YOUR Resource Hub for the New Business Climate

Challenging market environment. Tough deal negotiations. Teams going 100% remote. We're all dealing with a new business reality. Here's a set of actionable resources for navigating the change.


Learn how to get started on key initiatives in under 10 minutes.

#1: Track The Impact of COVID-19


See how the changing market dynamics are impacting your business and forecasts. 

Don’t Miss: Hear from other revenue leaders on their response and how they’re managing this climate effectively.

#2: Deal + Pipeline Health


Analyze your pipeline health with a visual heat map of your key deals and activity.

Don’t Miss: Sales Manager Mike Bullard walking you through his “Deal Health Checklist” using Gong. 

#3: Team Engagement for Remote Team

Keep the team engaged and productive while everyone is remote

Don’t Miss: An overview of our Activity tab with some brand new features from Gong


Bite-sized best practices you can try out today.

Navigating the New Sales Environment

You know that the coronavirus crisis is impacting every deal, but you need to understand in detail how customers are talking about it.

  • Develop hypotheses by digging into the data. Your closed-lost dataset is likely bigger than your closed-won dataset, but you can mine both for clues. A good starting point is to find relevant call snippets using a keyword filter on the Calls page.
  • Keep up-to-date on what the market is saying by implementing trackers for COVID-19,  remote work, negative impact, or similar concerns. (Gong has already created a standard COVID-19 tracker in your account, which can tune to your needs.) Create daily email alerts for sales management. Set aside some time in the day to review the customer interactions that are flagged.
  • Align with your leadership team and formulate your response. 

Talk tracks have radically shifted since the coronavirus crisis hit. Your reps are walking the delicate balance between being empathetic and continuing to position your value to their prospects. You need to test and tune the message.

  • Be intentional about crafting and testing your messages, working with your marketing and enablement teams to ensure that individual reps aren’t left scrambling.
  • In higher volume segments, you have enough at-bats to test a few different alternatives for comparison.
  • Use Gong to hear the customer response and adjust quickly. Have your team use hashtags in their comments (e.g. #covid_messaging) to highlight the relevant sections of their calls, so that you can find these in the Calls page or via an email alert.
  • Drive accountability with reps to use the new messaging, through your team meetings and 1:1s. Pull up examples in Gong to highlight and reinforce the right behaviors.

The coronavirus crisis is, for now, the number one priority for every business. It affects every buying cycle. Avoiding the subject won’t make it go away. Instead, have your reps run proactive and structured discovery about it on every deal.

  • Small talk can feed discovery, and provides an empathetic way to broach the subject. However, make sure you’ve rolled out a structured set of discovery questions that every rep is using.
  • Use trackers and saved searches in Gong to make sure reps are accountable for asking the right questions on every deal.
  • Make it part of your pipeline review to ensure reps have dug deep enough to fully understand the impact. Consider standing questions like:
    • How has the prospect’s business changed due to COVID-19?
    • What are their executives focused on to ensure business continuity?
    • How are we uniquely positioned to help them during this time?
  • If there are deals where you have a gap knowledge gap, take the opportunity to get the prospect back on a call for follow-up questions.

Forecasting can be tough at the best of times. Right now it’s downright dizzying, given the speed with which the business climate has changed. You need to find the most quick and efficient way to adjust your pipeline to your new reality.

  • Shorten your forecasting intervals to make sure the leadership team is working with the most up-to-date information from the field.
  • At Gong we like to use Deal Intelligence to help weed out those “happy ears” deals. It’s human nature to hang onto what you’ve got, and that includes keeping deals in commit when the customer reality has changed. Use Gong to scrutinize your near term pipeline. Work with your reps to keep viable deals on track and take the others out of forecast sooner rather than later.
  • Emphasize the importance of keeping opportunities up-to-date in your CRM. In a fast-changing environment you can’t work with stale data. Ask your team to hold themselves accountable for their CRM hygiene—it’s the best way they can avoid being pinged for questions and updates.

You need to manage team performance through the downturn, but a quota set a quarter or more ago may no longer be a good metric. First and foremost, we recommend being a human! Let the team know that you’re taking into account what you can. At the same time, you can’t let the coronavirus crisis become a crutch for every deal that’s pushed or lost.

  • Absolute performance is a moving target in this business environment. You’re now grading on a curve. Communicate clearly where individuals are falling behind team averages. 
  • Use historic performance as a guide. If individual performance wasn’t there in better times, you’ll be more skeptical of a rep who blames the business cycle for their recent losses.
  • Dive into the specifics on closed-lost deals. You’ll be doing this anyway to understand changing market dynamics, but take the time to analyze rep performance and look for coaching opportunities. The Deal Board is a great place to start.

Driving Performance While Remote

Sometimes, working in a remote environment means fewer distractions and the opportunity to focus intently on your work. Sometimes, the desire to binge watch Netflix can be a little too tempting. Aligning the team around a short term focus area can help keep everyone moving forward with intention.

