7 Ways to Enable a Virtual Sales Team
Before March 2020, at least 70% of sales calls were virtual, according to Forbes. With the effects of the current pandemic, that number has skyrocketed. As the country begins to reopen, we’re still far from business as usual—especially for sales teams. In-person meetings, sales kickoffs, and training sessions simply aren’t happening. Many companies face the reality of supporting a virtual sales force.
Mastering the techniques associated with virtual selling is critical during the pandemic and will remain so long after the virus has run its course. But successful virtual selling is not just about skillful execution of tactics, it’s about winning the sale in this new environment.
Today, there’s a new breed of sales technology that combines mobile, video and peer-to-peer networking to accelerate sales results. Sales readiness technology allows organizations to move beyond assessments and scores to understand how to target activities that move the needle. When it comes to sales readiness, there are seven ways you can use technology to enable your virtual team.
1. Practice Customer Presentations
Sales technology can support learning when you can’t be with your sellers in front of a customer or prospect. You want to see your team on video when you’re remote. You can ask reps to practice their presentation, share it with you, and send them feedback on the video when you have time. They can collect that feedback and come back with clarifying questions. Through a few iterations of practice and coaching, reps can get better and better.
2. Record Calls for Coaching
Technology can enhance coaching and training through the use of recorded sales calls. If you can’t be with your sellers all the time, you can listen to some of their calls or watch their demos. You’ll be able to give them practical advice for how to improve on points in time during a sales call or a demonstration. This coaching is incredibly valuable for salespeople and helps them make quantum leaps in their production and their skills and knowledge.
3. Use Video for Virtual Training
You can use technology to replicate in-person training when you can’t take sellers out of the field for a regional meeting or quarterly training session. New platforms help sellers learn in the flow of work. Providing content on a regular basis supports learning during their day-to-day interactions.
4. Move Onboarding Online
Transition in-person bootcamps for new sales classes to virtual onboarding. In-person training sessions can be repurposed into on-demand assets, complete with pre-recorded videos, slides, interactive quizzes and more. Make that content available as virtual, trackable learning courses to increase engagement with (and retention of) new material.
5. Reinforce Messaging
Sellers are bombarded with content. They’re on Facebook, on Instagram, on LinkedIn, They’re getting feeds of news, information, best practices and tips and tricks on selling and market conditions every day. Sales leaders and sales enablement managers need to realize that learning is happening with or without you, so make sure you have mindshare with your team. If you’re trying to implement a certain sales methodology but your salesperson’s getting dripped on by a third-party sales methodology, that could be confusing.
6. Share Best Practices
The most successful teams capture best practices from subject matter experts or from the field and share them throughout the entire team. For example, you can record a salesperson who’s good at whiteboarding or negotiating, and share that with the rest of the team. Encourage your sellers to share market conditions, competitive information, and win stories. This information is essential for other sellers—particularly the newer sellers in your organization—to understand so they can be successful.
7. Communicate Consistently
Effective communication is more critical than ever when teams are remote. Clear and consistent messages from leadership, delivered on a regular basis, are essential to help sales teams keep up-to-date on product updates, competitive intel, process updates, and more. Email alone is not the answer. Collaboration platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams can only take you so far. Use a video-based tool so that your sellers see their managers—it’s more engaging and more personal.
Don’t Rely on a Legacy Approach
One of the biggest challenges with supporting remote workers is ensuring everyone feels unified and part of the team. Companies that use modern sales readiness platforms see higher win rates, shorter new hire ramp-up times, and improved collaboration within sales and other teams—even in this unstable environment. Don’t let a legacy approach hold you back. Use mobile, video and peer-to-peer networking tools to bring people together and help your team succeed … virtually.
To see how the right strategy and technology can help you manage a high-performing virtual team, download your copy of 4 Ways to Manage a High-Performing Team … Virtually.