With quarantine in full effect and daily responsibilities either canceled or relocated to work from home, we all seem to have a lot more time on our hands. As a student sales development representative, moving from in-person to a remote work culture offered excess time, which can make it easy to come up with excuses to not make cold calls. The pandemic is the best excuse in the world.
Excuses, no matter how good they are, are detrimental to one’s sales productivity. Measuring sales productivity is the only way to remain in control because even though this is a time of drastic change, life is ever-changing. There are many reasons to remain accountable during this time, especially as in making cold calls as a sales development representative, when COVID-19 seems to have paused the world. The main reason being that no matter the circumstance you are the only person accountable for your actions and their consequences.
Sales productivity during this period has been particularly difficult for me because of how I define home. My home is a carefully curated space-optimized to achieve relaxation. For that reason, I usually do not study, fulfill any potentially stressful obligations, or do my outbound sales team work from home. As a college student, I call home the room I rent in a 4×4 apartment. That room is a space for loud music, face masks, painting, leisure reading, and rest. I consider my room to be my sanctuary and happy place. It is a place I can escape to and completely unwind after a long day of classes, on-campus involvement, working, interning, socializing, and studying.
The confinement in this haven I’ve created has disguised this quarantine as my free time. The first week of quarantine was easily the least productive of my college career. I noticed a drastic decline in my usual productivity, especially with my job on an outsourced sales team, because I was restricted to a place that was not designed for duties and deadlines. Once I noticed my lack of cold calls and its source, I made the decision to redefine my space and recondition my mind. Since I could not go to the libraries and my favorite study spots, I would bring them to me.
I cleared my desk of its usual leisurely décor and added books. I added table plants to remind me of the many trees I gazed at on campus. I erased the funny notes left by my friends and created a to-do list board. I turned the corner of my room into a place that I could feel motivated to make cold calls and to complete tasks. Despite this change, the rest of my room remained the same. The last thing I wanted to do during this stressful time was to eliminate a space that gave me peace of mind. Taking the steps to transform the corner of my room long has produced a rebound in my sales productivity. This transition helped me increase the number of cold calls I made as part of an outsourced sales team, and imprinted upon me how unexpected circumstances are an opportunity to adapt and evolve, not an excuse to slack off.