How to Keep Momentum in Sales When Your Team Can’t Travel

Jason Thorn By: Jason Thorn

Recent news of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID–19) and the correlating potential for an economic downturn has resulted in widespread disruption in the workplace. More and more companies are keeping their employees safe by limiting travel and enabling teams to work from home. While this is a prudent move, there’s no doubt it requires software companies that rely on face-to-face meetings to adapt in order to continue driving sales.

Whether you are meeting with customers as part of an ongoing sales process or generating leads at conferences and industry events, in-person meetings are critical to perpetuating growth. Not being able to travel can put a real damper on your momentum.

The good news is that we can leverage technology and creativity to keep sales momentum going, even amidst less-than-ideal circumstances. Here are a few tactics to help you continue to build momentum through this difficult time and come out stronger on the other side:

Leverage video calls

It’s no surprise that Zoom has seen its stock rise significantly as news of the Coronavirus has spread. Zoom and other video conferencing tools provide an excellent alternative to in-person meetings and allow individuals to replicate the dynamics of being face-to-face while safely remaining behind their screens.

Here are some tips for making video calls seamless:

  • Allow time on your agenda for everyone to download and familiarize themselves with the video conferencing software if they don’t already have it.
  • Record yourself when using new technology to test the quality of your video and audio.
  • Pay attention to your background and lighting so you are clearly visible on screen.
  • Place the camera at or above eye level so you are looking slightly up, not down.
  • Look at the camera, not at the screen. To your client, this will replicate the feeling of holding eye contact.
  • Consider recording the call so you can reference it later, rather than madly attempting to take notes while you lose eye contact. Make sure to notify the other people on the call that you are recording.
  • Not everyone is comfortable on camera. If the person on the other end doesn’t elect to use video, pull up their LinkedIn profile on your screen so you can emulate the feeling of speaking to them face to face.

Don’t hesitate to share these tips with the person on the other end of the call. Video calls are still a fairly new technology for a lot of companies and improving the experience for everyone can go a long way in building rapport.

Empathize with your customers

We believe nothing is more important in sales than solving (and anticipating) your customers’ problems. Think through how this situation is affecting their business and find ways to be empathetic and helpful—even if it’s something as simple as sending them a bottle of Purell.

Prioritize your pipeline

Taking a few weeks off from travel should open up time to think through other phases in your sales pipeline. Think about your near-term opportunities and complete the work necessary to move those accounts forward. Look to the top of your funnel and start filling those slots. That way, when you are traveling again, you’ll have plenty of opportunities lined up.

Use this time to regroup

Having the sales team at home-base (whether or not they’re working remotely) is a great opportunity to pause, take a step back, and think about your use of technology, your pipeline management, and your team’s communications cadence. Is there coaching or feedback you haven’t had time to give a team member? Is there additional training the team would benefit from with this extra time? It’s rare we’re forced to stay in one place for an extended period of time, so take advantage of the time together.

Stay informed

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-changing. For more information, we have found these resources to be helpful:

One thing is certain—work travel and attendance at large events will be affected by this virus for the near future, if not longer. We hope these tips can help you continue to scale your business despite the disruption.


Jason Thorn
Jason is a Vice President at Mainsail. He is responsible for originating, executing, and supporting investments in software companies.
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