Complete guide to manage and boost remote sales
How to remotely sell like a pro? How to manage a remote sales team? This guide will answer all of these questions.
If you tell an old-school salesperson what you are doing or plan to do remote sales, they will probably tell you it doesn’t make sense.
“Really? Do you want to sell people without seeing them face to face? That will not work. You’re wasting your time.
The truth is that selling remotely is highly effective.
Now, whether you’re choosing remote sales instead of field sales, or you have to stay home due to some nasty virus, we’ve put together this handy guide for better results.
- What are remote sales?
- What are the advantages and difficulties of remote sales?
- How to remotely sell like a pro?
- How to Manage a Remote Sales Team
What are remote sales?
It may be obvious, but to be sure, that we are on the same channel here I tell you.
Remote sales occur when you, the seller, and your prospect are never in the same location during the entire sales process.
Obviously, it is possible that much of your sales process is remote and you have face-to-face meetings with the customer once or several times during the process.
However, for the sake of this guide, we will focus on 100% remote sales.
What are the advantages and difficulties of remote sales?
The biggest difficulty and the reason why most old school vendors believe they will fail is:
Selling remotely makes it more difficult to connect on a personal level.
If we consider that the communication between a seller and a prospect is …
7% spoken words
38% tone of voice
55% body language
Much of the communication is lost if they cannot be seen.
Thanks to video calling software, you can see and read some of your body language, but this technology alone never completely solves the problem.
Much of what we will discuss in » How to Sell Remotely Like a Pro » is how to deal with this difficulty and make the most of it.
It’s more difficult to stay motivated if you have less personal contact
Most sellers are outgoing. We need to feed our energy by being in contact with others.
That is one of the reasons why it is important to be as pleasant as possible.
On the other hand, remote sales make you much more productive
Despite the two great difficulties that we have just discussed and this is a huge advantage.
First, imagine the day of a field vendor, driving from one prospect to another, waiting in the lobbies, drinking coffee, going in and out of meeting rooms … It’s a long time wasted.
A perfectly planned day without incident would mean that you would visit a maximum of 4 prospects, assuming one-hour meetings with each and if there were no delays.
Now, imagine switching to remote sales and staying in the same place. You can double the number of meetings you could have in a day.
When you switch to remote sales, one-hour meetings could turn into 30-minute meetings. Most of the time we normally spend moving, drinking coffee, waiting for something or someone, exchanging jokes, … suddenly it could be minimized.
Other things can also become dramatically easier:
To organize a meeting you only need a link, send it to your potential client and he chooses the day and time that best suits him.
Bottom line: remote sales are much more productive as long as you know how to deal with difficulties.
How to remotely sell like a pro?
Now let’s take a look at how you can deal with the difficulties of successful remote sales while taking advantage of it.
Be as nice as possible
When people see you through a screen, be sure to show the human behind that screen. Create a connection.
The opposite situation is one we know very well: someone reads something in a Facebook comment, reacts forgetting that there is a human being on the other end and becomes a rude keyboard warrior.
Things are said that probably would not have been said in a face-to-face conversation.
To be as personable as possible
Use video calls instead of phone calls and always turn on your camera; even if it’s only at the beginning of the conversation (Internet connections can be bad). Set a warmer tone for the conversation.
Be yourself and a little more casual than you would be in a face-to-face meeting. Take a little time to talk. It’s nice to compensate a bit for the difficulties with creating a personal connection remotely.
Try using chat instead of emails between video calls. Your interactivity creates much stronger links.
If you end up calling without video anyway, use sounds that clearly communicate what you’re doing, such as a laugh when you smile, a “hmm” sound when you’re thinking, etc. to make a stronger connection. Use your tone of voice liberally.
Experiment with tools to replace some of your text messages with video messages.
Mention important things that you remember from previous conversations more than you would in a face-to-face conversation. Don’t limit yourself to business, but also mention the personal interests of your potential client.
Follow the interest and interactions of your customers closely
When the conversation goes digital and you can’t look each other in the eye, you need to find other ways to read your prospects’ body language.
That’s where fingerprint tracking comes in. With this you can …
- Track when prospects open emails and when they click on links they contain.
- You can keep track of when they visit your website, what pages they look at and how long they look at these pages. (Yes, it’s the pricing page. That’s a good sign!)
- You can use very similar tracking in documents and proposals.
- Receive live notifications of when these things happen, so you can synchronize your tracking actions seamlessly.
There are hundreds of email tracking solutions out there. Some of them also offer integrated website tracking. Almost none of them send you live tracking notifications to your phone or computer.