  • Define one explicit weekly focus area to tackle and discuss it with your team. Like all good goals, it should be both impactful and measurable. Maybe you want to double the number of self-sourced opportunities?
  • Consider splitting your 1:1s into two sessions, one for your normal agenda and one dedicated to reviewing individual progress on the focus area.
  • Update everyone on progress regularly and celebrate when you achieve the goal.
  • You might keep the same focus area for a number of weeks, if it’s still relevant. Adjust the weekly target as necessary.

In a remote environment, it’s easier to become misaligned on important aspects of deal strategy. Replacing word-of-mouth with a document can help.

  • It’s impossible for a rep to keep all the details of a deal in their head; things will inevitably get missed. For high value opportunities, implement a living deal strategy document which the rep is responsible for maintaining. This kind of record helps keep reps organized and focused, and provides you with visibility—a win-win!
  • Use this doc to drive the deal strategy portion of your 1:1s. Has there been enough discovery? Are decision criteria laid out? This is a great opportunity to proactively coach to the specific deal. 
  • Encourage reps to use this doc as a collaboration tool for anyone else brought into the sales cycle. From Customer Success to Solutions Engineering, this is a great way to stay aligned.
  • Looking for some inspiration? Here’s an example Account & Deal Strategy deck. At Gong we attach this doc to the opportunity record in our CRM so that it’s easily accessible.

An intentional coaching cadence is a must in a remote environment. You won’t be fielding those casual requests for advice that happen in the office, so structure is required. And more than ever, your team’s morale and confidence depends on feeling fully supported.

  • Make coaching a standing topic in your weekly 1:1s. Both you and your rep should bring specific issues to the table.
  • Preparation is key. Block time on your own calendar to review calls and deal activity for each of your team members, in search of coaching opportunities. Just make sure to honor those blocks in the same way you would a meeting.
  • Conduct mini-reviews of real calls or email exchanges from recent deals in your team meetings. Ask your reps how they might have handled things differently. This helps your team learn from each other’s wins and losses.
  • Not sure where to start? Here are some ways you can use Gong to help support your coaching efforts.

Imagine starting a new job, and immediately being catapulted into a remote working environment, perhaps for the first time in your career. Putting the right support strategy in place is critical to ensuring newer reps’ long term success.  

  • Forget being able to pick up on how a new rep is faring from hearing the chatter from the sales floor. You need a structured approach to ensure they don’t engrain the wrong behaviors in the first few months. Use 30-60-90 checklists (here’s an example) to guide new reps through critical learnings, milestones, and KPIs, and hold them accountable. (Remember to curate the calls that new reps should listen to in the Library, and include those in your 30-60-90.)
  • With so many distractions from late stage deals, it’s hard for you to stay close to new reps as they build pipeline. But it could be critical for their success. Ask them to tag you in comments after each call, with their summary and key takeaways.
  • In a remote environment, it takes more effort to uncover coaching opportunities. Block off time to conduct call reviews or look at deal activity.
  • Formalize mentorship by partnering a tenured rep with a newer rep. Make sure they have a recurring weekly sync and ask them to prepare at least one question or scenario to discuss every time.

Let’s be honest, prospecting is not the most glamorous part of the job. And it requires calendar discipline. That’s a recipe for neglect when your team is working remotely. Unless you run 100% inbound, you’ll need to reserve some of your team’s energy and focus for pipeline generation.

  • Suggest that reps create prospecting blocks on their calendar. If you’re worried about them honoring this time, ask them to share an update with you or the team after each session. 
  • Take time in your 1:1s to review pipeline generation for the week, as a point of emphasis.
  • Consider making prospecting a weekly focus area for the whole team, with specific targets. You can go one further, by putting up a spiff to help inject some energy and excitement. Maybe for every qualified lead, or for each discovery call booked, a rep gets entered into a drawing? Time to get creative about ways that would motivate your team and gamify pipeline generation.

Protecting your time may feel counterintuitive, or even a little selfish. That said, being hyper aware of where you’re spending your time is vital to your team’s overall performance. Focus your efforts where they will make the highest impact.

  • In this new landscape, reps are undoubtedly hitting unfamiliar obstacles and working through unprecedented challenges. This can be scary, demoralizing, and a hit to their confidence. They may want to bring you into more touchpoints in more deals than they have previously. Project yourself proactively into at-risk and swing deals, rather than reacting to every cry for help.
  • Rely on the data you have at your fingertips, to help you prioritize which calls to join, and where to allocate coaching efforts. Gong’s Deal Intelligence can help.

Maintaining Collaboration & Morale

You likely already have a dedicated channel in your company’s collaboration app for your team. (If not, what are you waiting for?) Time to double down on it.

