What is remote sales?
Remote sales is used to describe a sales process in which the sales rep or sales team has no physical contact with their potential customers. All sales conversations and meetings take place virtually via email, video, or phone calls.
Of course, remote sales approaches have been utilized by teams in combination with in-person meetings and events increasingly over the past few years, however, the increase in the total remote or virtual sales processes used by sales teams has been catalyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic and working from home.
Now that any form of in-person sales meetings are off the table, savvy sales teams have switched over to Remote Sales in a very short period of time with the help of new sales technologies. What remains to be seen is the future of remote sales after the pandemic ends.
What are the benefits of remote sales? How to use remote sales to your advantage.
Though remote sales or rather the acceleration to remote sales may have been caused by the pandemic, the benefits and advantages of virtual selling and remote sales mean that many sales teams may choose to remain largely remote when it comes to their sales processes.
The simplest reason for this is down to the cost-saving potential of remote sales. Gone are the days of expensive business trips and client lunches...Remote sales provides a cheap alternative to in-person meetings.
With the help of video conferencing platforms like Zoom sales reps still have the opportunity to meet their clients face to face (virtually speaking) and build a great client relationship without the old-fashioned handshake.
Added to this remote sales offers greater convenience for both sales teams and their clients. Sales meetings happen on the spot without the need for travel and can be penciled into calendars much more easily than working lunches. Not to mention when one party needs to cancel the ability to reschedule at the drop of a hat saves everyone time and money.
Sales reps have more control.
But remote sales also offers sales reps a greater opportunity for successes and clarity in their customer conversations. In-call templates and the opportunity to take advantage of sales technologies that can boost your performance means that in the remote sales world sales reps tend to have greater access to sales resources at hand compared to in-person or field sales meetings.
It can expand market horizons.
Remote sales also means that reps can prospect, qualify, and close from anywhere in the world and work with a wider client base. Embracing remote sales might offer the opportunity to explore new markets and potential customers who might otherwise have seemed out of reach.
Virtual and digital sales approaches have so many advantages it will be tricky to see how remote sales will disappear even after the pandemic.
How has remote sales changes the sales landscape.
So with all these advantages how has remote sales changed sales processes and the general sales landscape?
Well for one, remote sales has facilitated shorter sales cycles. But how? I hear you asking.
With time-efficient remote and virtual meetings clients and sales reps can get right down to business. Last-minute meetings or demos can be scheduled quickly and a client can have their questions answered or concerns eased much more quickly. All it takes is a phone call.
Added to this the ability to set up quick meetings and initial phone calls with prospects makes qualifying leads much easier and efficient. Relevant clients enter the sales funnel and it is easy to quickly discover irrelevant prospects.
As mentioned above remote sales has facilitated better support and in-call resources for sales reps.
What does this mean?
Sales reps have more relevant information at hand during their customer interactions, especially when utilizing sales enablement tools like an in-call assistant. This is particularly important given the increased know-how and savvy of potential customers. The sales reps of today must be hyper-informed about their products and the benefits it can bring to each specific prospect. Remote sales has made this easier meaning that reps can go into their sales meetings more prepared and with backup. As a result, clients get more accurate information to help them make an informed decision.
Remote Sales has opened up the sales market, more people can sell to more clients. This can make this much more competitive.
Standing out over a Zoom call is not easy, especially if your client has 5 other meetings booked in for the day. As a result, visual aspects of sales presentations and demos will become more important, as will preparing research on prospects and making sure you have key insights and information ready when your client expects it.
What is the difference between remote sales and inside sales?
Is there a difference?
Well not really. Inside sales is a term that has been used for a while in sales circles with SaaS sales teams embracing this virtual sales approach over outside sales which can also be defined as field sales.
When looking at sales trends there might be one key difference between inside sales and remote sales, at least with how sales reps engage with the two concepts.
Remote sales which largely equates to inside (or virtual) sales processes has been a largely new trend brought about by the pandemic which many previously outbound sales reps have had to adapt to. Remote sales can also be used to define the set of sales teams where reps work predominantly remotely from different locations and not in the same office space.
Inside sales on the other hand is best defined as an established sales approach that sales teams ascribe to pandemic or no pandemic.
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty...Inside sales is remote sales, it's all about virtual selling.
How to succeed in remote sales.
If you are one of these previously outbound reps who has had to adapt to remote sales quickly during the Covid-19 pandemic, kudos! Remote sales can be tricky, especially finding the ability to connect with your prospects over the phone.
