No more 3-piece suits and traffic jams. No more packed lunches and neatly curated cubicles. The remote workspace, introduced as a temporary solution to maintaining business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, has now become a new standard across industries.
Through remote workspaces, sales development representatives can work flexible hours and make cold calls from the comfort and privacy of their own home. While we strive to adapt amidst the shift to remote workspaces, the challenges of cold calling have significantly increased in this newly normalized environment.
Challenges of Cold Calling from Home
The most important steps of cold calling are 1) identifying your prospects’ pain points and 2) delivering a concise message that drives them to take action. While this “two-step” process may seem simple on the surface, it actually requires a great deal of number-crunching, diligence, and empathy. And while remote workspaces are more convenient and comfortable, physical office spaces hold your sales team at a close proximity to offer support and feedback.
Below are some challenges we face while cold calling in a remote workspace and some solutions to resolve these challenges.
Distractions from family and roommates: If you live at home with other people and have to worry if someone will interrupt during a meeting, cold calling becomes a double challenge. The task of trying to win the prospect over while also finding a quiet and focused space to listen might cut your selling window shorter than it already was. The noise distracts us, which decreases our listening abilities and therefore, creates disconnect between sales rep and prospect.
The comfort of working at home: Being at home is comfortable. You’re likely still in your PJs from last night and it’s way too easy to sit on the couch or lay in bed. However, cold calling in these spaces can drain our energy and make us less efficient. Due to lazy feelings, you may not put full enthusiasm and energy required when selling to someone.
Lack of emotional and physical interactions: A benefit of working in-person is the people you get to interact with on a daily basis. The support of a sales team allows you to stay energized and accountable while cold calling. Whenever you have a quick question or need some feedback on your approach, you can ask a cohort without having to join a phone call or zoom meeting to be able to directly speak to them. Plus, there is value in taking a break in between calls and being able to interact with a human face-to-face, especially after dealing with rejection.
Solutions to Stay Focused
Set a Schedule: Having a quiet and focused environment that’s as distraction free as possible is crucial for work productivity and sales success. In order to reduce distractions from family/roommates, sales professionals can set a schedule with fellow household members. For example, if you are working from 9am-12pm, others in the home agree to stay away from the home or your home office to avoid conflicts.
Mimic Your Physical Office: To optimize work productivity and sales success, design a workspace at home that mimics your physical office space. First, implement a desk and a chair with minimal personal belongings to lessen the chance of distractions. Designate a specific area for only work purposes and in an area with sunlight, which increases serotonin levels, vision ability, and focus.
Balance Your Comfort: Working at home has allowed us to create our own inviting and comfortable worlds inside our work. While we should aim to create a healthy and pleasant work environment, too much comfort can also hold us back. Go out of your way to set meetings with people in advance before you have the chance to change your mind. Set reminders to get up and move around, even when you don’t want to.
Stay Connected: Whether it be through a messaging platform or zoom calls, try the best you can to stay connected with your teammates. Ask questions, ask for feedback, and ask to do extra role-play with the cold calling script. Stay connected with your prospects too. Leverage LinkedIn as a tool to conduct research before making calls. In a remote workspace, sales teams should set aside time daily for an open forum where teammates can meet virtually to build connections and ask questions.
Remote Workspaces Here to Stay
Remote workspace has revolutionized work as we know it. While many have benefited from the flexible nature of working from home, many drawbacks exist too.
At the end of (and even during) the work day, we are all humans that need social interaction and connection to thrive. Implementing these solutions in a SDR’s remote work routine can positively impact work productivity and overall employee well-being.