The War Room

Taking a new job during the pandemic and working from home?

I'm very curious to know what you think of the pros and cons of taking a new job in sales during the working from home model?

Have any of you taken a new job?

How has the onboarding and training process been? Have you felt little supported at some point? How has the incorporation to the team been? Has it been possible for you to shadow the top performers of you new team?

Any pro of taking a new job during WFH?

Share your thoughts!

👥 Hiring
Senior Director of Sales
I did this as an executive, so different reality than a salesperson, however, I’ve had a great experience because the teams I interact with were very welcoming and I had my calendar filled with meetings the first few weeks.  

I’ve also hired multiple salespeople outside our HQ on purpose in case we have to go back to the office, my team will stay remote.  

My boss and 90% of the executives don’t live in the same state anymore.   

My boss schedules 30min check ins 2x a week and I have daily 5-10 min morning update meetings with my team 3x week and one longer meeting Monday mornings.  

I have never had a full WFH opportunity, but I will never go back.  

Gained so much time with family, no more traffic and I tend to get my critical work done in 1/2 the time because not interrupted with meaningless chit chat.  

If you are good at organization and structure and don’t need to have their hand held, it’s a great option.  

My company is more concerned about  getting my  work done than needing to micromanage.  

Good Citizen
Manager, Sales
Great insight! Thanks for sharing!
VP of Sales
Im with you 100% I just started a new executive role in January as well and we are a 100% WFH company. IE never going to have an office to even go into. Its all about giving my teams the tools they need to succeed and empowering them to come to solutions. I'm here to help guide them and give them the strategy.

Senior Sales & Marketing Recruiter
Every sales team has handled the WFH transition differently. 

Some companies (especially in SaaS) offered remote work prior to COVID, which helped sales reps to adjust well during the pandemic as the economy shifted. However, the majority of companies needed to adjust their onboarding, training, and leadership methods to align with remote overnight. This caused a lot of volatility for reps that did not work remotely prior to COVID. 

In summary, some companies are doing remote work right, and others are struggling with high turnover. If you are considering making a move, ask a LOT of questions during the interview process to vet the company's remote work philosophies. Here are some examples:

"How has your company handled the WFH transition?" (If they were in-office prior)
"What does your remote onboarding process look like?"
"How do you support your reps remotely?" (Call coaching, remote demos, etc.)
Technical Sales Executive
I appreciate this - learning a lot as I am looking for a new job and am worried about the company sucking at onboarding. I can adapt either way, but would prefer it was smooth so I can get back to closing deals
Senior Sales & Marketing Recruiter
This is definitely a huge concern for reps looking to be onboarded in a remote setting. Reaching out to other reps or employees at the prospective employer could also be a good way to learn about their onboarding experience!
Account Executive
@PDXsales Also located in Portland! Love seeing others from Oregon.
Big Shot
Regional Sales Director
This is really cool and insightful. I will 100% replicate this, sooner
Fire Starter
District Sales Manager
I recently met with someone to give me advice on this. First you need to think of what you want out of a sales role. Do you want more balance? One product? A specific target audience? Something that matches your passion? Once you have that start thinking big and get small.

1. Are you in the right vertical?
2. Are you at the right company? If you are can you switch roles for it to be a better fit or does leaving make sense?
3. Are you in the right division? Does sales check all of the boxes or would a development role suit you better? 
4. Do your values match the companies values? If the CEO doesn’t like balance, but you do, maybe it’s not the right fit. 

Happy to help with the conversation! 
Outbound Sales Manager- US
I took a new job, but it was with a company that is already basically fully remote so the onboarding etc was already pretty ironed out. 

I would say if you are considering a new job and it is going to be remote, then you should definitely cover those questions during the interview process. What does onboarding look like? How many people have you onboarded fully remote? What challenges have you seen internally with WFH? Etc...

Also worth noting how they conduct the remote interview process. Mine was pretty seamless, which gave me confidence that the WFH environment wouldn't be an issue.
Account Director
Onboarding is definitely harder as you dont hear the everyday chatter or get that sales floor osmosis......but not commuting and having more hours to yourself and your family is invaluable
Master of Disaster
But because my office is literally staring me in the face, I can't stop. So I probably have *less* time to myself. It's a problem! (as I'm currently doing a brand new spreadsheet for my boss on all appointments for the last two months right now - Please. Someone stop me before I hurt myself!)
Account Executive
Onboarding was the only somewhat difficult part, for me at least. But I was hungry and ready to get to work so it wasn't that bad. 

