Today companies are exploring ways to equip sales teams for virtual success. Certain basic principles may remain the same but new strategies are becoming necessary. This could involve modifying sales pitches and using scenario-based selling practices to make the most of digital interactions with customers.
Despite the many benefits of being able to communicate digitally, at times, this means making an extra effort to stay connected, develop good relationships with customers, and demonstrate the value of products or services.
Remote salespeople who are connected to the rest of the sales team tend to be significantly more successful. One of the biggest challenges of a remote role is a sense of isolation.
Without team members with whom to talk through any challenges and celebrate wins, remote working can be quite overwhelming. It is essential to have that feedback, especially when working in a remote role for the first time.
This sense of connection also means being able to promote a more accurate picture of the product or service. For teams who want to learn more about remote selling, Winning by Design offers remote selling skills training and executive workshops.
Certain activities can help members of a sales team to feel more connected, such as guided activities led by the team leader.
Have the right tools and systems in place
When selling remotely, it is very important to record everything. Team members continuously need to share documents, updates and more.
Having a centralized location helps when team members are in different time zones. If everything is in a centralized place, no-one needs to wait for a team member in another time zones before being able to send something to a prospect.
All team members should be confident in using the systems and tools. There are various different software platforms that record calls to prospects, emails, SMSs and all communication in a single timeline. Free tools like Google docs grant everyone access, so they can also be useful to store documentation.
Sales are not the only goal
Remote salespeople should not make sales their only goal. Better ways to measure success, particularly at first, may be to focus on getting meetings with people and giving demos.
The ability to gain customer trust is the primary focus for closing deals successfully, even in the virtual environment. The best way to gain trust is by establishing relationships and all communication with prospects should be geared towards this.
Deliver value quickly
In a virtual meeting, it is important to get to the point quickly. Developing tools like virtual customer conversation playbooks, questionnaires or polls can help a sales team to capture the attention of prospects immediately and to be able to deliver value effectively and quickly.
A virtual audience loses focus much quicker than a live audience so this needs to be kept in mind when making any virtual presentations. The best salespeople are curious for all the right reasons. They want to truly understand the pain points of prospects and demonstrate the value of what they are offering.
Find ways to retain attention
Selling in person usually means people are not checking their phones, opening their web browser or checking email. When selling online, it is more of a problem to retain their attention.
Unless salespeople make the effort to interact, it is easy for someone to sit back, listen to a monologue and work on other tasks at the same time. The background, sound, lighting, video and even the way a salesperson is dressed all need attention. They can all impact a buyer’s ability to pay attention.