How to Upgrade Your Sales Teams for Remote Success

The COVID-19 pandemic forced all salespeople to adopt a more digital skill overnight. As a result, marketing and sales managers understandably struggle to support their sales teams without the benefit of office support or to facilitate face-to-face meetings with customers.

Leaders must update two different types of support as the sales force continues to adapt and thrive in a new and remote reality:

  • Sales teams need tools and infrastructure to perform their daily work.
  • The sales team needs more detailed and personalized sales training to be successful.

The nuts and bolts of distance selling

Housing and work at home policies highlighted the general lack of basic needs at home, such as reliable internet connections and secure Wi-Fi. But since the needs of a remote sales team are constant, it is relatively easy to compile a list of the specific tools they need to succeed.

All of your external sales representatives must have:

  • Online infrastructure. Internet speeds of at least five megabits per second (Mbps) are essential for remote calls and continuous video conferences. Also, it is important for points of sale that the sales team has access to a quiet space with a professional atmosphere.
  • Online manual. Create a set of consistent actions and processes for sales representatives to follow, optimized for an online sales process (email, Salesforce tracking, etc.) as opposed to face-to-face processes.
  • Online tools. With a comprehensive toolbar, sales teams can create video conferences, present product demos, and track sales opportunities and results.
  • Online skills. Basic digital skills are essential for all representatives, but advanced digital training must also be provided. If team members have problems with digital activities, such as using collaboration software or conference calling, offer more training.
  • Online routine. Encourage your sales representatives to establish a new sales routine. For example, with the benefit of less travel time, sales teams can now spend more time reading industry publications or studying a potential customer’s competition.
  • Online education. When creating a new value proposition or resource that the sales team can benefit from, you need to clearly communicate all relevant information and provide resources that your team can use digitally when meeting with potential customers.

Successful Remote coaching

With the building blocks and logistics of online sales, it’s time to update your coaching tactics.

Distance selling requires unique and flexible skills that require deliberate training and guidance from senior executives. With that in mind, here are four coaching strategies you can use to achieve favorable results with long-distance teams recently:

  1. Keep messages online. Just because your people are dispersed doesn’t mean that the brand’s history should be, too. Your team must tell a better story than your competitors, but they must follow your brand’s approved story. Rather than overwhelming reps with dense marketing materials or disorganized specifications, you should rethink the training aspect. Try to create small interactive learning experiences about products and offerings – these smaller training exercises can be much easier to work and use in remote areas and easier to use as an update for sales meetings.
  1. Improve content accessibility. Good content is not good if marketers cannot find it. As with the central training panel mentioned above, a single source for all of your sales content assets is critical to keeping everyone on the same page. Sales teams can no longer contact the marketing team with questions about sales material. The latest technology can help with this. Modern content management systems provide artificial intelligence research tools that can provide the best collateral based on past success.
  1. Prioritize sales training. It’s easier said than done to track salespeople remotely. Your team is used to individual meetings or face-to-face interactions, so keep your meetings digital. Also, use your team’s technology trust to your advantage: record practical sales conversations and encourage younger representatives to help them with more experienced salespeople so they can get feedback.
  1. Allow salespeople to engage potential customers. At the moment, sales teams are desperate to differentiate themselves. Consider investing in better tools to help marketers organize and distribute content more dynamically. Imagine replacing a static email attachment with a personal microsite that meets the individual needs of a potential customer. Using something so powerful and dynamic can make the difference between a closed sale and a missed opportunity.

Conclusion

Current estimates indicate that about 56% of the global workforce may be part or all of their work at home. By updating logistics and training support, you invest to make your teams effective and successful, wherever they are.

Remote sales teams may be the rule, not the exception in the future, and every dollar spent to equip these teams with tools that will keep them informed and relevant to their potential customers is good money.