3 Ways Remote Selling Builds your Business Resilience

3 Ways Remote Selling Builds your Business Resilience

Sales Operations

4 minutes Read | Published September 14, 2020 | Regina Ongkiko

It goes without saying that the first half of 2020 was tumultuous. COVID-19 affected businesses in various industries all over the world.  In order to continue operations and survive, businesses have migrated online. With consumer behavior also evolving, the trend in remote selling has also continued in an upward direction. According to the McKinsey B2B Decision Maker Pulse Survey, digital-enabled sales transactions have doubled in importance.

Prior to the pandemic, sales as an industry was very action-packed. It involved sales representatives traveling to various locations and meeting face to face with different people. Today, with closed borders and lockdowns, remote selling has become a necessity. 

Remote selling simply refers to taking orders and conducting transactions via calls or the Internet. It’s true that some companies had already begun selling digitally even before COVID-19. But for businesses that are used to the traditional way of selling, this forced transition was a shock. 

How to guide your business to succeed in remote selling

It’s important to note that remote selling is a completely different venture from the traditional selling you’re used to. The rules have changed, and remote selling has become imperative in order to survive. Only the businesses that can adapt to the “new normal” will stay above their competition.

Here are five important steps you need to take as you transition to remote selling.

1. Adjust expectations around the current scenario. Truth be told, the pandemic really had a huge blow on revenue targets for 2020. First, sales leaders must understand that they might have to change their goals. Some of their clients might have shrunk their budgets. Others meanwhile have created their own e-commerce stores and have to be tracked digitally. Thus, you must revisit the current situation and adjust your targets accordingly.

2. Revisit your marketing budget. After restructuring your goals, the next is to realign your budget. Usually, marketing budgets are the first to go whenever there is a need for budget alignment. The important thing is to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. A study by The Whole Brain Group shows that 95 percent of buyers actually buy from sellers who have relevant content during each step of the customer journey. However, a study by Forrester reports that 65 percent of produced content is left unused. Figure out which collaterals are worthy investments and cut down on those that aren’t.

3. Establish clear communication. Managing your sales team will also be different now that you’re in a remote setting. It’s important to set scheduled virtual huddles or check-ins with your sales representatives especially at the beginning of the transition period. Additionally, it is recommended that sales leaders also connect with the sales teams on a deeper level, since the pandemic has impacted their personal lives too. 

4. Embrace technology. This is no longer an option. Sales teams should be equipped with tools that will help them deliver more value to buyers. Sales reps need to learn to translate their charisma and techniques via video conferencing tools. However, ZDNet says that a meager 12 percent of people feel as comfortable on video conferencing as they do on telephone calls. Embracing technology is not just confined to video conferencing, it also includes learning to use presentation tools and CRMs to ensure smooth and seamless operations.

5. Invest in skills that will bring your sales team higher even beyond COVID-19. The shift to digital requires additional skills that will allow your manpower to perform even better in a remote setting. According to McKinsey, more than 70 percent of leaders share that retraining their sales teams is important. These skills include learning to use available data to make better decisions and deploying AI tools for data collection and operational efficiency. 

Three ways that remote selling can build your business resilience during this “new normal”

As more companies transition to remote selling, it is becoming more evident that it has its advantages. Additionally, many business leaders are already preparing for a future wherein remote selling is the norm, even beyond COVID-19. Here are just three of the many advantages that remote selling can do for your business:

1. It enables you to reach more stakeholders. As long as your remote sales people have solid internet connectivity, they can reach out to more potential clients all over the world. One of the usual struggles of sales reps is setting appointments with all the important people they need to reach. Additionally, most major buying decisions are made by committees, and not individuals.

This was a challenge because more often than not, stakeholders or board members would have tight schedules and engagements in various locations. It was difficult for sales reps to gather them all in one place and one time. 

Currently, with most people staying at home, sales representatives can easily bring decision-makers together via virtual conferencing tools. Having one meeting with important people is also more efficient and lessens the possibilities of miscommunication. 

2. It will contribute to your company’s scalability.

Essentially, having a well-established remote selling team contributes to your company’s continuity. As the business world continues to absorb the digital transformation, you need to be quick to adapt to new environments.

The Global Business Travel Association reports that business travel spending is around $1.5 trillion. Moving into remote selling means you can reallocate this budget to training, tools, and even new sales representatives. Aside from simply surviving the pandemic, your business can actually scale fast and rise to the top.

3. It helps cut down costs while increasing productivity and revenue.

Selling on the ground requires a lot of expenses to be spent on travel and clients. With remote selling, these costs are cut down. At the same time, the time spent traveling is also decreased by a large margin. 

Eliminating these costs and travel time actually frees up a lot of time which can be used on more sales-related activities. Remote sales representatives now have more time to qualify leads, perfect their pitch scripts, and reach out to more people in a day. 

The impact that COVID-19 has had on the sales industry has been nothing short of shell-shocking. It has literally transformed the way businesses do business, and the sales industry is not exempted. 

The good news is that the digital transformation has provided an alternative channel for selling. Sales teams that can smoothly transition to remote selling and use it as best as they could definitely experience success amidst the pandemic. 

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