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Barring breakdowns, living in the 21st Century comes with all sorts of sales perks never seen in any other period of time. Sales engines automate call cadences and can collect lists of clients in your market. Video conferencing can replace hefty travel costs for face-to-face meetings. Even things as simple as voice mail and caller ID make our work so much easier and maximize our time efficiency. They cut costs and corners, making your life simpler and more efficient.

Until they don’t.

Computers break, WiFi crashes, and power surges wipe out hours of work. Companies invest heavily in the tools that they need to succeed, and must also prepare for the instances where these tools fail them. It’s why so many companies have IT departments and experts on hand to deal with these contingencies, or outsource IT departments when their companies are smaller. These sorts of issues are commonplace and happen to everyone at some point. However, there are still quotas to meet and clients with needs to be met.

Breakdowns will test your patience and resourcefulness. Knowing the things that you can and cannot accomplish when things fall apart is the sign of a resourceful salesperson. Below, read some tips on how you can continue to be efficient even when your own tools seem to be conspiring against you.

Know What Breakdowns Don’t Affect

It bears mentioning that some jobs are simply impossible without a functioning computer. This is one of the great weaknesses of relying so heavily on technology. Recognizing whether you can or cannot complete any work is the first step towards moving forward with your work day. While phones are now often connected to your computer, they are also often functional on their own. Figure out whether you have any voicemails that you can answer. Alternatively, see if you can remotely access files from a different computer.

Managing a technology breakdown is all about knowing your tools and figuring out what you can and cannot achieve with them. Varied work practices tend to fare the best in these situations, as additional options are available for you to do during the downtime. Ultimately, the best way to function during a breakdown is preparing yourself well in advance. Technology breaking down isn’t a question of if, but when.

Prepare for Breakdowns

Having multiple methods of managing a breakdown will help you recover from it more quickly. Backing up your data is crucial to this, along with having multiple means of retrieving that data once it has been lost. At Acquirent, we keep our data stored on our server, our cloud, and a DropBox. This means that, in any contingency, our data will most likely be preserved and can be retrieved at any given point. A minor technological glitch within an office is one thing, but consider other ways in which data is lost. Fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados pose real threats to backup data in your office. Using cloud storage is an excellent way of preserving data, but has monthly costs.

If you have a business of your own, consider investing in backup systems. Alternatively, spare computers can prove to be a vital asset. Computers don’t run cheap, but can prove to be beneficial when others break down.

Keeping your machines in good working order is another great approach to preventing frequent breakdowns. Computers have frequent updates that need to be installed, and often these can only be done through shutting down the computer at night. If you are unable to do this every night, make a point of doing it at the end of the week and keep it shut down during longer vacation outings. Not only will this keep your computer up to date, but it will preserve battery life and functionality. It can also cut energy costs in the office.

Should I Go Analog?

With all of the risks that come with computers, you may be wondering whether to go analog. While this can be appealing to salespeople of a certain demographic, it isn’t advisable. Technology has made sales into a very different game than it was fifty, twenty, or even ten years ago. Any single aspect will save you hours of work that was previously unavoidable, in many cases the most tedious aspects of the job. If you have two people with the exact same skill set but one of them has access to better sales tools, the difference will be immediately apparent. It means not having to spend hours prospecting on bad leads. It means not having access to an automated call cadence. The benefits outweigh the costs.

The urge to pull the plug can be tempting, but it comes at a tremendous cost. Spend the time and effort to maintain your computers and protect your data.