Sales team training during COVID-19

Image Credit: Andrey Popov/

Adapting the Sales Process During COVID-19

At ADP we have a sales webinar series focused on helping our publishers and partners better equip their sales team for remote sales. As the COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered the lives of businesses and communities, sales teams have also been coming to terms with a new way of working.

Each company will have experienced different levels of upheaval, but in every case it has probably not been business as usual. Many sales teams have shifted online, while decision makers are working from home.

Using webinar tools has become second nature for many of us. So how can a business equip their sales team effectively today?

Provide Effective Online Tools

Zoom has emerged as the tool of choice for video communication during the pandemic. While Zoom has literally become a household name, many sales teams have not yet integrated it into their processes.

Face-to-face communication adds an extra dimension that a voice call simply cannot provide. A sales manager can quickly build rapport with a client, creating a personal connection that is close to an in-person meeting. Zoom – or another video conferencing, screen sharing type tool – needs to be added right away.

Some additional tools that can help a sales team include:

  • Slack – Messaging and internal communication.
  • Trello – Project management and productivity.
  • Zapier – Workflow automation.

Develop Online Resources for Your Sales Team

Sales teams might feel unsupported if they don’t have the same level of direct communication with managers. As teams come to terms with the new working methods, the ability to talk over issues and find solutions can be restricted.

Developing online resources is an effective way to provide direct assistance that holds considerable value. Adding resources to a website and distributing PDFs ensures new information can be quickly disseminated, and that all sales managers have access to the same knowledge. We have a library of resources available for our members on the ADP website.

While you may have to spend more getting this information added to your website or having PDFs designed by a graphic designer, it will pay off in closing more deals.

The Importance of Sales Training

Many sales teams find themselves operating in a completely different manner now. The method of contacting clients has likely changed, while many businesses are dealing with concerns over their long-term prospects.

Ongoing training is an effective way to keep sales teams adequately prepared for the COVID-19 world. Additional sales training keeps everyone up-to-date with new processes, and also inspires confidence during a difficult time.

Recognizing how to promote the value of a print or online directory during these times is an important step.

Work With Industry Associations

For a publisher, a difficult period is not a reason to retreat. Many businesses are searching for useful promotional methods and want to reach customers. It is a sound idea to work with industry associations to learn just how to reach these businesses and increase knowledge.

For instance, ADP holds regular sales training webinars that draw on the information and learning gained from a vast network of publishers. Many associations are adding online training to their toolkit for members.

Product Knowledge & Value Proposition

A common issue identified with sales teams is confusion about the product they are selling. Print and online directories might seem self-explanatory, but that doesn’t get to the heart of why they are so valuable.

A sales team can benefit from additional training that goes into greater depth about the product and its benefits to a business. Armed with this extra knowledge, a sales manager can feel confident and believe deeply in the effectiveness of the product they are promoting. Both the publisher and advertiser will benefit from this greater knowledge.

Share Customer Feedback

As the sales process adapts to new methods, the salesperson will start to accrue this new knowledge. This is helpful, as the way clients respond to a sales call might have changed considerably due to developing circumstances. Creating a system of sharing customer feedback within the sales team can introduce some valuable information indeed.

Elements that might have worked in the past may require adjustments to successfully operate under new conditions. When customer feedback can be accessed from several sources, it is possible to build new resources that work for these changing times.

Prioritize Motivation and Internal Communication

During such a difficult period, it is natural that a sales team might experience a decline in motivation. Many businesses have suffered from a disconnection due to work-from-home policies, and some employees might not be operating at their usual high level.

Prioritizing motivation can provide a major boost that directly impacts results. The fact that a directory listing can have real benefits for a business should highlight the positivity of the work. It can also be useful to enhance your internal communications to keep the team in close contact.

ADP Helps Directory Publishers Each Day

Are you a print or online directory publisher looking to secure more advertisers? Becoming an ADP publisher or partner member ensures you are at the cutting edge of our industry. Join like-minded community members who are pushing the industry forward. Learn more or call us at 1-800-267-9002 today.