Remote sales or working phone home can also be pretty tough especially if you are a sales newbie.
Remembers the five key rules of remote sales:
- Prepare the perfect home workspace
- Be flexible and engaged with clients
- Use visual aids to boost remote pitches
- Optimize your sales performance with sales tech and tools
- Look after your wellbeing and check in with your colleagues
Make sure you check in with your sales colleagues and superiors if you need advice and delve into the world of sales blogs for new sales tactics. Check out our blog post on… for more support.
How to manage a remote sales team.
Managing a remote sales team, especially if your remote teams are spread across different locations, is not an easy job. There are four key aspects to keep in mind if you want to make sure your team is working effectively.
This is the cornerstone of any successful remote team. Make sure you lead regular check-ins with your staff and open up communications channels across the team. There should be scope for video and call communications (usually used to simulate meetings and one on one talks) and the option for instant messaging for quick questions and fun updates, as well as email for longer queries.
Do not try and micromanage a remote sales team. It will fail. Build trust in your sales reps and give them the resources they need to work independently with some scope for individuality and creativity. Let sales reps define their own schedules and daily targets, your job is to monitor overall output.
Be sure that each rep has their own individual goals to work towards but also emphasize the overall sales strategy. This can often get lost when sales teams work remotely, so it is important that you emphasize this as a sales leader. Set clear quarterly goals and bigger picture initiatives that might focus on framing your product or company in a certain way.
In order to achieve the goals you set out and to make sure remote sales reps stay on track with the overall sales strategy make sure you initiate some form of sustained training. This might be a sales workshop with the latest product updates or prerecorded videos and documents that reps can always have to hand. What about an in-call template that reps can adapt to fit their selling style?
For a more detailed look into managing remote sales team check out this blog
How to build a remote sales team and onboard remote hire.
1. Make onboarding and meetings interactive.
Since remote onboarding takes place virtually, for the most part, it is important to make the experience as engaging as possible for new hires. Onboarding days with guest speakers and the opportunity to interact with other newbies is a good way to start. It is also important that remote hires get the chance to learn from their colleagues, in a formal and informal setting, so set up coffee chats or one on one sales coaching sessions.
2. Provide the right tools.
This one is obvious, set your remote hires off with the right software that can provide them with the right resources and training wheels to get them off the ground. This might be a prospecting or sales intelligence tool. It might also be a central information database where they can always find important information.
3. Always be learning.
Ensure new hires and sales reps in general have the opportunity to keep learning and build an environment for learning. Set up monthly sales coaching sessions either with a guest speaker or even just an experienced member of the sales team. Encourage remote sales teams to share learnings or create a channel on your slack, teams, or discord set-up for sharing interesting blogs, latest sales approaches, or simple learnings.
4. Virtual events are important for employer branding.
Part of the pull of working in sales in the camaraderie, but remote sales can be a very lonely place. Make sure you establish a calendar of employee events for your sales team. This might be a monthly virtual lunch, or a Holiday themed quiz, to make sure team morale and relationships are maintained.
Still need more support on onboarding remote hires? This will help.
Essential sales tools for remote teams.
You can’t succeed in remote sales without an effective video conferencing platform. So make sure you invest in one that provides top quality video and sound options and is easily accessible for clients to use.
Sales intelligence and prospecting
This is key for finding relevant prospects and leads and will help you be more targeting and effective when reaching out to clients. This type of software can also be a useful starting point when you come to create your sales pitch and research your prospect.
E-signature and document tracking
Remote sales reps don’t meet their clients in person and who can be bothered to wait for the post to close a deal! That's why e-signature and document tracking should be part of any remote sales tech stack. Make sure you don’t lose any closed deals because you fail to get your client to e-sign on the dotted line.
An in-call assistant
Remote sales teams should also utilize an in-call assistant, designed to help sales reps have clearer customer conversations and to optimize communication and messaging among sales teams. You can design smart in-call templates, get automated call summaries that sync notes to your CRM, allowing sales reps to concentrate on their customer interactions and closing deals.
Even when you work remotely an in-call assistant can feel like your sales buddy that always has your back.
While remote sales has been catalyzed by the pandemic, there is no doubt that it is here to stay. Previously outbound sales reps can expert some sort of hybrid sales approach in the future where field sales and in-person meetings are prioritized according to each client.
Remote sales provides a cheaper and effective sales approach allowing sales reps to maintain client relationships without the travel and where tech has the power to boost productivity and success over phone and video calls.
What to find out how Ciara can help you succeed in remote sales?