My company is very chill and as long as you get your work done, set meetings and follow up, they dont care what hours I work. 
Enterprise Account Executive
I am a bit fearful of taking a new sales job during the pandemic. The main reason why I love my company is the sales culture and energy you get in the office. Lots of our new starters have struggled due to a lack of immediate feedback loops and osmosis of information through others. 
Sales Director
Today was my first day, I think I got lucky, they nailed the onboarding and orientation. Time will tell on the cultural side but I had/have the same concerns and so far so good. I think if you found an opportunity you're really excited by and you're comfortable that the juice is worth the squeeze don't let remote onboarding hold you back. 
Notable Contributor
Regional VP
I got offered my current job in December 2019 and started January 2020, so right before all this kicked off.  I onboarded and did some training before the lockdowns, but only got into my territory once.  Since this is my first true sales gig, I was pretty bummed about not getting to travel the amount that I was expecting, but it turned out alright.  I think my opinion on this aligns with many of my more experienced peers - the sales cycle was dramatically extended from not being able to meet face to face with customers or prospects.  I still had a great year last year, but I feel like it took way more work than it should have at times.  An hour here, an hour there, all on zoom or phone calls, instead of 1 or 2 half or full day onsites with the prospect.  Doesn't compare.  Overall, I look forward to traveling again.  I think many companies have identified that most roles don't need to travel nearly as much as they may have used to, if at all.  However, sales isn't (or at least shouldn't be) included in that discussion.  We need to get back out on the road to be able to do our jobs effectively.  In my opinion.  
WR Officer
I started a new job/company in the middle of the pandemic. IMO, having a good foundation in onboarding + training + your habits/mindset, WFH or not, are keys to sales success. My founders are very supportive, and we catch up weekly. I also set-up a 1x/week 30-min "hallway chat" with my peers/colleagues where anyone can just drop-in to say hi or stay to chat on just about anything.
Master of Disaster
I started this job the week after they shut down the office. Entirely new industry, never had an office job in my life. 

it was definitely rocky at first because the company had no experience with this, but they have adapted as we have a hiring quota. I essentially taught myself, and it’s quite difficult to get anyone on the phone for mentorship or advice. I mean, who has the time? It adds another 20-30 min phone call per question. Not like you can just stick your head in their office for a minute. This has also been an issue with our service team.

HOWEVER, there are *some* advantages if you’re smart. 

i screenshot and record everything and anything to cover my ass. No one knows this. So when a manager promises you something, they better deliver or you have proof. This has been essential because I have a RSL who is so inept he lies about quota....

i definitely think it helps to schedule a recurring weekly meeting with people you want to collaborate with and/or your boss. I check in with her often (but she’s also really awesome). 

we do far, far too many pointless meetings with marketing and out of touch leaders. The weekly address from the CEO is just awful. 

I also schedule my outlook into time blocks for the week every Monday, so it’s a loose guide if I get distracted with a client or something, and need a quick reminder as to what I should get back to. 

a lot also depends on where you’re located. For example, my office is in Manhattan, so it’s more time consuming to go meet clients in person because I have to commute rather than just jump on a train a few stops. 

it also depends on your company. As I stated in another post, if the foundations were rotted before this pandemic, the fault lines will really be exposed now because they will be slow to adapt. 
I think it is risky and if you have a good thing going stay there until the market stabalizes.
Enterprise account executive
I think if you are entertaining a switch you need to value a companies onboarding processes and the investment they put into it. Onboarding has been impacted significantly due to Covid and most companies have never had a remote structure for onboarding, therefore if the company didn’t have a structured approach beforehand, they won’t now. Ask these questions before signing the offer letter because if you aren’t set up for success from the get go, it’s most likely a recipe for failure. 
Started a new job in September '20. The onboarding was a bit fractured as the company had just when through an M+A. 

I'm on the smaller team that got acquired, so it was challenging to go thru 2 separate onboardings for each respective company+products. 

It honestly took a little over 2 months to get fully ramped and now chugging along just fine. 

Advice: keep open communications with HR+your direct manager regarding the onboarding process. 

If there's not an automated survey system in place from HR, recommend one (tinypulse/15Five/surveymonkey/etc) for company accountability. 

Someone else in this thread mentioned recording/screen capturing, I would do this as well if the company is smaller and doesn't have fully fleshed out onboarding. 

Happy Hunting! 
i had a 45k gig at a badly managed company, put in a year, killed it, started a month before quarantine, no promotion, got offered 75k this year w another at a more snr position, took it, onboarding and ramp have been rough alone, but you get what you give, I have scheduled time with executives, ae's, and SC's to get ramped properly and am helping establish process as the 3rd sdr at this startup. as well as listening to calls that scheduled meetings, having a great manager who works for you and not against you. And being valued, and being proactive about things you need and not reactive you should kill it.

That being said it's a phat risk. No risk no reward though.
Account Executive
I started with a new company in December. Full time remote. They are based out of Seattle and I live in NYC. Honestly, I couldn't be happier. They are super tech forward and provided me with everything I needed. I had been working from home since last March with my old company, like most, so I was already used to it. As long as your new company sets you up for success, WFH is fantastic. On boarding is definitely different, but I really didn't mind it. I was an AE with my previous company and still AE with new company.
Notable Contributor
CMO (Chief Meme Officer)
I've worked from home for around 7 years now..with a year and half in the office before covid. 

