In light of COVID-19, salespeople have had to adapt their sales strategies from face-to-face communication to digital, remote selling. Whether you've been in the industry for 20 years or just starting out, we know change is hard. And, that's why we've put together our five fail-proof tips to smashing remote sales, with some expert advice from marketing's latest rockstars.
By nature, salespeople are social creatures that thrive on the energy and nuances of face-to-face communication to close deals. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown that into disarray, forcing them to adopt remote selling techniques in a sort of ‘trial by digital fire’ to hit targets.
These remote selling strategies are unlikely to fall away anytime soon. Although certain markets are reopening — allowing employees to return to the office and for tradeshows to recommence — there can be no argument that remote/virtual environments are now baked-in to our processes for good.
This means that salespeople need to master a new set of skills for success, but what does that mean for you and your sales team? Here are five remote selling tactics that will set you up for success in the COVID-19 era and beyond:
1. Add ‘tech-savvy’ to your sales wizardry
According to a recent report by Mckinsey, 96% of B2B sales teams have fully or partially pivoted to remote selling. What’s more telling is that 79% of B2B companies said that they are very or somewhat likely to sustain these changes for 12 or more months after the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the remote sales environment is here to stay, you need to be an expert at running and facilitating multi-person meetings on video platforms like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams. With face-to-face communication, you have the advantage of ‘reading’ behavioural cues to determine when to close in or back off. Remote environments, however, don’t offer you this luxury. Attention is also more difficult to command over video and people are easily distracted — or put-off — by unprofessional technical glitches. For these reasons, a sales professional needs to ensure:
Audio and visuals are crystal clear throughout the presentation. This may mean having a run-through with colleagues before the meeting.
A working knowledge of the tech and its abilities. For example, how to share your presentation or proposal in real-time and how to draw on your slides while presenting.
Questions like “Where is the screen-share button?” or “How do I make annotations?” are immediate red flags to prospects (even if you weren’t asking them) and make your pitch seem unprofessional and unplanned.
2. Get comfortable with sending one-on-one videos
While you can’t meet people face-to-face, you can still be personal during remote selling. Video platforms such as Vidyard close the physical distance to ‘keep a human connection with customers and coworkers when you can’t be there in person’. Creating and sending tailored videos to prospective clients — instead of text-heavy, impersonal emails — is proving to be an effective sales strategy in these times.
At Huble Digital’s Grow With Inbound 2020 event, Vidyard’s VP of Marketing, Tyler Lessard, hosted a presentation on using video to deliver a friction-free buying experience. Click the link below to see how a sales rep from a car dealership went above-and-beyond with a ‘virtual’ test drive during the lockdown:
That’s the kind of initiative that closes sales. Not only does it communicate the product’s selling point in an inventive way, but it also makes the prospect feel valued because of the effort that went into creating the personalised videos.
3. Get to grips with your CRM
Who do you need to contact, phone, email, call, and in what order?
Working remotely means you’ll be spending more of your day in your CRM platform. As face-to-face contact is restricted, using your CRM to prioritise you and your team's time will ensure optimum productivity moving forward.
Unfortunately, there’ll be no more “quick chats” about a lead at the water cooler for the time being. This means you need to know your way around your CRM and be an expert at sending notes and flagging issues in the platform. Identifying leads, nurturing customers and delegating tasks within your CRM will be key to spinning your enterprise’s flywheel for the foreseeable future.
4. Get close(r) to your customers
Social distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t get close to your customers. In fact, remote selling makes it simpler and more convenient to converse with prospects on their terms.
In the future, there’s no reason why you can’t join customer service calls to learn about the customer’s pain points first-hand. By doing so, you’ll get a better understanding of a customer’s buying process and the questions they have about your products and services, as well as the challenges or roadblocks to purchase along the buyer’s journey.
5. Reach out with empathy
It isn’t just sales reps who are working remotely, it’s the decision-makers too –– and these C-Suite executives are in the midst of an economic crisis that may very well be damaging their business. For this reason, it’s best we reach out with empathy to understand their needs and pain points before trying to sell them our products or services.
Aircall’s Director of Sales, Andreï Sochala, explains how this shift from short-term to long-term thinking has affected his team during the pandemic:
Select a partner who understands the need for a sophisticated approach
Having had to pivot to remote working and the virtual environment ourselves, the team at Huble Digital know exactly what it takes to keep the operational wheels turning and the sales ticking over.
To capitalise on the wholesale move to digital, we’ll build-out an optimal process with sales, CRM and pipeline management architecture that integrates with your existing processes. Our sales enablement strategies and the latest technology will improve efficiency, transparency and reporting on sales activities while maximising your efficiency and productivity.