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Is your Team Ready for Virtual Selling Success in Q3: 5 Key Questions to Ask

Sales teams have faced a long list of challenges this year due to the pandemic. Travel restrictions and meeting cancellations have put quotas at risk. Even with some states reopening, in-person meetings are rare. This has left many teams wondering how prepared they are for Q3.

Virtual selling—working a deal remotely when you can’t be there in person—is the new normal. But the rapid shift to virtual selling has not been uniform. While some industries had to rethink their selling approach completely—financial services and medical device sales in particular—others such as high tech were already onboard.

When it comes to sales, remote work presents a unique set of issues. Teams are built on camaraderie and competition, which is difficult to manufacture remotely. Sellers also face additional barriers to productivity when there’s less contact with prospects, colleagues, and their industry.

Sales managers leading geographically dispersed sellers are doubling down on the fundamentals. You want to help your salespeople succeed with the right skills, the most up-to-date information, and the best tools. How do you know if you’re ready? Focusing on the right things will help you stay productive and drive results heading into the back half of the year.

Successful virtual selling is not just about skillful execution of tactics, it’s about winning the sale in this new environment. This post will walk you through the key questions you should be asking to set your team up for success this quarter and beyond.

1. How can your managers improve coaching?

Insufficient coaching interactions between managers and reps is one of the greatest obstacles to productivity. To prep for Q3, start by finding out whether reps and managers have the same expectations about coaching given today’s “new normal.”

If you need to re-align expectations, identify specific competencies that need to be improved and focus on supporting managers’ delivery of that coaching.

How to Get Ready:

Scale remote coaching by asking sellers to record practice videos for existing products or new offerings. You’ll see whether they’re delivering consistent messaging and where their pitch needs refinement.

2. How well does your team collaborate and share ideas?

When sellers don’t have the luxury of brainstorming with colleagues in the office or getting quick tips as they head out to meet with a prospect, you need to beef up opportunities for collaboration in other ways. You can free up managers’ schedules and scale up content sharing by tapping into internal subject matter experts and peer networks.

When you encourage high performers to share best practices with others, you capture valuable intel that would otherwise be lost. You also ease the burden of coaching for managers, while increasing the velocity with which new ideas are adopted by the field.

How to Get Ready:

Use video and PowerPoint together to share win stories, bounce ideas off of colleagues, and brainstorm when it’s convenient for sellers.

3. How could your organization improve messaging?

Consistent messaging for value propositions, new corporate presentations, and new products is essential. Sales managers need the ability to deliver messaging, share information in a timely manner, and help reps hone their talking points.

Relying on PowerPoint and video conferencing tools such as Zoom isn’t enough.

By having reps submit practice videos, managers can give point-in-time coaching and feedback to ensure everyone is delivering exactly the right message.

How to Get Ready:

Roll out new product training via pre-recorded video to allow sellers to watch and learn the new pitch at their own pace.

4. How can you get new hires ramped up sooner?

It’s a challenging time to recruit, interview, and onboard new salespeople. But you must continue to build your team. Whether you’re hiring new reps or shifting existing ones into new roles, reducing the time it takes to get sellers ramped and productive is critical. Instead of flying new hires into corporate, take advantage of mobile and video tools for pre-boarding.

How to Get Ready:

Have new reps practice their pitches, learn your company’s systems, get to know the executive team, and receive coaching and feedback without having to step out their front door.

5. How can sales leaders communicate with the team in a more impactful way?

During times like these, it’s important for leaders to be present, calm, and reassuring—to “over-communicate” and share updates on a regular cadence.

You can reinforce training with timely information that’s accessible across locations and time zones. Fresh, relevant content that sellers can tap into around the clock on their mobile devices will give them the answers to questions at their moment of need, no matter where they are, and the confidence to win the deal.

How to Get Ready:

Equip sales managers with a central content repository that allows all members of the team to create, comment on, and share important messages and relevant collateral.

A New Era of Sales Management

It’s a new era of sales management for virtual teams. Q3 is the ideal moment to rethink and upgrade your approach to coaching, collaboration, and communication.

Even if your business has been selling virtually, it now has competition from every other vendor. Answer these five questions to prepare your team with the tools and techniques of virtual selling and you’ll see success—both during the pandemic, and long after the virus has run its course.

Photo of George Donovan, Allego

George Donovan

CRO, Allego

As chief revenue officer, George leads customer acquisition and sales for Allego’s market-leading sales learning and readiness platform. A proven sales leader with over 20 years of sales, marketing, operations, and management experience, George is a sales enablement enthusiast who loves tools and systems that empower people.