  • Ask your team to share actively and often in the channel, and lead by example. It’s a great venue to highlight wins, challenges, and questions, but we recommend focusing on wins. Showcase examples of reps that have sold through challenging scenarios to give others hope, encouragement, and a model to follow. Add color to your messages by including call snippets.
  • Use integrations to take it to the next level. Your CRM can trigger automated messages to highlight important milestones, e.g. the start of a pilot, a self-sourced opportunity, or a closed deal. You’ll find the team celebrating each of these actions and asking follow-up questions. It’s a great way to create a buzz.
  • Some general Slack tips & tricks:
    • Make use of threads to keep the channel readable.
    • We love Gcal for Slack to show others when you’re busy.
    • Slack has plenty of advice here.

Team meetings and 1:1s are usually the first things that get sacrificed when there’s a calendar crunch. Don’t let that happen—these touchpoints with the team are now more vital than ever. Instead, consider increasing the number of scheduled team meetings, but keep them brief.

  • Start the day with a 15 minute huddle. It’ll help the team hit their working rhythm early. In one common format, each team member spends a minute stating their goals for the day and asks for any help they need to achieve them. That might be a good time to pull up the Activity Calendar and ask, “How’s everyone’s day looking?” But go with something that works for you and your team. You can decide whether to make this mandatory (although a sales call will always take priority), but you might be surprised how many people show up even if it’s optional.
  • Round out the week with a look back, maybe extending the huddle on Friday. At Gong we like to spend a few minutes on “wins of the week”, to highlight team members that did something really well. It creates positive vibes and highlights behaviors for others to learn from.
  • Set one or two optional 20 minute group catch ups throughout the week. These unstructured sessions allow people to come together and maintain social connections. No need for an agenda: let people talk about anything they want.

When shifting from an office environment to a virtual one, you no longer get to connect with each other in passing. Mimic the casual corridor chat by reaching out to team members when you have an open window in your day.

  • Keep the tone casual. There’s no need for a formal agenda. Start by asking how they’re doing. 
  • What are the top one or two things they’re focused on for the day? Sharing these goals out loud helps to formalize them and creates a sense of accountability.
  • Before you chat, you can use the Activity Calendar to get a pulse on their day and see if there’s a specific customer touchpoint you want to check on. The goal of these calls should not just be to see if people are working (although you may want to ask how you can help a team member with a consistently light calendar). Lay out the supportive intent of the call upfront.
  • Having a hard time finding open time? Put a few private calls blocks on your calendar to help keep you accountable.
  • There are many tools that make it easy to quickly connect. Try calling through Slack, or implementing a tool like Jamm.

The easiest path to information is to ask. However, constantly pinging reps to check in on deals can have a negative impact. In a virtual environment, it’s smart to re-think how you engage around deal updates.

  • At the best of times, it can be stressful to respond to: “Hey, what’s the status of this deal?” In a challenging sales environment, the answer likely isn’t positive. Sharing bad news over and over can get exhausting.
  • Instead, use Deal Intelligence to arm yourself with knowledge of the latest status ahead of time, and change the conversation with your rep: “Hey, I saw that last email. Looks like they’re trying to push into next month. Can I connect with you to triage this thing? Maybe we can get creative around commercials to keep it in month?

Trust is built through open, respectful, and honest dialogue. Don’t be afraid to ask your team what works best for them.

  • If you haven’t already, bring your remote team together to ask for their ideas on how to stay aligned. Let them lead the discussion. You might find that they give you “permission” for things that you wouldn’t have felt comfortable asking for yourself, such as unscheduled check-in calls. 
  • Make it a point in your 1:1s to ask individuals how they are best supported. This not only helps you understand the engagement they need, but also places responsibility on them to execute once that support is in place. 
  • Continue to iterate. Needs change and what your team may have agreed upon a month ago, may not be what they need now.

In a remote environment, you lose all the informal tidbits picked up on the sales floor. These are often what let you know where deals really stand. Mitigate the risk of deals stalling, or slipping completely, by widening your vantage point.

  • Now is the time to emphasize the importance of data hygiene. Help reps understand that keeping their opportunities up-to-date in your CRM builds trust and allows you to give them autonomy. Keeping your CRM updated will directly impact your ability to accurately forecast.
  • Have reps come into 1:1s or forecasting meetings prepared to speak to specific deals. Ask questions to force reps to scrutinize their own deals. Encourage them to be brutally honest with themselves when qualifying an opportunity. It’s better to cut losses early so that you can redirect time and energy onto deals they have a shot at.
  • Use Deal Intelligence to keep a tight pulse on the overall health of your pipeline.


Curated articles on mastering sales in this new environment.

Strategies For Managing Remote Sales Teams (By Choice Or By Necessity)

How To Turn A Field Sales Rep Into An Inside Sales Rep (And Still Make Quota)


Our handpicked collection of dowloadable tips, tricks, and cheat sheets.

Ultimate Deal Health Checklist


Learn how the best revenue teams are using Gong to win an “unfair share” of their market.

The Remote Sales Bundle


All the resources and cheat sheets you need to get through this together.

Inside Sales Skills Bundle

Get the low-down on how first-rate sales professionals set themselves up for success, nail their demos, and drive deal-closing calls.

Contact your CSM for a deeper dive into any of these topics!