AA-ISP Ask An Expert: Q&A Answer to Working from Home Tips

CJ Webster @insidesalemagic

CJ Webster @insidesalemagic

Have a question about inside sales? Did you know the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, Ask An Expert Q&A, is a great free resource for you to ask any quesiton you have about inside sales. You can ask questions about ratios, inside sales structures, sales tools, sales training and etc.

Recently a question was asked about working from home. Here is my response below.

I have several reps that work in a virtual environment along with their field time.

Here are some tips they have shared with me over the years.
• Treat each day like you are going into the office. This means wake, shower, get dressed…etc. I have some reps who have shared with me that they dress as if they are going into an office setting. They say it helps them get their brain into a, “this is work not home” state of mind. Another rep would do all the above, get in her car, drive to a nearby store, purchase a cola (she wasn’t a coffee drinker) and then drive home to start her work day. This was her “commute.”
• They all said they locked the door and locked themselves into their office. They prefer to limit interruptions or interference from the outside or people at home. Most say that they will not answer the door if someone knocks (even ring the doorbell) and their family members know that they are at work so they do not interrupt them.
• They don’t have a TV in their home office and if they do, they keep it off while working.
• They create a list of tasks to complete.
• They take a 60 min lunch break and return to their home office.
• They set up two 15 minute breaks. During that time they may IM, check social media…etc.
• They don’t chase emails. They focus on their list and check email sparingly. So if they are working a campaign and cold calling, they will focus solely on that activity and shut down email…etc.

I hope this helps. Working virtually can be challenging, and I believe that with the right strategy in place, it can be very rewarding for both the employee and the company.

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State Capitals and Metrics, huh?

CJ Webster @insidesalemagic

CJ Webster @insidesalemagic

Let’s take you down memory lane to a time in grade school when we all had to learn the capitals of each state in our beautiful U.S.A. Now if you were to get a pop quiz today, how sure are you that you would get every single capital correct? Can you name the state capital of Kentucky? What about the state capital of Vermont? Okay, last one, what is the state capital of Alaska? You are asking, what does this have to do with Inside Sales? Ask the sales professionals on your sales floors to state their metrics to you and just like state capitals that we all should know as citizens of the United States of America, shouldn’t sales professionals know their sales metrics too?

Everyone should know their first appointments to opportunities to close ratios.

How many calls does it take for you to get a First Appointment (FAs)? How many of your First Appointments become opportunities that enter your funnel? How many opportunities does it take before one closes? Sounds elementary, but I guarantee you that this is the frame work and foundation of sales performance. It’s the sales professional’s DNA.
Now if you are not using a customer relationship management tool (CRM) or other measuring tool to help you track your metrics here is an easy low tech method for you. Grab some paper, a pencil, and a calendar. That’s right! It’s that simple. You will use the paper and pencil to record the total number of calls you have made for each day. You will also record the FAs and Opportunities you create each day on the calendar. The same will be done when you close a deal. At the end of the week, tally all your calls, FAs, Opportunities, and closed deals. You could use this as a run rate or bench mark to beat the following week. I would suggest that you carry on recording your data for the month and averaging out the totals. Once you have averaged out the totals, you should have a better understanding of your metrics – your sales DNA.

Here’s where it gets good. Take a look at your quota and your average order value (AOV). Now how many deals do you need based on your AOV to make quota each month? Once you have the number, take the number of opportunities you created and the number of closed deals you recorded during the month and come up with your opportunity to close ratio. Are you producing enough opportunities to make quota? Hopefully you are. If you are not creating enough opportunities there are two things you can do. One is crank out more calls and the other is crank out more calls while having your manager or sales coach work on your sales skills. Over time you will see that you will get better, and your number of calls may decrease as your ability to create more opportunities and close more deals increase. Once this happens, you will have complete control of your ability to truly dominate your quota and increase your commission earnings.

There you have it! Your sales DNA (aka your sales metrics) is yours to know and yours to leverage to increase your commission earnings.

Answers to the state capitals: 1) Frankfurt, 2) Montpelier, and 3) Juneau.
Next blog post coming up is “Fake it, till you make it. Be who you wanna be. Now make that call!”