The coronavirus pandemic has dropped every one of us into a “new normal.” With almost no time to plan, sales leaders and their teams have had to reinvent their jobs—working from home without the systems, tools, and support that we often take for granted.
And all this at a time when customers are in turmoil. In a recent survey, 82% of business leaders anticipate revenue declines over the next six months. Growth targets have been replaced with a focus on reducing losses and weathering the storm.
As a result, millions of employees have either lost their jobs or seen their hours slashed. State unemployment offices are overwhelmed with new applications, and nearly 30% of U.S. renters were unable to pay their April rent as of the fifth of the month.
Yet while the current situation is anything but “business as usual,” we still need to reach out to prospects, close new deals, and renew contracts. Customers still need to be supported and guided, and pain points still need to be solved.
The question is how.
Communication is the Key
During times of uncertainty, people crave connection. Authentic, human-to-human, two-way conversations. Today more than any time in recent history, customers are turning to the phone to get that sense of connection.
They’re calling the bank for help with their car payments and stimulus checks. They’re calling their CPA and financial advisors to help them make tough investment decisions in a volatile market. They’re calling vendors for solutions to problems that threaten their business’s survival.
The phone is now a critical lifeline for keeping current customers and attracting new ones. Calls need to get to the right reps at the right time. Teams need the tools to help them flex to changing conditions and roles. And we all need to listen—really listen—and show our customers and prospects that we’re willing to do whatever it takes to help them get through these tough times.
The Obstacles to Good Communication
The WFH Breakdown
The sudden shift to a work-from-home model has made connecting by phone far more complex. Calls that were once routed through a digital switchboard to reps’ desktop phones are now most likely being redirected to their cell phones. This extra step often bypasses the systems designed to provide reps instant and automatic access to vital caller information.
Without these core systems, calls go unanswered and critical details fall through the cracks. Inside sales reps find themselves with limited access to the information they need to best serve customers and prospects. And entire teams of field sales reps struggle to adapt to their new inside sales roles, with few systems in place to ensure a smooth and efficient transition.
One-Way Broadcasts vs Two-Way Conversations
While email campaigns and informational landing pages can help offset some of this communication friction, leaning too heavily on one-way online messaging won’t cut it.
People are looking for specific answers to urgent questions. No one wants their inbox flooded with more tone deaf “XYZ Inc’s response to the coronavirus” messages. Blasting out an email campaign or sending customers to a landing page is not the same as offering a live conversation with someone who is truly listening.
Redirecting incoming calls to reps’ cell phones also increases the risk of security breaches and fraud. When calls bypass a company’s internal network and security infrastructure, it can be hard to confirm the identity of each caller and ensure that private information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Using personal computers and cell phones can also leave sensitive data more vulnerable to cyberattacks and fraud.
71% of security professionals reported an increase in threats since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. And recent stories of “Zoombombing” show just how easy it can be for intruders to infiltrate our private conversations.
Lack of Visibility
When reps are working from home and using cell phones to connect with customers, sales leaders have a much harder time keeping their finger on the pulse of the business. Being off the floor means no more face-to-face supervision and interaction. No longer being able to hear calls and walk over to a rep’s desk to give coaching when needed. And feeling like you’re completely out of the loop.
How many prospecting calls are they making? Are they staying on message? Do they need help navigating a deal? These and other critical questions go unanswered.
And unless their cell phones are synced with the CRM, reps must manually log call details. Each additional step they have to take makes it far less likely that they’re accurately tracking opportunities and deals.
All of this makes managing a sales team through this crisis feel like you’re trying to navigate a ship through a storm—while blindfolded, gagged, and juggling flaming swords. Hitting sales targets is hard enough. Leading sales without clear visibility is next to impossible.
Flex to the New Normal
It’s times like this that give sales leaders the opportunity to reinvent the way they do business. To adapt to even the most challenging conditions. To figure out how to simplify the chaos and remove the obstacles that stand between your reps and your customers.
DialSource is here to help you transition your sales team to work from anywhere. Your reps simply login to CRM, enter their phone number to sync with the application, and they’re ready to go. Securely make and receive calls, connect with customers and prospects, and access critical deal information—all with just a cell phone, a laptop, and access to Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Seamless Phone Integration
- Use any device that has a dial tone. Just update your phone number and get back to calling.
- Place and receive calls directly from any computer.
- Route incoming calls to the right rep every time with Automatic Call Distributor (ACD).
- Your data stays safely in Salesforce and Dynamics 365, with no external integration required.
- Automatic call logging gives you instant visibility into the productivity and effectiveness of every rep, so you know exactly what happens on every call.
- Record both outbound and inbound calls for later review and integration with popular recording analytics tools like ExecVision and Gong.
Monitor campaign progress, daily activities, conversation outcomes, and account progression directly from within your CRM.
Support Your Team
- Put the right leads in front of your team at the right time, ensuring that reps know exactly who to call and when to call them.
- Easily sequence, schedule, and assign sales campaigns based on time zones, agent groups, and specific business units.
- Listen in on calls, whisper to your agents, and review call recordings within your CRM.
- Coach your team and promote best practices with third-party platforms like Salesforce Einstein, ExecVision, Chorus.ai, Ambition, and Gong.
- Manage call queues across inbound teams from a single dashboard. Adjust each rep’s queue position, control their status, or even hang up calls on a rep’s behalf.
There’s no playbook for doing business during a pandemic. We’ve never seen anything like this. It’s up to each one of us to find creative solutions and figure out ways to serve our customers at a time when they need us the most.
But there is a bright side here. It’s the biggest challenges that bring out our real potential. When we’re on the other side of this crisis, we can look back on what we’ve accomplished with both humility and pride.
Humility because nature demonstrated exactly who’s in charge. Pride because each of us stepped up and did what we needed to do.
Of course, none of this will be easy. But together, it’s anything but impossible.