Virtual Sales: Training your team for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Updated: May 27
With only one month for Black Friday, most companies are designing their strategies for the holidays. If you have not started yet, there is still plenty of time to set your sales plan into motion. One of the things that you should consider is virtual sales training. While most of the chaos will be experienced on Black Friday, you should also prepare for Cyber Monday, and this is where your virtual sales team must excel.
In this article, you will find some tips and tricks that will help you and your sales team prepare for these demanding days of the month. We based these suggestions on hundreds of articles and interviews across the web. Between these articles, we found the six most important tips you should follow to grasp success and get those 40% more sales you have been craving all year.
1. Hire Early
If you need to do any hiring, make sure to do it now. Virtual sales is not a skill you can learn quickly unless you have previous experience. But most seasonal workers are just looking to get an extra dime for the holidays, and sales may not be present in their resumes. You need to train the new employees at least three weeks in advance.
By hiring employees in advance, you can recognize your top sellers, who have better empathy and customer service, and, unfortunately, who are not a good fit for your company. You will also need to provide the new team members with equipment and logins to get familiarized with the company's process.
2. Take advantage of your Employees' Strengths
Most employers only hire seasonal help because they offer "more hands," but this shouldn't be the case. By hiring your workers early, you will learn how they work and where their knowledge and expertise lie.
Play to the strength of your employees. Try giving them extra tasks on busy days before Black Friday and give them feedback after the job is done. This way, you will be able to identify your team's strengths and weaknesses and assign them tasks that will not be too demanding and keep them busy.
3. Deliver a schedule ahead of time
Part of your virtual sales training should include a tight schedule. Try to deliver this schedule a few days, or even a week, before the main event. Last-minute scheduling can result in your employees being overwhelmed and feeling tired.
Take the example of a sports team. When a crucial match is coming, they try to up the physical condition of their best players before the game. And, if there is another game in the way, the substitutes will get more playtime and become better. This process is what you should do with your schedule.
Identify your best workers and give an extra training session to clear doubts and general questions about the critical date. While you are doing these, your other workers should try to get a little more experience in different sales channels.
One last tip about the schedule is to hold a meeting with your entire sales team two or three days before Black Friday weekend. This meeting should help pinpoint issues and resolve them before the big day comes.
4. Appreciate your team
Empathy is an amazing trait. Even though your employees work for you, keep in mind that most of them canceled their Thanksgiving plans to get a little extra cash for the holidays. Demonstrate your appreciation for their work and take into account the following data:
According to a survey, 54% of employees plan to shop directly from the store they work for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As it happens in the retail business, it will happen in the virtual business. Since employees will have an ultra-busy schedule, try to ask them beforehand if they are looking into buying something from the company on those days. You must assure them that the product they are looking for may not be in stock after the day is over, but you will look into the inventory as soon as sales finish. Make no promises!
5. Be creative
Most employees you will hire for the holidays are less likely to be trained in sales or any other department to generate revenue. And that is perfect. Every employee will have a cultural aspect to bring to your company in those difficult days. Take advantage of their ideas too!
You can offer your customers and your employees plenty of options to make the big days more enjoyable. Below, you will find a list of some ideas you can apply. And remember, ask your employees for other ideas.
Make a sales contest for a prize (No gift cards, please).
Team up with other small businesses.
If possible, offer a slight raise for working those days.
Host a dinner party the day before (small companies and startups).
Offer a variety of complimentary snacks during the day, or if you have a cafeteria, consider giving a free breakfast or lunch.
Offer hourly online deals.
Offer mystery savings.
Offer a gift with a purchase.
Create an event.
These bullet points mentioned above should be included in your virtual sales training. Employees should be able to promote the customers' deals as well as try to achieve one of the goals you selected to motivate them.
6. Don't lose focus
We know there are plenty of things you need to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but don't lose focus on your primary goal, which should be increasing revenue. It is vital that you communicate with your managers and employees throughout the day.
One simple mistake most companies make during Black Friday and Cyber Monday is taking for granted employees' work. Have a meeting with your managers beforehand to ensure that everyone is on the same page and doing their assigned job.
Sellers should not lose focus on their business objectives when they are in a rush to make sales. The aim should be to earn more money instead of just making a sale. Therefore, employees should establish their strategic goals for this day before they start working on any other task that can distract them from this goal.
Management also plays an important role. Don't neglect your management team!
It's the holiday season. Most of your employees are eager to get home and spend time with their families. By crafting a plan that clears doubts and gives your employees an objective, you and your workers will see the project develop and work like a charm.
Black Friday has been a notorious day for retailers since its inception. Businesses need to think about how it impacts their sales objectives while also considering the competition and what they hope will happen on Cyber Monday.