The world has changed from the days of traveling miles to visit our clients in person - with the ability to at least expense our gas regardless of the outcome. Now the world of sales is being driven in the cloud - with remote sales teams achieving results equal to or greater than those seen on-premise. With this change - it can difficult to find useful information to define best practices, forge new strategies, uncover tips and craft management plans for your remote sales efforts. Worry no more, as we’ve got you covered.
In the sections below you’ll find everything you need to get started!
Remote sales refer to the notion of a sale being made where the seller and the prospect never meet! This isn’t a new notion - in fact remote sales first emerged through mail order methods where goods were examined through detailed catalogues and payment information was forwarded by the buyer in the post.
Today - due to the proliferation of fibre internet protocols - sellers can now conduct high resolution video conferences without latency and compatibility issues of the past; enabling buyers to engage sellers agnostic of location impediments.
There are some crucial things that you need to think of if you want to get started with a remote sales team. Both from the managers side and the sales representative. This section covers everything from daily stand-ups to the tools and hardware you need.
A personal meeting including a wet signature and a firm handshake has been the visual for a closed deal. Not anymore, new times demand new ways of getting to that closed deal. This section will cover all the best practices that will make you one member of the Elite Remote Sales Team.
Are your team trying to sell to a market that is under extreme pressure? Have you just moved to a remote setup?
Whether it's an ongoing Pandemic, political insecurity or extreme weather - that means you as a sales person need to step up and sharpen your objection handling. Download the infographic to get our best tips to help you get through tough times.
Remote selling has always been questioned and there are some that are repeated. We have gathered the most common questions and the best answers, all summarized for you to read here.
If you ask an old fashioned sales person the answer would most likely be “No” but the truth is that the world has changed and remote sales could be highly effective. You could argue that remote sales makes it harder to be personal and that would most likely have been the correct argument if you look 5-10 years back.
According to the book Silent Messages (1971), communication between a salesperson and a prospect is:
But now when you can use video to present your offer or record a walk through of the contract you can include the whole spectrum to really connect on a personal level and make sure that your message is communicated correctly.
Another argument would be that sales people need social interaction and in person coaching to be able to perform. That is true, we all need that. But the digital tools available can help us to continue to share digital high fives, listen in to sales pitches through recorded meetings and coach each other by joining digital meetings. To be honest, with the right mindset and tools you and your team can become a super sales team if you decide to go remote.
Now, imagine you switch to remote sales. Suddenly you’re able to double the amount of one hour meetings you can have in a day since you do not get the same disturbance and no need to travel to customers.
What’s more: When you switch to online meetings you often turn those 1 hour meetings to efficient 30 minute meetings. A lot of the time we’d normally spend moving around, getting coffee, waiting for something or someone, exchanging pleasantries, … could all of a sudden be reduced to a minimum and you can manage more deals in the long run...
A remote sales meeting should be predicated by a pre-meeting agenda which you can send via email or a platform like GetAccept to introduce yourself to the client and request their feedback on the topics you plan to address.
Once in the meeting, you should build rapport in the first few minutes and then move to highlight what each party plans to take out of the meeting. Once you have a clear objective make sure you dynamically update the agenda proposed to cater to the requirements of the prospect. Areas in which you struggled during the meeting should be noted and share with front-line management after the call to ensure continuous improvement
Successful remote sales teams will need three types of content assets.
The first is customer content - most commonly case studies - which highlight firms for which your product/service is currently successful.
The second is educational content - which is designed to assist in developing a relationship and preventing deals from going dark by purely talking about the product/service on an ongoing basis. This is generally industry level and speaks to the pains they may face in everyday life in the role.
The final is buyer enablement content - this refers to materials a prospect can use to familiarize themselves with your offering and share in house; a good example could be a sales deck or a product FAQ sheet.
This is not different from any other sales team. But it is important to help your reps to keep focus and setting up easy to understand sub KPIs which reflects the initiatives you want your reps to focus on. Also making these KPIs available for everyone, on shared dashboards, morning emails, or on the daily stand-ups will be an essential part of motivating the team to succeed.
Example of Sub KPIs
During the 2008 economic crisis, firms which had a growth coefficient of above 1.0 showed a higher likelihood to emerge from the conditions stronger than competitors. In sales we can calculate a basic growth co-efficient by taking total annual revenue invoiced and dividing it by the cost of acquiring that revenue (sales headcount, technology and marketing spend). If this number is less than 1.0 think about how you can improve this to ensure you have a model which can thrive in a remote setting.
