Work from Home Is the New Normal and Has Transformed Sales Rep to 'Virtual Sellers'
Read on to learn how virtual sales assistants can better adapt to the new work from home environment and boost conversions
Working in sales is a lucrative career path for many working professionals. Sales reps are used to closing deals with a long and firm handshake to signify their agreement. This is also the point where the sales rep and the prospect develop a solid relationship after they have met each other several times at their respective offices and usually also for cocktails. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions in the way salespersons are going about their business. Technology has now made it possible for virtual sales representatives to conduct sales remotely, thanks in large part to video conferencing technology, online meetings, and e-signature tools.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the world and in its wake has left many working professionals with having to work remotely or work from home. This work from home shift has had a tremendous effect on salespersons and they have had to deal with significant changes related to how they perform their work. Now, salespersons increasingly need to work from home as a sales rep, which can be quite complex. In this article, we show how virtual sellers can use virtual selling to build relationships and present tips on how to perform remote sales effectively.
12 Work from Home Best Practices for Sales Representatives
If you're looking for how to do remote sales effectively, we have got you covered. Here, we present to you tips to help you connect with customers virtually.
Home Office Set-up
One of the first things you want to consider when deciding to work from home as a sales rep is to ensure that you have a dedicated and comfortable space set up at home from where you can work. It is important that this space be free of distractions and allows you to concentrate.
If you don't have a dedicated room, you can even use shared spaces, but ensure that you have a space that is set apart for you. This will put you in "work" mode and help you focus your energies on the day's tasks. Also, ensure that you make your setup as comfortable as possible since you will be spending significant amounts of time in your space.
Invest in Sales Technology
Once you've created a dedicated workspace and made it conducive to helping you work remotely, you will want to get your technology in order. You will want to ensure that you have a stable internet connection that is fast enough to support your sales activities. If you are one of those that spend a lot of time on the phone, you will need to ensure that your call plan is optimal and that you don't get stuck with a huge bill.
Most salespersons already use email automation, CRM solutions, and e-signatures regularly, but with working remotely as a sales representative, you will also need to master video conferencing software. With video conferencing software, you can converse with potential clients and demonstrate products without needing to travel. This method of communication is also more personal and effective than an email or a phone call. Some good video conferencing software includes Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and ClickMeeting.
Set a Schedule
When working out of an office, your workday will usually have a finite start time and end time. However, as a virtual sales representative that is working from home, these times can become blurred. It is important to have a fixed schedule for your workday so that you can properly enter "work" mode and be more productive during your work hours.
By setting a schedule and sticking to it, you can better manage your work hours and have a healthier work-life balance. Having a schedule also helps you manage your energy better. For instance, inserting 10-minute walks into your morning and afternoon work schedules can help you stay fresh and focused and lead to more productivity and effectiveness.
Ensure High Levels of Communication
Now that you are no longer sharing an office with colleagues, you cant simply walk down the aisle to ask a colleague a question. You also don't meet with colleagues during lunch and coffee breaks. Because of this reduced communication, you must put more effort into communicating with your virtual sales team (and even your most valuable buyers) through video conferencing apps or even by calling them on the phone.
Regularly communicating with your team ensures that everyone is on the same page and can help each other out when required. You can also fend off any feelings of loneliness you might be developing from having to be socially isolated.
Create an Effective Outreach Process
For those accustomed to inside sales, the outreach process will essentially remain the same. However, for those engaged in outside sales, the approach will need to be modified since in-person meetings are often no longer possible. Thankfully, the principles are the same since you will be employing them over the phone rather than over a face-to-face meeting.
It is important to personalize your outreach strategy since this can help you proceed with a foundation of trust and help you convert a cold lead into a promising prospect. You will need to customize your initial message to your prospect by using their name and addressing their current situation in the best way that you can.
Create and Maintain an Effective Prospective Process
When working remotely as a sales representative, the prospecting process remains essentially the same. Regardless of whether you work on-site or remotely, prospecting needs to be turned into a daily habit. As a virtual sales representative that works from home, you can have a more flexible work schedule and can allocate better quality time to identify and target prospects at the most convenient or effective time.
As a virtual sales representative, it is also important that you use technology to make your sales process more efficient and effective. Many sales reps use sales intelligence tools to help them filter out prospects from a bigger pool of leads that better match their ideal customer profile.
Have a Good Follow-up Process
Experienced salespersons know that the follow-up process is one of the best stages in which to close a deal. Very few leads buy a product or service after only an initial call or email. If you don't follow up with your prospect, you stand a good chance of losing a potential deal. However, it is also important that you don't annoy your prospects. Sending an occasional message reminding them who you are and what you're offering will be valued by serious buyers.
It is also important to update your CRM solution after every client/prospect interaction. This is also true even if you don't even reach them or hear back from them. This ensures that you have the best understanding of where you are with each prospect and this can allow you to adjust your strategy to best suit the situation.
Master Virtual Project Demos
A major benefit of video conferencing technology is that it allows sales reps to host project demos without having to be physically present with their prospects. The first step in hosting professional-grade product demos is to prepare thoroughly. It is important to understand your product in detail and how it can help further the goals of your target prospect. In this way, you can better customize your message so that it best addresses your prospects' needs.
Sharing value is a major part of the customer outreach process and entails sharing with your prospects how exactly your product or service will benefit them, in particular. While demoing products through video conferencing software, it is important to share value propositions and, for this, you can make use of the effort you put in to understand your prospects' situations.
Make Time for Q&A
When you are making a product demo online via video conferencing software, some prospects may feel less inclined to ask questions during the demo, even if they have doubts or queries. It is important when presenting a product demo, that you stop regularly and ask your audience if they have any doubts or questions. This will allow them to more fully understand your product and how it can help them.
Hosting a quick Q&A session at the end of every product demo also helps your prospects ask you any questions that they might have forgotten to ask during the demo. This can lead to further clarity on the features of your product and make them feel more comfortable with deciding to purchase.
Have a Call-to-action
When engaging with a prospect over an online product demonstration, it is important to have a clear call-to-action. This could take the form of a link to further information or a chance to purchase your product. The important thing is that the CTA be clear and compelling, reiterating the salient features of your product, how much it costs, and how it will benefit your prospect.
It is important that during the sales process, you maintain a customer-centric approach. As a virtual sales representative, it is important that you keep the needs of your prospects foremost and that you understand their exact situation in the best way that you can. This helps you customize your sales pitch to make it genuinely helpful.
When you are genuinely helpful, clients are impressed and tend to view your offering in a more favorable light. This is especially so during this COVID-19 pandemic when buyers' needs have whittled down to the bare necessities. Clients now, more than ever, need to hear what your exact value proposition is and how it can benefit them.
Have a Long-term Sales Mindset
Most sales reps work with monthly targets which are then reset at the end of every month. However, experts advise that a long-term sales mindset should also develop and incorporate lead nurturing activities. A long-term sales mindset is all about building relationships with prospective customers, which can help with developing more referral opportunities and achieving sales goals over the long term.
When working remotely as a sales representative, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever to stay in touch with prospects, focus on the relationship, and remain visible on your prospect's radars so that when things go back to normal, you can pick up the sales conversations where you left them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions to companies and their workforces globally. Many businesses have implemented work from home strategies to help their employees adhere to social distancing best practices. Sales reps have also had to change their approach and modus operandi to deal with the current work from home situation. As a virtual sales representative, you have more control over your schedule, but also need to take care of organizing the right infrastructure to enable you to consistently perform well. In this article, we have presented some remote sales tips. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did write it.
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