gain is also called Covid-Curves and Quarantine 15. That stands for 15 extra pounds, which people have gained, on average during this time. 

Experts at Yale Medicine note that while COVID-19 has made it easier to eat comfort foods, skip exercise, and give in to weight gain during the pandemic, it is entirely possible to lose weight even during restrictions. They advise making a plan that includes diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management. If you’ve been struggling with weight gain, you can make strategic changes to lose weight and support your health. 

Working From Home

Working from home often brings different distractions and interruptions. Many people are working from the kitchen or dining room table. You may find yourself without a full-time desk, checking email from the couch. Perhaps you are sharing quarters with roommates, spouses, children, and extended family. 

Whether you’ve been working solo or sharing your home, working remotely can result in a blurry situation, where it seems that work never ends. This can result in feeling that you are in work-mode all the time.

Social Distancing

Selling has always traditionally been like a high-contact sport. We thrive on personal contact, face-to-face meetings, and handshakes. All that has been turned on its head.

Now, we are sharing information and meeting up with video calls. We are making warm introductions, without connecting in person. We are practicing social distancing—and may feel disconnected. 

If you are noticing that you’re feeling less creative, less focused, and less productive, many professionals are having similar experiences.

I’m summarizing. There is a lot more to the story of how COVID has shaped and changed the world of remote working and co-selling. 

But, now let’s talk about you.

How Are You Doing?

How are you responding? 

I’d like to hear how this time is and has been for you. I’ve been listening to sales leaders and collecting good practices that I hope you find useful. 

While you may already be doing some of these, take a look and perhaps you can strengthen what is already working.

 

9 Good Practices For Responding To Challenges

01. Encourage Open Dialogue

Being supportive, listening, and encouragement goes a long way. Having transparent conversations with your sales reps is a great way to share your personal experience. Many leaders find that the key is being present, listening, and keeping a supportive tone. The key is to listen and support rather than trying to control or ‘fix’ every issue.

02. Encourage Transparency

Sales leaders are increasingly finding that in uncertain times, being real, genuine, and transparent is critical. While striving to keep a positive perspective, many leaders are sharing stories of their struggles—and how they are responding.

When we surveyed sales leaders, this came through loud and clear. Leaders from Cuota, Showd.me, PartnerStack, Hownd, Inc., Turing, RingCentral, NachoNacho, OKRoger, RevenueZen, and Partner programs—all cited transparency as key for effective communication.

Transparency in communication builds rapport and grows trust. When team leaders are transparent they model positive behavior for their entire team. When leaders are transparent with partners, they build powerful trusting partnerships.

03. Encourage Personalization

In times of flux and uncertainty, sales leaders are going the extra mile to personalize their communications. Sales Leaders are avid about personalizing to genuinely connect with partners and employees. In our recent survey, Leaders at AgentSync, JustCall.io, Sendoso, Troops, and Observe cited personalization as vital in communicating with internal teams and clients.

By being authentic and personal, leaders can bridge the gap of remote working, and balance head-and-heart perspectives.

Ultimately, this helps leaders provide guidance, security, and humanity. 

04. Encourage Work-Life Balance

As we’ve been seeing, working remotely can cause the boundaries between work and private time to blur. If you’re noticing this with your team, encourage your team to maintain a good balance. Take extra care to send emails and schedule calls during official work hours.

Experts at the e-WorkLIfe note that certain structures support to balance while working remotely. They suggest creating a fake commute, establishing a barrier between work and personal time. While we’ve all at one time or another griped about commuting, it turns out that this is a useful time for balance, creativity, and establishing healthy boundaries.

05. Encourage an Organized Workspace

While everyone’s situation is unique, encourage people to set up an organized work environment. 

A Deloitte guide on remote collaboration during COVID encourages leaders to be available to discuss what may be affecting an individual’s working environment. Whether it is personal skills, personal or family issues, or challenges of remote working, consider how you can offer care and support.

06. Encourage Contact

Staying in close contact with your team is even more important while working remotely. This includes staying in close contact with senior team leaders and being available for direct contact with your team. Many leaders are finding that having ‘open office’ hours is a way to invite people to make informal and impromptu contact.

By showing that you are easily available, you can encourage your team to stay in close contact, encourage collaboration, and focus on work productivity.

07. Encourage Socializing

While there is plenty of work to do, many leaders find it’s important to encourage socializing between colleagues and leaders. This helps to keep the social and personal contact amongst the team alive and well. 

Different groups opt for activities that work for them. E-WorkLife experts suggest playing a video game with colleagues. They note that this is best done anonymously or on a non-work device to help people disconnect from ‘work mode.’

Whether it’s meeting up for a video game, checking in on a break-out session, or scheduling a virtual coffee or lunch date, make it a priority to stay connected beyond the work.

08. Encourage Practical Solutions 

When sales teams can’t see each other, encourage the use of video conferencing. This has contributed to the rapid rise of web-conferencing with Zoom. It’s a practical solution that offers a technology everyone can easily access. By simulating in-person face-to-face contact, working remotely has become more approachable.

Look at the technology you’re using to connect with partners and build strong partnerships. Sales leaders are actively using CoSell for making warm introductions and growing their partner networks.

09. Encourage Collaboration

Our usual ways of meeting with our teams and with clients are in flux. As sales leaders, we are rethinking ways to foster collaboration—both internally and with our partners.

Many sales leaders are finding fresh ways to approach using new tools and technology. You can spread good practices across your team by encouraging sales reps to share how they are working. By sharing personal wins, teams engage and motivate each other. 

 

Sum Up

Exploring ways to respond to the current challenges of the pandemic is key to fine-tuning your virtual leadership skills. By encouraging transparency and personalization, you’ll strengthen open communication with your team and your partnerships.

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 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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