The future of sales is hybrid. Several surveys have found that customers prefer digital over in-person sales interactions. In fact, with 92 percent of business-to-business buyers saying they prefer virtual pitches, having a strong remote sales team can translate into more sales.
But how can you build a strong remote sales team? What best practices can position your remote sales team to maximize incoming orders?
4 remote sales tips for team leaders
- Set SMART goals and invest in premium productivity products.
- Set KPIs for your team.
- Demonstrate authenticity to earn clients’ trust.
- Stay creative when marketing your brand digitally and on social media.
Set SMART Goals and Invest in the Best Products
A leader knows not only where the team should be headed, but also how to get them there. Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals for your sales team, otherwise called SMART goals, to give them a clear sense of direction.
You must communicate to everyone on your team the reason for each step of your plan. When your team understands why they need to do a task and the positive short- and long-term ripple effect it will cause throughout the company, it gives them a sense of purpose.
Additionally, leadership needs to create an environment where employees feel safe to raise their concerns. If employees think a plan is misguided or counterproductive, managers must address these issues in a real way. When your team feels that their voices are valued, you can brainstorm better processes together. Otherwise, employees are likely to become demoralized, and their productivity will suffer.
Since miscommunication is common for remote teams, it is important to invest in reliable communication tools such as Zoom, Slack and project management software. Premium accounts can maximize these tools’ potential, as they keep the history of previous conversations, offer unlimited time for meetings and accommodate more participants in meetings. The premium version of Google Workspace also allows the team to create, collaborate on and store documents, spreadsheets and other files without a data limit.
Providing clear goals, discussing procedures and investing in premium productivity software is essential is essential to shaping an effective remote sales team.
Show You Trust Your Team By Setting KPIs
According to one survey, nearly 80 percent of employees report having experienced micromanagement, and 71 percent said it decreased their job performance. Of the employees surveyed, 69 percent considered quitting for this reason and 36 percent actually did. Some experts have even likened micromanagement to bullying.
The key to motivating your team? Trusting them. Set clear expectations and then allow your team to set their own workflow. When employees have autonomy, it boosts their confidence, which increases their performance and promotes professional growth. To set your team up to succeed, implement key performance indicators, such as a monthly sales goal, lead count, conversion rates from lead to close, attendance and punctuality.
Once you set KPIs and discuss them with the team, begin weekly coaching sessions. During the weekly coaching, discuss their performance, KPIs, action plans and overall well-being. Management should also monitor performance regularly to see who is hitting their KPIs to ensure they are recognizing top performers and checking in with bottom performers. There’s nothing more effective in motivating a team than providing rewards and recognition for good performance.
Commit to Authenticity
Many business leaders underestimate the importance of the human element in remote sales. Because clients cannot see your non-verbal cues like they could in person, making connections with potential clients can be more challenging for digital salespeople. To combat this, commit to being genuine. This promotes trust, which is the foundation of any successful sales relationship.
Similarly, being articulate and persuasive are essential skills for sales professionals. This includes building rapport through active listening. Identify and target prospective clients’ pain points, or those areas in their business where they struggle. Align your services with their actual business needs to demonstrate your value. Create a sense of urgency, pointing out the costs involved in allowing the status quo to continue, or offering incentives for rapid adoption.
In addition, be prepared to handle objections. Brainstorm possibilities for these ahead of time, as well as potential rebuttals. For instance, before you pitch to a potential client, ask them what their goals are for their business and in life by the end of the year. Then, when they object during your pitch, you can return to their goals and discuss how your service can help get them there.
Prospects may not be ready to make a decision immediately, so a follow-up system is essential. Regular follow-ups also ensure your company’s brand remains at the forefront of the client’s mind. That way, when they are ready to move forward, your company will land the account.
Market Creatively to Boost Your Brand
As a remote sales team, your efforts need to be supported with a comprehensive communications strategy, including creative marketing content. In a world where everyone is overwhelmed with digital information, marketing content must grab the attention of potential clients and make the brand stand out from the competition.
For example, your email subject line and the social media post captions must be short and concise so as to give the reader an idea of what the content is about while enticing their curiosity. Clients need solutions to their problems, so your marketing pieces need to revolve around your clients’ pain points. Analyze your current clients’ most common pain points, research industry-specific problems, and make use of these to create meaningful and catchy content.
Global remote sales teams are best positioned to succeed in today’s technology-forward business world. For that reason, the time you spend managing, motivating and deploying your remote sales team will return more than your investment. Strong remote sales teams mean growth, and growth is just another name for success.