13 January, 2023

Adapting Your Sales Team for COVID-19 in the Restoration Industry

Leighton Healey

Every industry was affected one way or another by COVID-19, but construction companies that leverage door-to-door sales have found themselves at a particular disadvantage when generating new leads to help stem their much needed cash flow issues during the pandemic.As a result of physical distancing measures rolled out all across the country, many companies have been forced to get creative in order to continue to meet new customers and grow their business.With handshakes and door-knocking no longer acceptable, how are some of the top sales leaders in the construction industry adapting their teams and tactics to this new reality?

Recently, KnowHow assembled an all-star panel of sales leaders and advisors to help break down how any construction company can unlock new opportunities in the midst of a pandemic to grow their sales. Here are some of the biggest takeaways:

Leverage the Best Digital Tools Out There

Zoom meetings are quickly becoming industry standard for connecting with customers and potential customers, but that’s only the tip of the technology iceberg that’s available for salespeople to use to stay top of mind when in-person meetings are off the table.

One of the tactics Sam Taggart, founder of The D2D Experts is advising his clients to use is the traditional voicemail, but with a modern twist. Via text or Facebook Messenger, a simple video message for a specific client goes a long way. “Think of Marco Polo: ‘let me watch it in my due time, but I am going to watch it.’” Not only does this let the client know you’re thinking of them, but it puts them in control of when and where that happens.

However, if you want to stay front of mind, video messaging is just the tip of the iceberg. As Sam describes it, using the power of Facebook Ads, “if I have a name, phone, or e-mail, I can show up on their screen when I want to and when I choose to. It could literally be, these 15 e-mails, I want to target. Now all of a sudden, you’re talking to them as they’re scrolling through Instagram.” Then, when you go to show up for your first Zoom meeting with them, they’re like “you’re the guy!” Talk about an easy way to ensure that you’re everywhere, even though you’re actually stuck at home.

Yet when it comes to leverage existing digital tools, the software sweeping the industry right now is Matterport, a 3D Camera and Virtual Tour app that is rolling out across the US. As Jacklyn Christian unpacked in our webinar, innovative companies like Paul Davis Restoration are using Matterport to gather clients, property managers, and adjusters and showcase the services they provide while still maintaining social distancing.

Get Creative with Non-Digital Options

It’s said that constraints breed creativity, and few salespeople have experienced more constraints than what 2020 has brought so far. For John Monroe of Violand Management, creativity has looked like advising his clients to not abandon their sales routes too quickly, just because they can’t knock on doors.

“We’re all door-knockers. For a door-knocker, not being able to do that? Wow, that’s like taking a fish out of water.” Some of the alternative ideas that they’ve come up with include physically going door-to-door, but instead of knocking on doors, calling prospective customers from your car. Assuming you have phone numbers on hand, this is a great way to ensure you still are thorough in canvassing a neighborhood.

But what if you don’t have phone numbers? According to Sam, the pandemic has the opportunity to be a great icebreaker. “I have clients that knock on the door, but then stand back with a 6-foot measuring tape out and say ‘Don’t worry! I’m 6 feet away!’ The homeowner laughs and says ‘we’re all in this together - let’s talk.”

Keep your team motivated

Ultimately though, teams are just a combination of different humans, working together to accomplish an agreed upon goal. That’s why, while brainstorming different tactics can be effective, first and foremost, leaders need to care for their people, who all react to uncertainty differently.

“Us extroverts, we just need to talk and talk and talk”, reminds Jacklyn Christian. If your sales team is isolated at home, they are likely not getting their quota of energizing conversations. “The biggest thing for extroverts is picking up that darn phone, asking probing questions, and being in a supportive role just listening to them talk.”

Yet, just because the era we’re in is uncertain doesn’t mean that accountability goes out the window. “Your CRM doesn’t go away during this times,” says John Monroe. “The metrics have to stay in place, and as a manager yes, you have to be sensitive, but we still need accountability.”

For Violand Management, this means creating a step-by-step, daily task list on the things sales teams should be doing every day. Having the structure of well-documented processes means that employees wake up in the morning and still know what’s expected of them, even though their surroundings look different than what they’re used to.

Staying Focused on the Future

The situation around us changes every day, and your job as a leader in the restoration industry is to help your team weather the storm, while keeping in mind your financial commitments as a business.

We want to help at KnowHow. Just as John mentioned, the best way to ensure your sales operations continue to run smoothly is to clearly define expectations and the work set out in front of your team. Sign up today for a 30-day free trial of our process hub for teams.

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