If you’re on Mac, a pair of wired Apple earbuds with the built-in microphone will be a huge step up from nothing. If you’re on PC, buy a good headset with a noise-canceling microphone on Amazon, this $ 37 headset with noise-canceling microphone works great. Instead of worrying about buying lighting, sit in front of a window with natural light. That’s really all you need! Now on to fancier setups… And remember, activate your webcam and get a little personal.
Microphone: I highly recommend you go wired for your microphone. No Bluetooth, no wireless, and no Apple AirPods or AirPods Pro (sorry). Wired is just plain more stable and reliable. This $ 37 headset with noise-canceling microphone sounds pretty good, has a 3.5mm jack which makes it possible to switch to mobile phone. It also works well with both Mac and PC. For $37, it’s the best deal going. Want to go more advanced and separate the mic from the headset, check out this USB mic is a big step up in sound quality and has a headphone jack built right in - just $69. It comes with a stand, and I recommend you also get a sound absorber if you want top-quality sound
Hard-wired internet connection: what can I say, wires are just better for stability? If you work from home, get fiber if you can. Position closer to a wireless router if you have to be on a wireless connection and make sure to not have other devices which use all bandwidth, example kids iPad watching 4k Youtube :)
Speakers: I prefer to take my calls over speakers as opposed to using headphones. If you can do that, I recommend it. These speakers are pretty good for $70, though I really like a larger speaker which also can be used for music, like my Edifier R1280T Monitors. Be forewarned: they’re big, and they’re loud, and they put out way too much sound for most people (and you need a larger desk). I recommend you get speaker isolation wedges if you set these up on your desk.
Headphones: anything will work here. Again, be sure you go wired if possible. I bet you already have a pair of earbuds that’ll work just fine and skip the noise-canceling earbuds to save money, but ensure it is a noise-canceling microphone. If you want to go more high end, then choose Jabra. Jabra 40 has 3.5mm and USB Jack or if you have to go wireless Jabra 65 UC is a good choice (I like that it can pair to multiple devices at once)
Webcam: I still can’t understand why you can’t get an iPhone- or Pixel-quality webcam into the computer. Still, an HD webcam will make you look a lot better (but please don’t use the built-in microphone) then the standard built-in version. Here is a good choice if you want a 1080p webcam for your Computer, but I recently upgraded to a more advanced, the wide lens Logitech Brio, which is a little bit better.
Lighting: This is hugely important! You don’t need anything fancy, you just need to be front-lit. If you sit in front of a window with good daylight coming in, you’ll look about 100x better. If that’s not an option, I love this LED panel with adjustable color temperature, and you’ll need the power adapter for it too. NEVER SIT WITH A SUNNY WINDOW BEHIND YOU
Building trust in a remote setting is extremely difficult. We suggest sending using a video tool like GetAccept to send experiences to your prospect to highlight your own genuine nature and character.
Secondly, during meetings we suggest that you share areas of vulnerability in order to humanize your demeanor - a good example is sharing a moment where a deal wasn’t going so right and you brought it back on track.
Finally - we recommend always having the video on and paying attention to how your customer is responding to your comments. Body language will tell you more than the words spoken. Trust can be built more rapidly when the conversation is flowing positively so focus on creating an environment for this to happen
It is considered to be more challenging to manage remote employees and especially sales teams where daily ad-hoc coaching and energetic team members are important factors for success. But in the new era of technology, we have all support needed to successfully coach and motivate remote sales teams.
Companies will have to react to many different changes throughout their lifecycle. Whether these are small adjustments to market conditions, industry trends or as we have seen of late; switching to a remote company overnight. Regardless of what the change is, what’s important is how you react.
We have put together a video tour on how to go from zero to hero becoming the best remote sales team in the world. These five short videos will show you how to put up your remote setup, how to pitch and the best ways to close a deals remotely.
Thanks for reading this. We hope you found this content relevant and valuable for you. GetAccept is built by salespeople and we have a true passion for sales. If you miss anything on this page, if you would like to add some content or if you just want to talk about sales. Feel free to reach out to us. May the force be with you!