The COVID-19 pandemic has forced every sales professional to adopt a more digital skill set overnight. As a result, marketing and sales leaders are understandably struggling to support their sales teams without the benefit of in-office support or facilitating face-to-face client meetings.
Leaders need to upgrade two very distinct types of support as sales staff continues to adjust and thrive in a new remote reality:
- Sales teams need the tools and infrastructure in place to accomplish their day-to-day tasks.
- Sales teams need a more nuanced and tailored type of sales coaching to succeed.
Offering employees support on both those fronts will position your sales teams for a more successful remote future while making them more dynamic and agile sales professionals.
The Nuts and Bolts of Remote Sales
Shelter-in-place and work-at-home policies have highlighted a general lack of basic work necessities at home, such as reliable Internet connections and secure Wi-Fi. But because the needs of a remote sales team are consistent, it's relatively easy to compile a list of the specific tools they need to succeed.
All of your remote sales reps should be equipped with the following:
- Online infrastructure. Internet speeds of at least five megabits per second (Mbps) are critical for conducting uninterrupted remote sales calls and video meetings. Also, for pitches, it's important for sales staff to have access to a quiet space with a professional backdrop.
- Online playbook. Create a series of consistent actions and processes for sales employees to follow that are optimized for an online sales process (emails, Salesforce tracking, etc.), as opposed to in-person processes.
- Online tools. A comprehensive tool stack allows sales teams to quickly create video meetings, host product demos, and track sales opportunities and outcomes.
- Online skills. Basic digital skills are a must for all reps, but advanced digital training should be offered as well. If certain team members struggle with digital tasks like using collaboration software or hosting conference calls, make extra training available.
- Online routine. Encourage your sales reps to establish a new sales routine. For example, with the benefit of less commuting time, sales teams can now spend more time reading industry publications or studying a prospect's competitors.
- Online enablement. When creating a new value proposition or new feature that can benefit the sales team, communicate all relevant information clearly and provide assets that your staff can use digitally when meeting with prospects.
Coaching for Remote Success
With the building blocks and logistics of online sales in place, it's time to upgrade your coaching tactics.