Remote working has gained popularity recently, whether to allow for a more flexible lifestyle, aid concentration, or just to prioritise personal working preferences. But with the outbreak of Covid-19, working remotely quickly became a new reality instead of just a perk.
Nearly every organization is working to adapt to this change - but how can hands-on sectors like sales survive this shift?
While recent research shows that most (79%) sales teams have at least one remote member, taking an entire sales team remote presents a much greater challenge. Organizations must adapt to survive in this new reality.
- Here's our list of the best video conferencing services of 2020
- Working from home: the mouse, monitor, keyboard and router you need
- Check out our list of the best business webcams available
Bring virtual customer meetings to life
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome with remote working is adapting your selling tactics to ensure your sellers can still deliver incredible buying experiences. According to SiriusDecisions, 82% of B2B buyers make a purchase decision based on experience, ahead of product and price. That means the charisma and charm that’s on display in face-to-face interactions cannot get lost when meetings go virtual.
Several studies have concluded that communication is 55% your body language, 38% voice and tone, and 7% what you actually say. With so much being communicated visually, it underscores the importance of prioritising video to engage buyers. From on-camera sales presentations to valuable video messages, sellers have to be comfortable being in front of the camera. Leveraging video allows sellers to deliver sales presentations, ask and answer questions and determine next steps “face-to-face,” which is more personal and engaging to the buyer. What’s more, video calls let sellers more effectively gauge buyer interest by accessing both verbal and non-verbal communication, like facial expressions and tone. And this information is essential to helping a seller determine next steps.
In addition to video, there are other ways your sellers can engage buyers. Consider leveraging technology that enables sellers to set up branded microsites, where they can share content and collaborate with their buyers. Better yet, these digital spaces can provide sellers with analytics showing which stakeholders accessed which documents, allowing them to better tailor their follow-up to accelerate the buying process.
Improve content accessibility
Even before coronavirus, many companies had sales content locked away in individual silos, on separate SharePoint or Google Drives, rather than in one single source. You don’t want your team wasting precious time searching for the right resources when they could be selling – or worse, sharing the wrong information. With one, easily accessible online space for all content, your salespeople have accurate, up-to-date information at their fingertips, and can share this with customers and prospects in real-time. Content systems with intelligent search can also recommend additional, relevant assets to help secure the deal.
With the addition of insights from analytics you can see what content is being used and is well received and get visibility into what is not performing so well. This grants a more holistic view of your customers, how they’re engaging with your business and their purchasing journey. Better insights also make it easier for sellers to create personalised content for really engaging buyer interactions. This is vital to help your sellers stand out and prove your value, especially when you cannot interact with customers or prospects face-to-face.
Commit to continuous coaching from anywhere
While in-person training and coaching is no longer possible, you can take these efforts online. Digitise your training and coaching to ensure that on-going training is still available, regardless of location.
Sales managers need to make a special effort to prioritise training and coaching during this time. If using a digital training platform, managers can track the development and progress of individual sellers to identify potential weak spots and opportunities for further coaching. This allows managers to ward off bad habits before they start and ensure that each team member is operating to the best of their ability, even at this difficult time.
With so much uncertainty, ensuring that your sales team remains motivated and can work from anywhere at any time is crucial. Your whole workforce still needs to be able to do what they do best. For salespeople, that means selling, and more importantly, continuing to bring in revenue. When you’re physically remote, technology can help your teams to still effectively engage their buyers and enable them for success.
Jim Preston is Vice President EMEA Sales at Showpad
- Here's our list of the best collaboration tools on the market