Pros: not wearing pants. 

Cons: family doesn't care that you're working.
Notorious Answer
Account Executive
I did this. It was hard - still is 5 months into it. Onboarding was the regular useless stuff and that took a week to complete. Everything else I find you really learn on the job.

Hearing other everyday helps with getting up to speed. How they pitch, handle objections etc. When things come up on your calls you have your team team right there to help. Slack and teams just isn’t the same.

Sure you could get a similar experience with call shadowing remotely. But that wasn’t my experience. Was barely put on anyone’s calls.

Even with these challenges I still wouldn’t trade working from home for anything.
Account executive
I did for my current job as an account executive. It's a smaller company so it was a bit rough but good overall.

I get to work from home
I love the convince of it and the savings I have from eating at home and not commuting.

Training was sub par at best. You get forgotten more frequently.
My company head quarters is east coast and I'm west coast so all meetings are at like 6 or 7a.m. my time which sucks 

I do feel like I'm part of the team and I've bonded with the other reps. I've been able to shadow them and they are quick to answer questions for most of my shift. The last two hours I'm the only one on so I don't have any support then. 

Overall I don't think you loose to much from being a remote worker than you did in person. I'd definitely do it again if I needed to.
I did this as and it was a disaster. No support and lack of team feel
Sales Manager
I did - resigned from a stable job to move into Sales. Changes are good, make sure is what you feel like doing. 
WR Officer
I've taken a couple during this time. The one that had to pivot from WFH had a better onboarding/training process than the one that has always been remote. Both start-up size companies.
Good Citizen
Associate regional manager
I came into an unorganized company and new position that I basically write the rules too and no meeting goals, while most may see this as a dream I felt like I have been on my own sales island for 12 months now and I'm not sure how much longer I can make it... contrary to most of the post on here. 
Enterprise Account Manager
I started a new job last August just before the second wave.  It’s been a great experience so far. 

You will want to make sure the company is set up to have you trained remotely. There is nothing worse than watching recordings of last years SKO (including tangents from hungover reps) for your training.  I had to endure that at one company, and it was just useless and boring.

Working remotely in sales requires a level of curiosity as you don’t get to hear other savages on the phone doing their thing.  Call shadowing is awkward AF on Zoom.  You’ll have to be proactive in getting to know your colleagues and getting their fire scripts.

But, if the company is hiring during the pandemic, they’ve probably got products or services that are pandemic-proof.
Business Development Manager
I both lost a job and accepted a new role within the pandemic. 

While a lot of organizations are still struggling to adapt to this I've found many are fairly laid back about it and understand its going to be a challenge.

For the most part, I was given good training and tools to shadow top reps to learn from what they are doing.

The pros:
Flexible training
learn in a space that's familiar and comfortable to you to help build confidence with less stress

Endless meetings that eat up most of your day after the onboarding process
I recently hired a team of sales pros for a SaaS marketing agency - from entry level to management. 100% remote company. As long as the processes, technology and the right management in place, WFH can be seamless. 
Senior Account Executive
I did it as well. Have to say it is easier than people think. But I also have to say it really depends on the people you work with. You need to put the effort in trying to engage with your team and the team needs to be willing to do the same. 

You are not in the same office where you can quickly run to the other desk to share.

While interviewing take the chance and ask about the remote onboarding process and how they structure it and how long it has been in place to get a feeling for the process. 
WR Lieutenant
I will say that I’ve started a role with a remote onboarding process that didn’t work for me in the past. Nowadays with more beat practices and tools in place for remote it could be worth it. The long term benefits are obvious to us all.
Territory Rep
I took a full WFH job in a territory sales rep/dev position. 

- As@closedwon mentioned, the time you gain solely from no co-worker distractions, traffic, running out for lunch, etc. adds up QUICKLY. I truly can crank out an extremely productive day in 4-5 hours uninterrupted. 

- Parlay off the first PRO, extremely easy to get 5-10 minute chores done throughout the day (laundry, dishes, etc.) which helps take things off my wife's plate for her to focus energy elsewhere.

- Onboarding/training was great. They did fly me in (on their dime) to headquarters for a week of training, one on one meetings with leadership team, etc. 

- I do find myself out of the loop. I miss out on office activities (catered lunches, parties, etc) as 85% of our team works at head quarters. 

- I have really good support from my leadership, but it can be challenging to get questions answered timely as they have their schedules filled as well. 

- While it is extremely gracious for the company to provide a microsoft surface for me to use with dual monitors...I find my surface crashing quite often. Point being, make sure they set you up with reliable equipment. 

Overall advice -- if you are GREAT (not good, but great) at being structured and organized with your time and schedule, nothing beats WFH and you'll thrive. 

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