5 Strategies to Start a Sales Job Remote During COVID-19
Our very own Emily Lam, Account Executive extraordinaire, shares her tips for onboarding entirely remote in the midst of a global pandemic.
COVID-19 took the wind out of my sails as I signed my offer letter to work at Pathlight in mid-March. My first day started with me sitting in my car outside of Best Buy, face mask on, waiting for the curbside employee to present me with my “welcome pack” — a MacBook. Little did I know this would be my only coworker for the foreseeable future.
Fast forward to now — the middle of May. I’m pacing towards my 45- and 60-day metrics for success, I have inside jokes with my coworkers, and I even have a few virtual friends.
I’m in no way, shape, or form a remote work influencer — the purpose of this blog post is to give real-world examples of how Account Executives can successfully join a team remotely and hit their goals.
My top tips are:
- Set up casual lunches/coffee/meditation with groups of 4–6 people
- Set daily/weekly/monthly goals
- Ask lots of questions
- Do something beyond your standard job expectations to stand out
- Make the most out of every 1:1 Zoom interaction
1. Set up casual lunches/coffee/meditation with groups of 4–6 people
The biggest things that are missing from remote work are those daily interactions during lunch, snack breaks, and happy hours. Bonding in a large video chat is also difficult because it’s hard to gain control of the conversation. Our team at Pathlight utilized breakout rooms to have lunch with groups of 4 people. This gave me the chance to really meet people on the team — see their pets, learn about their background, and have general banter. Whether you set this up proactively or reach out to your office manager, this is a very easy way to feel connected to people at your company and make friends.
2. Set daily/weekly/monthly goals
In the office, it’s easy to turn around and ask your managers and colleagues how to structure your day. At home — it is hard to be accountable. Midway through week 3, I reached out to my manager to help me make a plan to structure my day so I have multiple tasks to do (demo prep, prospecting, 1:1s, coaching, etc.).
I used Pathlight to track my progress towards goals. Pathlight imports my metrics from Salesforce, LinkedIn, Mixmax, Slack, and 1:1s so I know exactly how I’m performing.
3. Ask lots of questions
The best way to learn how to do a job quickly is to ask lots of questions. If you are feeling fatigued from asking too many questions to your manager, reach out to other people in the organization to build relationships and knowledge. Utilize public Slack channels, connect with other departments, or ask a friend that you made at one of your lunches from step 1.
4. Do something beyond your standard job expectations to stand out
COVID-19 is not an easy time to start a new job, but it’s also an opportunity to stand out and identify creative ways to contribute to the team and company. Some ideas to stand out include making positive posts about the company on LinkedIn, suggesting team outings (think Zoom cooking show, intramural sports (post COVID), or starting a fundraiser). The more impact you have on the company, the more people will remember you (even though you have yet to meet.) Bonus points if you write a blog post like me (feel free to comment if you post your own!)
5. Make the most out of every 1:1 Zoom interaction
1:1s are so important remotely because it is a chance to talk to someone at your company with their undivided attention. This is so unique because my millennial brain multitasks on everything but 1:1s allow me to just focus on my performance and growth. My manager and I do our 1:1s within Pathlight, which gives us a template that pulls all my data, allows us to collaborate on comments and suggestions and gives us tasks and reminders that will roll over into the next week so I can be accountable for my commitments to my boss.
This has been the biggest game-changer for me in terms of staying organized, understanding my own performance, and getting through metrics quickly so I can dedicate our 1:1 time to an honest and genuine conversation and relationship building.
I’m planning to write a 90-day write up to see what month 3 of working remote looks like. If this was helpful, feel free to reach out to me for Q&A, or reach out to Pathlight to see if our team management tool can make your remote onboarding easier.
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