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Remote sales are likely here to stay, and there’s good news and bad news about that. The bad news is, those in-person interactions with customers won’t be happening for the foreseeable future, and sales reps are limited to phone calls, emails, LinkedIn and Zoom meeting connections.
The good news is everyone is in the same boat, and all that time saved by not traveling begets an opportunity to get creative. We have a chance to think outside of merely maximizing meetings and infuse some creativity into our processes. Here are some key factors to keep in mind.
Your prospects will experience your pitch differently
Take the time to understand how your pitch translates virtually. If you previously relied on your in-person charm to seal the deal, you may want to push prospects to have a video call with you versus a phone call. Do a practice run of your pitch and record it; this is valuable even for veterans.
Bonus tip: People tend to be tuned into facial expressions during video calls, so you want to make yours match your words.
Related: How to Transition Your Team to Remote Work
Be intentional with your outreach
If you’re still batch-blasting mass emails to your prospects, it’s time to change that habit. Sellers need to be able to analyze data, stay up to date on everything happening within the companies of their prospects and tailor their messages accordingly if they want to build top-of-funnel leads. According to Kyle Coleman, vice president of revenue and enablement for Clari, which helps companies streamline their revenue-generation, social media can be a powerful tool for this.
“More and more, the lines between personal life and work life are blurring,” he says. “And this includes the information that people are willing to share about themselves on professional networks. LinkedIn is no longer just a place to understand someone’s 9-to-5 — you can now get a great sense of a person’s 5-to-9. Use these insights about the person to craft messaging that will best resonate with what they care about.”
This is especially important in a 100 percent virtual sales setting. A qualitative, not quantitative, approach helps customers take immediate action.
More business hours to connect with prospects
As Nir Goldstein, monday.com’s vice president of sales, said in a recent interview on The Forecast, “You can speak with so many people throughout a single workday. You can start your day in the morning, speaking with a prospect in Australia, at noon, speak with prospects in the UK, France and Europe. And then in the evening, speak with another prospect in the U.S. It’s so efficient and so scalable to run sales like that.”
Remote sales certainly cut down on travel costs and time, but only if you know how to get those meetings in the first place. Which brings us to the next bit of guidance….
Create a mutual plan with your prospects
Once you have secured a pitch meeting with your prospect, give some structure to the proceedings. Remember, without that face-to-face interaction, you have to find unique ways of creating virtual milestones.
In the aforementioned Forecast interview, Goldstein suggests developing a mutually agreed-upon course of action that both sides need to execute during the sales process. “It’s just like a mutual project with all the different tasks that we need to run together,” he says. “Each one has an owner and a timeline until you get the deal closed.”
After monday.com implemented this into their process, they increased their large deal commits by more than 40 percent and shortened their sales cycles by more than 15 percent, according to Goldstein.
Related: These Founders Built a Perfect Remote-Work Product… Without Realizing It
Lastly, don’t forget that people are stuck at home and bored out of their minds, making this the perfect time to experiment with something stimulating. You could offer a virtual happy hour and have a beverage company sponsor it by sending your guests a newly brewed beer (or for those who don’t consume alcohol, you might find an alcohol-free alchemy spirit such as bonbuz). That energy will rub off on your prospects, and we all could use a little fun in our lives.