You can track individual emails sent from Gmail and Outlook, linking this to website tracking and receive relevant notifications.
Do you want to track a pdf that you are sending to someone and know if they saw everything and how long it took them to do it?
Do you want to keep track of when your proposals are sent? CRM tools also takes care of all this and you will also get detailed reports.
Some vendors network and attend business events to strengthen their network. If you are selling remotely, you will probably also need to take this but to the virtual field: social networks.
How to start? Simply connect with your prospects and clients on LinkedIn, Facebook and / or Twitter. Whatever makes the most sense in your industry or with your type of clients.
Start with a friendly conversation, ask for feedback, and share useful content in your feed. And if you think of something that helps a specific person: share it personally.
Be friendly and helpful. Treat your friends from social networks as true friends, as much as possible.
Organize your meetings and processes with maximum efficiency.
Here are a number of ideas for you:
Use a meeting scheduler.
This eliminates much of the email traffic if you are scheduling many meetings.
Set automatic reminders in your meeting scheduler.
Adding a reminder, an hour before the meeting has reduced the amount of no-show to a minimum for me.
Generate a link to access the video call.
When the meeting starts, just send that link. It also automates reminders to add meeting notes after meetings with prospects.
Develop daily habits around sales activity.
Do you find it difficult to stay on track when working remotely?
The best way to fix this is to incorporate some daily habits. Once these habits are in place, it will be much easier to stay on track, regardless of your motivation levels on a particular day.
Concentrate on tracking x clients per day, making x calls, creating x new opportunities, … What makes the most sense depends on how your sales process works.
Try to set these goals in collaboration with your sales manager. Which brings us to the next point…
How to Manage a Remote Sales Team
Set clear goals and manage entry-level sales goals first
Do you want to keep your sales team up to date while working remotely?
Setting clear goals will help. This ensures that your sales team knows exactly what is expected of them.
One caveat: while you can immediately think about revenue targets, it’s highly unlikely that setting them will only keep your sales team motivated. What keeps them motivated is seeing steady progress, and deals can only be closed once in a while.
The best way to solve this is by setting entry-level goals or odds. This can be …
- Number of calls made
- How many meetings scheduled
- How many meetings held
- Emails sent
- Number of chat conversations
- How many leads were spoken to
Make the team trainable by sharing everything in one place.
One of your most important roles as a sales manager, if not the most important, is to train your sales team.
In addition to tracking the numbers (as in the previous point), you will need to have an idea of the conversations your team is having with the prospects. Otherwise, there is no way to help them improve.
It is best to start sharing everything in one place. You can also ask your sales team to email it to you, but your mailbox will be flooded and some of what is happening will be lost.
Use a CRM that contains complete conversations with potential customers, including all emails, meetings, calls, notes, … and how these leads interact with emails and website (through follow-up).
Just connect your emails, calendar and phone and everything will be activated automatically.
Another thing a CRM will help you with is visualizing your sales team’s portfolio of opportunities.
View your portfolio of sales opportunities … and easily rearrange it.
Why this matters: It will not only help your team keep track of what they are working on; It is also an excellent starting point during training sessions with your team, which brings us to the next point:
Organize weekly reviews of the sales channel.
This has some advantages …
- Define the next steps to follow with the prospects.
- You can make sure everything is up to date.
- Change the stage, probability, or value of an opportunity. Or remove it if it is no longer relevant. This will result in a better overview and better revenue forecasts.
- If there are other problems, they can be identified and discussed.
- If you want to go a step further, you can do daily standing meetings, as is the custom in tech startups and software development environments. Share what you did the day before and what you will do today.
Daily standing meetings create transparency in what everyone does, greatly increase communication within the team, and provide a moment of reflection on what you have done and what you plan to do.
When you’re away, weekly sales reviews are best done using a video conferencing tool. You can activate the video and share screens to make it attractive.
When you work remotely, standing meetings can be done in writing, for example, in a specific WhatsApp group, or they can also be done live in a video call.
Whatever works best for your team!
Team integration and promoting good vibes.
A simple thing, but easy to forget: when you work remotely, you can easily lose the connection with the rest of the equipment that naturally arises when you work in the same room or stand at the coffee machine.
Want to present these moments for informal chats within the team in a remote environment?
You can always plan a recurring video call around lunch or at a specific time of the day, where they can chat about things that are not work related. Or if it is too frequent every day, you can also organize this weekly.
Invest in a set of digital tools that enhance collaboration
Throughout this article, I have mentioned many useful tools that you can use to maximize your collaboration in a remote configuration.