Hybrid Working Environment: 10 Ways To Thrive

How to Thrive in the New Hybrid Working Environment

10 Ways Sales Can Be More Effective in the Office/Home Landscape

The events of 2020 and 2021 have changed the working landscape. Even as vaccinations put us on a path to normalcy, it seems unlikely everything will simply go back to the way it was. While every company will find the solution the works best for them, one common approach looks to be the hybrid model, wherein salespeople spend part of their time in the office and part of the time from home.

That understandably produces some unique challenges, but these tactics can help.

Splitting Your Time between the Office and Home? 10 Tactics for Success

1.Deliver More Value Than Ever

In the hybrid working model, salespeople are not physically getting in front of prospects nearly as much. With limited face-to-face interactions, it can feel even more challenging to develop relationships and to establish trust. This is where value comes in.

While salespeople should already be leading with value—see this breakdown of how a value-driven approach can enhance client retention—it is more important than ever in this landscape. People today are inundated with sales efforts, sales pitches, and people shouting from the roof about their competitive advantages. It’s an ineffective strategy that irritates your prospects and drains your time, money, and resources.

Rather than focusing on you and your product or service, focus instead on the expertise, insight, information, and value you can provide a prospect. If, for example, you’re prospecting on LinkedIn, don’t send a direct message about your product. Craft a note about what you’re seeing in that potential client’s industry. Uncover potentially unconsidered needs, and offer solutions to overcome challenges.

This positions you as a thought leader and a strategic partner rather than just a provider of a product or service. If you can provide information the prospect finds genuinely valuable to his or her situation, that’s a surefire way to establish the connection and trust that can seem so elusive without face-to-face contact.

"Rather than focusing on you and your product or service, focus instead on the expertise, insight, information, and value you can provide a prospect."

2. Focus on Outcomes

The phrase “sales pitch” should be an outdated term in your new hybrid sales model. Prospects today don’t want pitches. For one, they’re inundated with them, but two, they know the person pitching has something financially to gain. They inherently don’t trust the information being provided.

So, how do you sell your product or service? You don’t.  You have value and outcome-driven conversations. Your product or service—as unusual as it seems—might not even enter the conversation…yet. (Save this for subsequent meetings or interactions.)

If you can get this messaging right for your prospect (considering industry, company, role within the organization, and personal professional details), you will be able to accurately identify high-level outcomes that matter to that potential client.

This immediately engages a prospect in the conversation because the value of what you’re saying and the outcomes that can be accomplished are readily apparent. This level of relationship development and trust building isn’t easy without a face-to-face connection, but rotating toward outcomes and away from product is one way to overcome those challenges.

"If you can get this messaging right for your prospect (considering industry, company, role within the organization, and personal professional details), you will be able to accurately identify high-level outcomes that matter to that potential client."

3. Get to the Point…Quickly

Whatever level of decision-maker you’re dealing with, whether that’s a midlevel manager or a senior-level executive, it’s critical your messaging is as tight and tuned as possible to that specific prospect. People are busier than ever, and they have less and less patience for wasted time.

If you don’t go in with on-the-mark, value-based messaging from the initial contact point, you have little chance of getting in the door and even less of closing that deal or escalating it to the next stage.

4. Put In The Legwork

A salesperson has to be prepared for any meeting, but a virtual conversation requires even more initial, behind-the-scenes work. Without the leg up of an in-person connection, a salesperson has to create that trust by speaking convincingly and persuasively to the prospect. That can only happen if the salesperson knows that potential client inside and out. All that discovery work has to be done before the meeting ever takes place.

5. Align Your Teams…from Anywhere

A salesperson has to be prepared for any meeting, but a virtual conversation requires even more initial, behind-the-scenes work. Without the leg up of an in-person connection, a salesperson has to create that trust by speaking convincingly and persuasively to the prospect. That can only happen if the salesperson knows that potential client inside and out. All that discovery work has to be done before the meeting ever takes place.

6. Think about Customer Experience

It sounds like a cliché at this point, but aligning your teams is critical. It’s more important than ever that marketing, sales, and customer success are all on the same page and are working together toward common initiatives, goals, and outcomes.

Make sure to revisit your alignment strategy now that those teams are no longer always in the same place. Scour your tactics to ensure they aren’t dependent on in-person interactions. For example, ensure communication methods and channels are virtual and that all reps are bought in and aware of how to use that technology. You might think you have adoption because communication flows easily and seamlessly in the office, only to discover that’s because people are still dropping by offices and talking shop at the water cooler.

7. Boost Confidence and Exude Professionalism

First impressions are everything, and this holds true even if the first meeting is virtual. Immediately boost your prospect’s confidence in you and convey a sense of professionalism with the right video conferencing setup.

Make sure

  • your camera and audio are both high quality. This likely means purchasing an external camera and microphone instead of using your laptop’s built-in apparatus.
  • your lighting is sufficient. Again, this will likely be an external purchase.
  • your background is professional. People understand that not everyone has a dedicated home office, but that doesn’t mean a video stream of your kitchen is appropriate. Utilize the blur background feature when you can’t offer a professional setting behind you.
  • your Internet can handle a video call without lagging or freezing.

As video becomes increasingly prevalent and accepted, the relatively minor investment in cameras, lighting, and audio equipment will be more than offset by the positive perception you produce.

8. Capitalize on Fewer Distractions

One potentially surprising finding with widespread remote work has been the impact on worker productivity. Every worker is obviously different, and there are always challenges related to motivation and collaborative efforts, but on the whole, remote workers are just as productive—if not more so—than they were in the office. (Here are some surprising statistics to back this up.)

Without a commute to contend with, employees can dedicate more hours to working, and for those who have a dedicated office, there can actually be fewer distractions at home than in the workplace.

Thriving in this new hybrid environment means finding ways to harness this productivity in effective and efficient ways.

9. Don’t Return to Business as Usual

The selling landscape has changed, and the tactics that are effective and useful have changed with it. If you try to implement all the techniques you used prior to the pandemic, you’re going to struggle with diminishing returns. What worked before will not work today. At the very least, it will be much less effective.

Your sales reps need to find new ways to sell that accommodate and cater to the hybrid working environment. Especially with remote work on the table, a big part of that is using sales technology to your advantage. Maybe you’re harnessing data to make smarter, more informed decisions moving forward. Maybe you’re focusing on the customer through the functionality of your tech stack.

Whatever the specifics of your efforts, be mindful of not falling into old habits.

10. Invest in Coaching, Training, and Onboarding

If the last year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that agility and the ability to pivot and to change are net positives for any business. Change can be incredibly powerful and effective, but it’s not easy to accomplish. Add in the extra challenge of teams not always being in the same room together, and effectively implementing that change becomes even more difficult.

That’s why it is essential companies invest wisely in their coaching, training, and onboarding resources. Managers must think through how to make their teams maximally productive, efficient, and effective and then convey those programs through training.

Having trouble getting your team on board with new initiatives or technology solutions? Learn ten top tips for driving adoption.

Want to learn even more about the unique challenges of the hybrid working environment? Sign up for our free on-demand webinar, Prepare Your Sales Force for Success in the New Hybrid Working Environment. Join live on June 3 at 1:00 p.m. (eastern time), or register and receive the free event recording to watch after the fact.

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