Editor’s note: This post was adapted from our recent webinar entitled “How to Thrive in the New World of Remote Selling and Customer Success,” which we co-hosted with Jacco van der Kooij, the Founder of Winning by Design. You can watch the webinar here.
Building pipeline, having prospects defer sales calls while looking to reduce costs, and engaging with customers are just some of the challenges sales teams face as a result of COVID-19. To survive and thrive in the new reality of remote selling, you have to quickly enable your sales teams to be successful when in-person interactions are no longer possible.
In this post, we cover tips and tools to transition five aspects of the selling process that traditionally required in-person meetings to a remote selling and customer success environment.
1. Lead generation
Creating and promoting insightful, quality content is a crucial part of any lead generation strategy in a remote selling environment. The key is to create content that is relevant and valuable to your audience to help start a conversation.
When it comes to promoting that content, LinkedIn is an ideal channel and a strong lead gen tool. Sales reps shouldn’t shy away from leveraging their personal LinkedIn network to reach out to prospects. In fact, for most companies, an individual’s brand is 10x more powerful than a company brand. Add an opinion to the content you’re promoting, share it with your network, and don’t be afraid to send it directly to prospects via private message. And remember, to get the most out of your content, always include a clear call to action.
2. Navigating the organization
Identifying key players and decision makers in an organization is critical to getting buy in and closing deals. Crystal Knows is an AI-powered platform that provides valuable insights from online profiles. Not only can this help you identify individuals’ roles within a prospect’s organization, but it also provides personality-based advice for communicating with them. With the built-in LinkedIn integration, your sales team can quickly identify your product’s end users and key decision makers, map out the company’s buying process, and develop a rapport with key players — all at a low cost.
3. Stakeholder meetings
Scheduling an onsite meeting with a prospect can take weeks. Zoom makes it easy and affordable to conduct remote meetings via video conferencing. When it comes to hosting these meetings, keep the following tips in mind to ensure your meetings look polished and professional:
- The key to effective virtual meetings is being able to see facial expressions, so make sure you turn on your camera, set it up properly so that people can actually see your face (ideally two feet away), and make eye contact.
- If the camera in your laptop isn’t good enough, there are plenty of low-cost options online that you can use instead. Logitech has a great high-quality camera with a built in microphone that works quite well.
- You want your home office environment to look as professional as possible when you’re doing video conference calls. A non-distracting background such as a white board or a simple white projector screen should do the trick.
- The most common mistake people make on video calls is having too much light behind them, which makes them look backlit. Lighting is key and side lighting is a great way to ensure consistency.
4. Proposal reviews
A great sales proposal can make the difference between closing a deal or having your prospect walk away. In a remote selling environment, communicating that proposal is key. Video can personalize your proposal, add relevance, speed up the back-and-forth process with a prospect, and increase the overall quality. Follow these three steps when creating and distributing a video proposal:
Step 1. Record a video and provide a voice-over on the proposal via screen share. The video should be four to five minutes long and include you talking and a screen share of the proposal side by side to create a personal experience. Provide an overview and direct the viewer’s attention by highlighting sections and giving context for specific points.
Step 2. Turn on editing for the electronic proposal. Make sure the proposal is in share/edit mode to create a living document so that your prospect and their team can add questions and comments.
Step 3. Send the video via email to your champion to watch and share internally. Send the proposal to your prospect and encourage him or her to share it with key decision makers within their organization.
This interactive approach will not only speed up the sales process, but also provide your sales team with real-time feedback. SoapBox and BombBomb are great tools to enable you to build virtual proposals.
5. Reference calls
Reviews and reference calls not only provide your team with valuable insights from customers, but are often used in the decision-making process for prospects who may be considering adopting your solution. If leveraged properly, a good review can increase brand recognition and go a long way toward customer acquisition.
G2 is a popular business software and service review platform for B2B companies. The platform gives you the ability to directly reach out to those who have recently reviewed your business to gain a valuable reference, get feedback and deeper insights on their experience, or obtain recommendations for others considering your product.
As COVID-19 continues to challenge the way sales teams operate, remote selling technologies provide a unique opportunity for your company to run faster than your competitor and gain market share. Fortunately, there’s a whole universe of solutions and tools that can help alleviate the added pressure on your team and transform the way you sell.
For more practical advice about how to transition to remote selling and customer success, check out the full webinar.