Virtual Selling 101: The Psychology of a Remote Salesperson
Understanding how your team is thinking can help you manage them better
The pandemic has thrown everything out of whack, including the normal processes of business in many industries.
Salespeople have been struggling with pandemic conditions and remote selling, including lack of in-person interactions, distractions, and isolation.
Effectively managing a remote team involves putting a focus on communication, tools to remain productive, and fun ways to keep everyone connected and motivated.
Tired of all the craziness of the past year? Tired of the disruptions, the uncertainty, the worry? Just plain tired? We all are. While normalcy is returning, some things may never be the same. Work is one area that might be permanently altered for a lot of industries. That may not be a bad thing in some cases, but it could mean that a lot of professionals will need to develop a new mindset.
Many salespeople, for example, have struggled over the last year. This is typically a profession that involves collaborating with others and a lot of face-to-face interaction. When they can only communicate safely by phone or device, performance – and personal wellbeing – can suffer.
As a leader, it’s your job to help your team be as productive as possible. To do this, it’s important to check in with your sales team regularly to see how they are feeling. Even if they say they’re doing fine, results from a recent survey about remote selling may reveal the actual truth. Here are three challenges your salespeople could be dealing with:
1. No in-person communication
While most of us have gotten used to video calls, there is no substitute for face-to-face interactions, especially when it comes to sales.
“You just don’t always know what’s going on in the mind of the person at the other end,” says Rishi Nair of Zensors in the report above. “You don’t get to see the body language. These things, I guess, will never be replaced with any technology.”
And salespeople don’t just tout whatever it is they are trying to sell; they first have to get to know the person they’re selling to. That too has gotten harder over the last year. Says Ashish Mathurr of GMO Research Inc., “there’s no chance to chit chat in a non-formal environment over a cup of coffee or beer, which helps for better understanding your prospect.”
2. Everyone feels overwhelmed
For most of us, the past year-plus has been the most trying time we’ve ever experienced. It’s almost impossible not to feel overwhelmed and constantly distracted. This means the prospects salespeople are trying to target may not have been in the proper mindset to consider buying something over the past year. The sales process might have been delayed or ultimately ended due to prospects simply not having the bandwidth to discuss a purchase.
3. Feeling isolated
When you’re working alone, it can be difficult to feel like you are part of a team. In-person meetings and brainstorming sessions are often very beneficial to salespeople.
“I miss the collaborative environment of being in the office on the sales floor,” said Nick Leader of LeanData Inc. “It’s contagious listening to people make cold calls, hop on discovery calls, and chat about deals with coworkers.”
When people feel isolated and lonely, this affects their engagement with work as well, which will have a negative effect on their performance.
How to effectively manage your remote team
It’s important that your team knows that they can reach out to you by phone or email for guidance and support whenever they need it. You should also consider using a platform like Slack, so they can quickly get in touch with you or other team members. This also offers a good place to just shoot the breeze and talk about things that may not be work-related.
Make sure everybody has the right tools
No matter where they’re working from, your sales team has to be on the same page, which means they need access to the same tools. Providing the tools to maintain communication and data access in and out of the office helps keep sales productivity high and improve team collaboration. These could include a CRM program, cloud storage platform, video conferencing software, and scheduling apps.
Focus on some fun stuff
Even if everything is done virtually right now in your company, that doesn’t mean it has to be all work and no play. Make an effort to have some fun with remote happy hours or lunch breaks. These give everyone an opportunity to stay connected and interact on a more personal level. Also, be sure to celebrate whenever you can. Birthdays, work anniversaries, hitting sales goals — whatever the occasion, put the (figurative or literal) party hats on.
By getting to know your team better and what they’re going through, you can improve your leadership and management skills. Salestable AI can help. Contact us to get started today.