With offices closing and employees forced to work from home, a survey by McKinsey shows 96% of B2B sales teams have fully or partially shifted to remote selling. One way this impacted sales teams’ lead generation efforts was that many sales managers were forced to quickly make the transition from face-to-face to remote management resulting in about 40% expressing low self-confidence in their ability to manage workers remotely. Furthermore, a lack of transparency caused sales managers to develop a distrust of their team leading them to micromanage and add further pressure onto sales people.
Since B2B sellers and buyers are at home, the hurdle of learning how to generate leads, deliver demos, and close deals while at home needed to be overcome, especially as key channels that were previously relied upon to build pipeline were affected in a variety of ways:
In-person events, conferences, trade shows, and summits – since many (if not all) types of large gatherings are cancelled for the foreseeable future, this has impacted both B2B buyers and sellers who rely on exploring business solutions and connecting with relevant people.
Cold calls – with so many working from home, it could be a challenge to connect with decision makers as not all companies may have the infrastructure set up to transfer calls to mobile phones or are unable to provide a direct number as per their data protection guidelines.
Cold email/Social selling – as one of the few reliable outreach channels, an increase in competition could be expected and prospects are likely to receive more sales messages than usual.
The move away from the office broke up sales teams and meant they had to solitary face a tightening market whilst being isolated from their colleagues. Unfortunately, being at home can reduce morale as support and interaction with fellow colleagues has substantially decreased leaving some to even be affected mentally.