News: Insight

Covid-19: Working at home with energy and focus

24 March 2020  
Posted by: Mike Hurley
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Life and work have been turned upside down in the last few weeks, leaving us trying to find the best way to support vulnerable family and friends, cope with children who are off school, buy food and essentials, and all while trying to work from home.

To help you focus, despite the pressures and the distractions, we are pleased to invite you to a series of short webinars. The next is on 31 March, details below.

In the meantime, here are some useful tips from Mike Hurley MSc (Sales), a Fellow of the APS and head of our advisory and academic liaison service.

1 Organisation

  • Find a workspace, ideally somewhere where you can shut the door and concentrate.
  • Because of other pressures at home, like children being off school, planning your day will prove to be more important than it might have been in the office.
  • A routine that works for you and, if applicable, the family, will help to instill some normality.
  • Where possible, keep to the same timetable. Ideally be at your desk at the same time you would arrive at your desk at work, and finish at the normal time.

2 Technology

  • It’s time to make sure your broadband is up to the job for sharing attachments and conference calls.
  • Make sure your conference calling software is working and up to date and your computer is configured correctly. Or download some of the free apps if you don’t have any.

3 Tasks

  • Prepare and plan conference calls. A 30-minute-discipline on calls is good.
  • Bring your LinkedIn and other social media profiles up to date.
  • Are you following key contacts and thought-leaders whose advice could be invaluable when you are stuck for inspiration? Think of it as buyer-centric to grow your network.
  • Connect to everybody in your team, your company, your prospects and your customers.
  • Write a short word blog on an idea and share it with your colleagues, prospects and customers. (Always follow your company's approval guidelines.)

4 Customers

  • Consider the impact of Covid-19 on your current pipeline.
  • Consider what will happen if the crisis continues for another six months.
  • Plan accordingly.
  • Research to understand your customer needs and objectives. This will allow insight on how you will fare against the competition.
  • Research and develop customer-centric propositions. This will enable you to increase value to existing customers.
  • Think outside the box. What is it that we can do to help people? People are fearful, their business will be suffering, and they may not be as proactive as we are. What can we do as a business to help our prospects and customers?
  • Provide 'value'. People will only buy if there is a business case. You must also be able to deliver, based on the current paradigm; things must be delivered virtually.
  • Create solutions with innovation aligned to your customers’ business objectives that will defend against competitive attack.

5 Competitors

  • Things will hot up. Think of the competition and how they will attack your customer base.
  • In defence you must migrate quickly from one competitive position to another, creating new ones, depreciating old ones, and overtaking or matching rivals.
  • Research competitors' strengths weaknesses. Threats and opportunities will inform you better of your proposition different and valuable.

6 Wellbeing

  • Evenly-spaced breaks will clear your head and help you focus.
  • If you can go for a short walk, perfect, but if that is not possible because you would be too close to others, get fresh air in the garden, or even through an open window.
  • Make a cup of tea.
  • Take a lunch break. If you have done all the above, you will have earned it.

Join our next webinar about home-working on 31 March

During the webinar you will learn:
  • Mindfulness techniques to keep you focused and engaged
  • Simple rituals you can use throughout the day
  • Techniques to appreciate the moment

About the presenter:

Angie Vaux is CEO and Founder of OutsideIN Performance

Angie has more than 15 years' experience leading global sales and marketing organisations around the world, including SAP, TripAdvisor and Mimecast

Click here for more details, and to book your place.

See the full list of events you can join from home.

About the APS:

The Association of Professional Sales is the leading authority for salespeople, a not-for-profit organisation reinvesting in the sales profession to build standards, trust and education. The APS is engaged with MPs to promote ethical, professional selling across UK businesses and has worked with the government, business leaders and academics to establish sales apprenticeships up to degree and master’s level. We are also campaigning for chartered status to give skilled, ethical salespeople the same recognition as other professions like accountants, architects, and engineers.

Click here to learn more about joining our sales revolution.