4 Things Sales Teams Can Do When the Internet is Down

In case you missed it, Gmail crashed 2 weeks ago – and people freaked out the world over. The hashtag #GmailDown even started trending on Twitter, showing just how many millions of people had been affected.

The Gmail incident reminded me of an afternoon about a month ago when the internet from our provider went down in our office’s part of Cambridge. Life seemed to stall for 45 minutes or so while we ran around trying to figure out who, if anyone, was still connected. When we realized the problem stemmed not from us but from our provider, there was mass exodus to coffee shops, libraries, and coworkers’ apartments for the remainder of the afternoon.

But the Inside Sales team – what were they supposed to do? They couldn’t log calls, they couldn’t access their Salesforce data… was there nothing left for them to do but play ping pong?

Not so fast! There are productive things your sales team can do without internet. When the internet disappears, we tend to forget that the other parts of our computers, our coworkers, and our office still exist.

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Before your sales team does anything, round them up and articulate your expectations to them for the time the internet is down. If you don’t, they might feel guilty or lazy for not being on the phones even though it’s not their fault. Let them know that the time without internet won’t count against them when it comes to reaching their goals – but that they should prepare to get back on the phones as soon as the internet is back. Then, tell them what you want them to do during the down time.

1) Hold an impromptu sales team hackathon

Open the floor to a casual discussion about how the sales process is going, what the blockers for the sales team are, and ways to improve the day-to-day lives of the sales team. Keep your tone relaxed to encourage your reps to tell you what’s really going on in their heads. Then, break the team up into groups of 2 or 3 to work on different projects to improve the areas they want.

2) Write blog posts

A few weeks ago, HubSpot asked the question: Should sales reps be blogging? Yes, absolutely! Sales reps are very familiar with sales processes, customers’ frequently asked questions, and features of your product or service – all of which make for great blog post topics. Authorship is good for your reps, too: it builds sales credibility, impresses prospects, and serves as a great refresher course on those sales best practices they learned when they first started in Sales.

Ask your reps which aspect of Sales they have the best grasp on. Then, ask them to write a blog post on that topic. They might only have time for an outline or notes, but either way, this information can be content gold for your marketing team.

3) Browse your company’s bookshelf

Your company’s bookshelf is bound to have some great books on sales management, sales, entrepreneurship, and other cool topics. Let them spend some time browsing – they are bound to learn something useful!

4) Get ready for a call blast as soon as the internet comes back

It’s great to take a break or do more relaxed work while the internet is out, but make sure your sales team stays in the office so they’re ready to go the minute the internet is back up. Other members of your team may begin migrating to places in the area with WiFi, but that’s only because they don’t need to be on the phones or on your internal server. Hint: order pizza.

Your sales team can be productive during an internet outage – you just need to get a little creative! What suggestions do you have for what sales teams can do without internet?

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