5 ways to enable a sales team stuck at home

Estimated reading time
6 minutes
1st April 2020
Author: Kit McKay
Posted in: Content production, Strategy & planning

Is your sales team sitting at home waiting for the world to go back to normal? Not on your watch.

In chaotic times like these that no one could have prepared for, the businesses that adjust strategies quickly and effectively will be the ones that survive. Here are five tactics you should take to make sure sales are still in a position to close deals and drive revenue over the coming months:

1. Build modular content

I’m not going to tell you to create more content. You probably have less budget for agencies now than you did a few weeks ago and your own time will be stretched between your (now integrated) work and home life. But, I am going to tell you to be smarter about the content you create.

Modular content is a content marketing hack to generate more content in less time. You intentionally construct a long-form piece of content that can be broken down into standalone chunks and moved around to build whole new pieces of content with minimal to zero new creative involvement. 

A pile of red lego bricks

Let’s say you build a master guide on your product and all of its use cases. Your sales team can pick and choose which parts of that guide are most relevant to their prospect and build a new piece of content with or without you. At Turtl, we even automate our modular content so that someone can generate their own version by filling in a form. 

If you want to see what a master copy would look like, you can check out one of ours here. As you can see, this document is designed to be broken down and rearranged based on what job role that person is in and what product features and info are most relevant to them.

2. Make personalization meaningful

Sales teams have always had to be highly competitive, but this is on another level. How do you get anyone to notice you when they’re so overwhelmed by everything else that’s going on?

When everything is so big and out of our control, you need to strip things back and make it small. This is where personalization comes into play. I’m not talking about including someone’s name in an email subject line, I’m talking about deep, meaningful personalization that signals to prospects that this salesperson has spent time learning about their specific needs. If you’ve taken my first advice and built modular content, you have a huge advantage here. With minimal effort, you can build highly personalized documents in moments. 

Why do personalized documents make such an impact? Our brains have something called a reticular activating system (RAS) – it’s essentially a gatekeeper that filters out irrelevant information and allows the relevant to be located and processed more easily. When someone’s given a lot of information, they enter cognitive overload because the RAS needs to filter so much, making them lose interest. 

blue neon coral reef against a black background

You can even take this a step further by incorporating other mediums. Why not try reaching out to prospects through video? Instead of writing/editing emails for your sales team, get them to record what they want to say and send it out – they’ll come across more personable, natural, and it shows an investment of time and attention without actually needing a huge increase in resource.

3. Create bite-sized social content

Social selling is now non-negotiable for even the most traditional of salespeople. This might require some training on best practice, but ultimately the assets you create will go a long way in equipping your sales team.

The good news about this is that social content is generally a lot less time consuming to create. You can take content that already exists, put it in a social-friendly format, and get your salespeople to share on their channels to generate organic conversations.

For example, we often take content that is already published on our site, turn it into teaser videos on Canva, and post them on social. Take a look:

 

These short videos don’t take a lot of effort to create and can be a huge asset to your housebound sales team. In a recent survey, 64% of consumers said watching a video on Facebook has influenced a purchasing decision in the past month.

Another more lighthearted tactic is to create memes for your salespeople to use to encourage discussion, debate, and maybe even a little discourse. Here’s one that one of our sales team used recently:

A meme of Natalie Portman clapping ironically with text that says "When sales gets a round of applause for a meeting based on your content"

However, considering the current climate and heightened sensitivity people are feeling, I would strongly suggest marketing does a final check on what your sales team are posting on social to ensure it’s not inadvertently insensitive.

4. Provide digital buyer data

According to SiriusDecisions, 70% of the buyer’s journey is already completed online before a buyer reaches out to sales – this is likely even more true during this pandemic. It’s so important that these two sections of the journey are not disconnected. Why would anyone want to do all of that research online to get taken back to basics when they talk to a sales rep?

How people engage with your communications and your content reveals their intent, their interests, things they don’t care about, and what their pain points are. That data is gold dust to a salesperson and can both improve and accelerate the sales cycle.

Let’s say one of your leads has just booked a demo. Your salesperson could either give their general overview they’ve done 100 times OR you could dig into your CRM and analytics tools, pull out which product pages and content they spent the most time on, and deliver that to the salesperson who can tailor the conversation accordingly.

A laptop is open on Turtl's analytics dashboard

Sales enablement during this unprecedented time isn’t just about giving your sales team the right content and tools they need, it’s also giving them as much information as possible so they can make progress with a highly risk-averse audience.

5. Make the most of virtual events

In-person meetings are no longer possible, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to have meaningful conversations with potential customers. You need to be facilitating these virtual meetups to keep your sales team active. I’d suggest there are two effective ways to go about this. 

One, webinars. I’m sure you’ve seen that many major tradeshows and events have opted to host webinars instead. This is something your company can do too. They’re relatively inexpensive, very popular at the moment, and don’t necessarily need a huge amount of preparation.

I’d suggest at the webinar stage you keep the content as entertaining and educational as possible. This is too early for heavy sales rhetoric. Give your salesperson a topic they are passionate about, invite some other industry personalities along, and get them talking. The attendees who resonate the most with your message will present themselves through either the questions at the end of the webinar or how they interact with your brand after that. 

A second, more direct approach is hosting digital networking events. Virtual brunch, Friday night drinks, coffee meetups, you name it. I’d argue that there is potential to have more conversations now than before this all started. People have fewer social engagements and in-person meetings and are actively looking for ways to recreate those experiences from their own homes.

A woman sits on the floor of her living room with her laptop perched on one leg

Don’t allow the marketing-sales divide to grow even wider during this time of isolation. Both functions can work closely together to weather this crisis. You have the power to provide the content, assets, information, and virtual space sales needs to close deals and grow revenue. With harsh cuts on our doorsteps, complacency is not an option.

Turtl