Remote sales teams are becoming much more commonplace in our post-pandemic society. As such, we need to make sure we have the relative skills to keep up.
If you’re looking to employ the right candidates in a remote sales environment or wondering if you have the right skill set to thrive on a remote sales team, we’ve listed seven of the most important skills to master in this article.
Why are remote sales teams so popular?
There are two schools of thought when it comes to selling: one is that the seller needs to be physically present in order to make a connection with the buyer and understand their needs, while the other suggests that as long as the seller has the necessary product knowledge, they can sell just as well remotely.
The second school of thought has been given a lot more credence in recent years, with the rise of e-commerce and digital marketing. Online shoppers are used to buying products without ever meeting the person who sold them, so there’s no reason why this can’t extend to other industries.
Furthermore, there are plenty of advantages to having a remote sales team. For starters, it’s much cheaper than maintaining a physical office space and hiring in-person sales staff. It also allows businesses to tap into a global talent pool, as they’re no longer limited to hiring people who live near their office.
What are the potential pitfalls of remote sales teams?
Remote sales teams can be the ideal situation for your company, but they aren’t
without their flaws.
Understanding the potential drawbacks to having a remote sales team can help you narrow down the skills that are most desirable.
Training and managing staff
It can be more difficult to manage and train staff who are spread out all over the world. You can’t just pop into their office for a quick chat or keep an eye on their sales technique if you’re not in the same room.
This is where clear and concise communication comes in. You need to be able to give your employees clear instructions and feedback so that they can improve their performance.
It’s also important to have a good training program in place so that everyone is on the same page from the start. This can be done remotely using coaching and training platforms along with video conferencing and screen sharing tools.
Employee commitment to the job
There’s always the risk that employees will take advantage of the situation and slack off or even commit fraud.
This is why it’s important to trust your employees and give them the freedom to work independently. If you micromanage them, they’re likely to rebel and may even end up quitting.
Likewise, if you don’t trust them enough to let them work independently, they’re unlikely to be very effective at their jobs.
The best way to combat this is to have a clear and concise remote work policy in place. This should outline what is expected of employees and the consequences for not meeting those expectations.
Loss of face-to-face interaction with customers
Finally, some customers may still prefer dealing with a physical salesperson, particularly when it comes to high-value items.
It’s important to remember that not everyone is comfortable making big purchases without meeting the seller first. In these cases, it may be necessary to have a physical presence so that you can build rapport and trust with the customer.
Seven essential skills for remote sales
Now that we’ve established some of the biggest downfalls of remote sales and how they can be remedied, let’s dial into the seven most essential skills that you and your employees need to succeed.
1.The ability to establish rapport quickly
When you’re selling remotely, you don’t have the benefit of face-to-face interaction to help build rapport. That means it’s even more important to be able to do so quickly and effectively through other means, such as phone or video calls.
There are a few key things you can do to establish rapport quickly with customers remotely. First, make sure you’re friendly and personable from the start. This means using an upbeat tone of voice, being polite, and making them feel comfortable.
You should also try to find common ground with the customer by doing simple research prior to your sales call. If you can bond over something personal, it will help create the connection you are looking for. Keep it as natural as possible and don’t over reach on the personal tie-in as this comes across poorly to the buyer.
2.The ability to read people
Part of being able to establish rapport is being able to read people. Since you can’t see the customer’s nonverbal cues, it’s even more important to be able to read them accurately. This means paying close attention to their words and tone of voice.
You should also look for any clues in the environment that may give you insight into how they’re feeling. For example, if they’re taking a lot of breaks or seem distracted, it could be a sign that they’re not fully invested in the conversation.
3.The ability to overcome objections
In any sales situation, objections are bound to come up. It’s your job to be prepared for them and know how to overcome them. This is even more important in remote selling, as you won’t have the opportunity to address objections in person.
4.The ability to close the deal
Once you’ve overcome a prospect’s objections, it’s time to close the deal. This can be tricky to do remotely, but following your team’s sales cadence and customer centric approach should make this easier to accomplish. Remember, it’s not always a quick race to the close, and often remote sales can take more time than in-person meetings.
You need to be clear, concise, and confident in your pitch. Understand your product fully, and most importantly, understand what the buyer needs. Showing you can solve for their pain point is always the best way to move the sale forward.
5.The ability to build relationships
Relationship-building is key in any sales role, but it’s especially important in remote selling. Since you’re not able to meet with prospects and clients in person, you need to find other ways to build and maintain relationships.
This could include staying in touch via phone or email, sending personalized gifts, or connecting on social media. All of these touch points help build a relationship with the buyer and are great ideas whether you are meeting in person or selling remote
6.The ability to stay motivated
You need to be able to stay motivated when selling remotely. This can be difficult when you’re working alone and don’t have the same level of interaction with co-workers and clients. But it’s essential if you want to be successful in this role.
7.The ability to use technology
Last but not least, technology is a huge part of remote selling. From video conferencing, sales enablement and readiness solutions, and CRM software, you need to be comfortable using various types of technology in order to be successful.
There’s always room to improve your skills
If you’re looking to get into remote selling or are already in the role, make sure you have these seven skills down pat. Sales is evolving and understanding how to function whether you are remote, co-located or a hybrid role these skills will be useful regardless of your unique situation. .
At TeamJeenyus, we specialize in helping remote sales teams onboard new hires and coach their sales teams to win more effectively each day.
To see how we can help you, contact us today and let’s chat!