Remote sales during COVID has become the norm, but many sales teams find it challenging to adapt their high-touch sales tactics and processes to remote working. Almost seventy percent of sales professionals surveyed by Corporate Visions said remote selling has been less effective for them.
Also, many salespeople are extroverted by nature so they tend to struggle with isolation and limited networking opportunities inherent to doing sales from home.
How can sales teams work from home and learn how to sell in lockdown effectively? Here are some remote sales tips to help you stay focused, motivated and productive:
Create an Effective Work Environment
Designate a dedicated workspace in your home to help you eliminate distractions and achieve peak performance. This should be a separate room so you can close the door to block out disturbances or have a quiet space to run presentations. To further boost productivity, you should prioritize comfort, use ergonomic furniture and get as much natural light as possible.
Line Up Your Technology and Tools
Make sure your phone plan can meet your communication needs and your internet connection has enough bandwidth to support video calls. Install the right software, such as video conferencing and team collaboration tools, then make sure your equipment is configured properly. Test your setup to make sure it’s working as intended before you get onto a client call.
Keep a Schedule
Maintain a routine to prevent work and home life from bleeding together, which causes many people to burn out. Also, block out time throughout the day to take breaks — it’s essential to give your brain some rest. For example, taking a walk around the block or doing some stretching exercises in your office can refresh your focus and boost your productivity.
To combat the sense of isolation while doing sales from home, connect with your colleagues via chat or video calls to brainstorm ideas and support each other. You can also seek out virtual networking events to get the latest industry news, learn best practices and explore new sales opportunities. Don’t forget social media platforms such as LinkedIn, which allows you to connect with professionals from all over the world.
Develop a Remote Sales Process
Team dynamics are different when salespeople work remotely. If you’re leading a remote sales team, revisit workflows to make sure they’re effective. Besides using the right customer relationship management (CRM) and sales tracking tools, you may need to formalize some interactions that were taken for granted when you shared an office, such as brainstorming and exchanging information about accounts.
Master Virtual Demos
Product demos are key to many sales processes, and mastering virtual demos can help you maintain sales productivity. Leverage various online communication tools to make your presentations more interactive and engage with your audience effectively. For example, you can use the Q&A feature in video conferencing software to make sure everyone’s questions are addressed.
Supplement Offline Tactics With Digital Tools
The line between online and offline sales tactics has been blurred even further during the pandemic. Today, you can supplement various offline touchpoints with digital tools to deliver an omnichannel interactive experience. For example, you can integrate augmented reality technology into your direct-mail campaign to increase engagement, track real-time results and stand out from your competition. In addition, you can achieve a 30-60% increase in response rate by targeting online banner ads with an IP targeting process.
Build a Remote-Friendly Culture
If you’re leading a remote sales team, you can schedule social events (e.g., a weekly “happy hour”) to promote team-building or set up a “virtual water cooler” to encourage idea exchange via online communication platforms such as Zoom. These gatherings don’t need to have a specific agenda — just give your team the space to open up and talk to each other.
Use the Right KPIs to Measure Success
Reporting and analytics help ensure that your remote sales strategy is effective. Since engaging in sales from home often requires more time to cultivate trust, your team culture and key performance indicators (KPI) should support a long-term sales mindset geared toward relationship-building, customer loyalty, referral opportunities and long-term goals.
The New Normal: An Opportunity to Reimagine Sales
Doing remote sales during COVID lockdown can be challenging but it also opens up new opportunities for sales leaders to innovate their sales processes. The new normal is going to stay for the foreseeable future. Companies, sales leaders and salespeople who adopt new workflows, tools and habits to help them sustain or even increase their productivity when working remotely will be better positioned to thrive in the long run.