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5 Tips to Successfully Transition to Remote Selling

While the number of remote employees worldwide has steadily increased in recent years, in 2019, 44% of global companies still didn’t allow remote work. And of the 56% of global companies that did, only 16% were fully remote.

In the wake of social distancing recommendations and “shelter in place” declarations, this has left many sales organizations all over the world scrambling to equip their sellers with the resources they need to operate efficiently and effectively from home. 

Now that they’re safe, how do you ensure your sellers can be as productive and effective as they were while engaging customers, prospects, and colleagues face to face? You shift your sales approach, deploy the technology you need to support that approach, and you do it fast. 

1. Accept that interactive presentations are no longer a nice to have

If you’re moving your in-person sales meetings online, most would argue that video conferencing is a must. But is it enough? While video conferencing is meant to make meetings feel more personal, studies show it does not deter people from multitasking, and in some cases, completely zoning out.

What’s more, only 12% of people feel as comfortable on video as they do on audio calls, so you may not get the level of engagement you need to make an impact. 

Ensuring your sales presentation is interactive and engaging can go a long way in getting your prospective buyer excited about the conversation and increasing their participation on the call. Interactive presentation tools that leverage drag and drop capabilities to create animated PowerPoint presentations from traditional PowerPoint or Google slides, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, pdfs, and multimedia files can be used to present even run-of-the-mill information in a new, more appealing format.

If your competitors are putting your buyers to sleep with static PowerPoint presentations or uncomfortable video conferencing calls, you can bet your animated approach will differentiate you and make your product or service stand out in their minds when it comes time to purchase. 

2. Increase sales impact with value selling

According to CEB, 57% of your buyer’s decision is made before they ever pick up the phone to speak to you or your competitors. That means when they do finally engage, they already know all about your company, products, and services.

More than halfway to a decision, they’re looking for you to tell them something they don’t already know. And in times of economic hardship, that something needs to be financial justification. 

How is your product or service going to help them save or make money? Having the ability to quantify return on investment or compare total cost of ownership will not only build confidence and credibility in your solution, it will give your buyer the information she needs to sell your solution to other key stakeholders internally. Interactive value selling tools including ROI and TCO calculators allow sellers to capture personalized data from buyers in real-time and use that information to guide more compelling and prescriptive sales conversations.

Doing so is proven to improve win rates with 74% of buyers purchasing from the first seller to provide value.

3. Lean on Learning Management

At this point in time, most business events have been canceled or postponed. This includes a large number of sales kick-off events.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t ensure your sales reps have the knowledge they need to successfully sell and meet quotas. In fact, microlearning – the use of video modules meant to educate sellers “just-in-time” vs. “just-in-case” – is actually proven to be more effective than traditional, in-person, classroom-style training. 

Learning management systems (LMS) allow sales organizations to go beyond one-time sales training or onboarding with incremental education meant to better prepare sellers for sales interactions. In addition to getting important sales knowledge out to their teams sooner, companies that leverage an LMS for sales training and coaching are able to track completion, identify who needs additional sales coaching, release new content only as trainings are completed, and ramp sellers faster.

4. Put your marketing budget to work

In times of potential economic downturn, marketing budgets are often the first cut. That means, more than ever, understanding what content works and what doesn’t is imperative to your success.

According to The Whole Brain Group, 95% of buyers purchase from sellers who offer relevant content at every stage of the buying process, yet 65% of marketing-produced content is never used by sales.

If you’re wasting valuable and limited budget on sales collateral that can’t or won’t be used by sales reps, you’re hindering your sellers’ abilities to close deals. How do you determine what content will offer your business the highest return on investment?

An AI-powered sales enablement platform tightly integrated with CRM can empower you to tie content directly to revenue. This eliminates guesswork, instead offering data insights proving what has led to closed opportunities and providing autonomous recommendations for what assets to optimize, archive, promote, etc. Marketers can rest assured that the sales assets they’re creating are having a positive impact on the business and sales is more apt to use assets proven to produce results.

5. Consider the cost of “do nothing”

For most, the need to transition to remote selling has been abrupt and unexpected. This can create concerns – Do I have the budget required to truly enable my sellers for remote selling at this time? How complicated will it be to shift our sales approach with a suddenly widespread sales force? How will this impact my business? If you’re weighing the benefits versus the risks, the cost of doing nothing will be far more detrimental than borrowing the budget from other areas of the business to deploy key sales tools and sustain sales revenue now

In Closing

To reduce costs and mitigate risk, find a sales enablement platform that incorporates all of the strategies outlined above rather than piecemealing the full solution together yourself. Steer clear of lengthy deployment processes and expensive solutions that offer a lot of bells and whistles you may or may not necessarily need.

Instead, find a sales enablement platform that you can get up and running with quickly and can both meet your remote work needs now and scale with your business when this is all behind us. Note that many companies are currently offering free trials or heavily discounted access to their tools. 

Most importantly, breathe. This will pass and if you’re strategic, you’ll have set yourself up for sales success in both the short and long term. 

Are you currently making the leap from in-person to digital selling? Try Mediafly free for 60 days to increase remote sales efficiency and effectiveness.

Jodi Cachey-Mediafly

Jodi Cachey

Content Marketing Director, Mediafly

Mediafly offers turnkey sales enablement solutions to fully custom sales applications to help companies increase sales efficiency and effectiveness and drive business results. Our suite of content management and sales enablement tools combines AI-powered automation, seamless CRM integration, in-depth content analytics, and support for virtually any content type to ensure your solution is flexible and scalable enough to meet your current needs and grow with your business on your unique sales enablement journey.