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How to Use Microresolutions to Improve Sales Performance

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How to Use Microresolutions to Improve Sales Performance

When managers roll out major changes it can be a shock to everyone who has to comply with new rules. When handled incorrectly, disruptions can cause resentment and resistance that counteract productivity, and most companies can’t afford to waste that kind of time.

While certain things can’t be helped (e.g. new company software, new compliance laws, etc.), there are reasons you might want to take a different approach if it’s necessary to change employee behavior.

Sales employees can benefit from small, well-defined resolutions as a means of strengthening performance and company revenue rather than blanket procedural changes.

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What is a microresolution?

A microresolution is an achievable behavior change that employees can use to improve their day. It needs to be a clear goal, so generic calls for improvement will not do.

For example, let’s say an employee is having trouble making a strong first impression on their prospects. Considering that sales today is largely driven by the ability to teach the client about their own business, it might be a worthwhile resolution for the employee to start working on how to impart their best suggestions and tools as quickly and naturally as possible right at the start of a conversation. Or since people have more energy and resolve in the morning, it may make sense to have your reps tackle their hardest tasks before 11 a.m.

Inspiring employees

The amazing thing about these microresolutions is that they can and do apply to everyone. No one is above making better decisions in their day, and this is an excellent way to inspire employees to feel a resolved sense of purpose when they confront their daily tasks.

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Whether a person needs help in documenting their activities or they need assistance with executing a specific sales tactic, encouraging everyone to make one small resolution can be the start of some drastic changes in the office. So let’s say that a person takes care of their most hated task at 10 a.m. in the morning, they may feel so accomplished that they start doing more in the afternoon as well which ultimately leads to better-serviced accounts. The point of this exercise is to focus an employee’s attention on something they can do rather than bemoan the fact that the company is failing to hit a certain level of achievement.

Camaraderie

Just because a microresolution is easily definable, doesn’t mean that it will be easy to adjust to. It will take some experimentation to fully adapt the change into a day, but this experimentation is excellent for generating discussion and a sense of camaraderie.

With everyone working together to fix one of their shortcomings, it can help employees feel connected to one another for better teamwork and understanding. The key here will be to have everyone on board with completing this task and depending on the type of office environment, it may make sense to track that progress in a public way. This way, people can draw strength and advice from each other rather than feel like they are the only one who is struggling.

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Changes and adjustments

Let employees know that resolutions can grow into more ambitious goals, but only after the original resolution has been thoroughly mastered. This is why it’s so important for salespeople to set realistic goals. It’s also why reps should only work on one resolution at a time.

Someone who wants to get their numbers up by 70% may be setting themselves up for failure, while a field salesman who aims for a 10% revenue increase can always adjust their target after they’ve met their goal consistently over consecutive months. While change can sometimes be slow, the sense of pride and achievement an employee feels after hitting a personal goal is meant to be a jumping-off point for continued growth within the company. If you’re a sales manager, then you may want to suggest individual goals that you feel will be best to improve your reps’ performance.

The impact on sales

The more involved an employee is in their overall progress, the better their relationships and confidence will be with clients when making sales. By allowing a salesperson to see marked success in their days in one aspect, the comfort level they feel in their job should also rise.

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Every sales team is different, but there is no one who is immune to the pleasures of doing their job more effectively. If possible, implementing this type of program in a company should apply to everyone: senior executives, managers, and everyone in between. While it may take some time, using microresolutions on a consistent basis should lead to a lasting, positive impact on sales performance.

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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