News: Report

Salespeople should continue to work from home during lockdown

11 May 2020  
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Monday 11 May 2020

The Association of Professional Sales (APS) is backing government efforts to inject energy into the economy and is advising sales businesses to continue working from home as the best way to support this initiative.

The recommendation from the APS follows the Prime Minister’s statement about starting to ease lockdown restrictions and getting people back to work.

Keeping the infection rate low is vital to ensure businesses stay healthy so the economy can recover. Salespeople are key revenue generators and SMEs in particular cannot afford for them to fall ill.

The switch to working from home, using digital technology, has already demonstrated benefits for sales businesses:

  • Sellers are more productive – with less time spent traveling to an office or between customers.
  • Online meetings are shorter, more focused and better prepared. Time is freed up for more sales meetings, and also for research and preparation.
  • Home working allows the full sales workforce to remain active; returning to the office is not practicable for many parents while schools are out of operation.
  • Digital working helps to level the playing field between big and small firms pitching for business.

The government has warned that if infection rates peak again, lockdown restrictions may need to return. For businesses, repeated changes are liable to be more disruptive than consistently working from home.

A partial return to work could create a two-tier workforce with some in the office and some at home. This could be confusing for customers, damage team working and the business chain of command.

Andrew Hough, founder and CEO of the Association of Professional Sales, said: “The sales profession has done a remarkable job since lockdown started. They have embraced digital technology and kept the wheels of commerce moving. Right now, sellers have never been more customer focused.

“Our advice would be: don’t bring your sales force back to the office, even though the desire for control might make you want to do that. We’re continuing to see great benefits from them being digitally engaged.”

The APS is running a series of online masterclasses, Selling Through Covid19, to support sales businesses with digital transformation and explore the skills necessary to succeed during lockdown and beyond. These are available free to all sales businesses, whether members or not.

Click here to see our full programme of events, and book your place.