On March 10, Drift made the decision to move all of its employees – across offices in Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and Tampa – to remote work. This was a big change for our nearly 400-person company, but one we knew was for the best. And a decision we know not everyone can make. We are so fortunate to have the ability to work remotely, but that doesn’t mean the transition has been easy.
I went from an office of about 300 people in Boston to an office of 1. Change is hard, but at the end of the day, we’re all trying to deliver on our goals as best we can. So with that in mind, here are my top 10 tips for remote sales. Let me know what works for you! Post your comment in this LinkedIn post here.
1. It all starts with yesterday.
Carve out 30 minutes at the end of your day to prep for tomorrow. What’s your schedule look like, how are your priorities shaping up, what’s at the top of your list to get done. Starting the next day organized and ready to go will make the entire day (and the next one and the next one) that much more productive.
2. Flexible does not mean lazy.
Get into a routine. Get some fresh air and make your morning coffee or tea before firing up the laptop. And if you’re working from home, dress like you would in the office – ditch the sweatpants/dress shirt combo. And if you normally have a beer with co-workers on Friday afternoons, keep the tradition going over video conferencing.
3. Turn Slack off during your most productive hours.
For me that’s 8 to 10 AM. During this time, stay super focused on one or two activities – no distractions, no side conversations, no Slack. This type of hyper-focused work also applies to other specialized activities throughout your day.
4. Set a deadline to finish your day.
If you have the mindset of “I have all day to do this,” you’ll be less efficient overall. Push for results, not hours worked. So if you normally leave the office at 5 or 6 PM, stick to that at home.
5. Make sure your physical and tech setups are on point.
A couch is not a chair and a TV is not your second monitor. A nice desk or table with good lighting (mix in an occasional standup desk if you’re feeling it – stay scrappy if you need to, see below). Also make sure your headphones work and everything is fully charged because finding an outlet mid-meeting is not ideal.
(Staying scrappy with our at-home standing desk setups)
6. Use your communication tools wisely.
Zoom, Slack, email. We’re basically living in all of these platforms now, all day, every day. For Zoom, get on a call cadence with your manager – use this time for work, career growth, and personal chit-chat. 1:1s are now more important than ever. Participate in Slack channels for group learning and collaboration. Use DMs to stay in touch with your co-workers. And remember, it doesn’t have to be all work all the time. Remember to ask how people are feeling. Email the important stuff you don’t want to get lost in the noise.
7. Video is your friend.
On a (socially-distanced) walk and an idea pops into your head? Film it on the go with Drift Video to let your customer know you were thinking of them. Video is also a great way to follow up after a call or show a new idea to your customers. It’s even a great tool for internal communication and allows team members to comment or start conversations from right within the video.
8. Take the time to chat with someone outside your department.
Since you don’t have the luxury of seeing people around the office, keeping in touch with team members you don’t work with directly will help you stay connected to what’s going on overall. Go on a virtual ‘date’ or make a point of reaching out to someone on Slack or even joining a different department’s Slack channel.
9. Block off “YOU” time during the day.
Make sure you’re taking the breaks you would at the office. Stop for coffee. Be sure to eat lunch not in front of your computer. Try to get outside and go for a walk or run every day. Set up a team happy hour over video to stay in touch.
10. Always be learning.
If you typically read or listen to a podcast on your commute, make sure you carve out some time for learning. Say yes to attending that webinar or virtual event you might have otherwise pushed off. Now is the time to tune in and engage.
Bonus: Don’t be afraid to ask your customers/future customers on calls what works for them.
You alone never have all the answers – seek feedback. Almost all of my emails lately have ended in “PS – have any good WFH tips?”