Sales are easier than EVER. Customers can browse your website and social platforms. They can ask questions and scroll through customer reviews. For users, the convenience of purchasing remotely is significant.
Selling remotely has pros and cons. You can meet more customers. You can scale more easily. But you still need to cultivate and nurture clients through that sales funnel for major purchases. Back in the day best practices called for 7-10 touches to help customers make that journey. While that number has increased in recent years, according to Forrester the pandemic caused that number to rise to an average of 27 customer interactions in the buying journey.
Those 27 interactions require a team working as a unit. It requires collaboration and coordination. In today’s world, a sales team needs to be a true team AND work in unison with other departments including marketing, customer service, product, legal, etc. The need to collaborate has never been greater, but the amount of time spent in a shared physical space has either been cut in half or is obsolete.
What makes teamwork more difficult in a remote environment?
We are missing:
- Body language
- Informal watercooler (or let’s be honest, coffee pot) conversations
- The energy that emanates from being in the same room
- General team bonding
- You can’t just pop over to your colleague’s room or the other department
As a result of all of the above, communication has its new challenges. Misunderstandings and miscommunications occur more frequently. Additionally, reaching the right people at the right time is key to moving efficiently to seal your deals.
When it comes to collaborating remotely, you’ll want to ask questions in advance and set up a system for smooth sailing moving forward.
Establish the Rules and Etiquette
Take the guessing work about how and when to communicate.
- Use tools that work for individuals, the team and the company. You don’t have a physical office? Invest in virtual tools to assist you with project management, a great CRM, platforms that allow and encourage formal and information interactions, etc.
- Hold everyone accountable in a natural way. Whether it is a daily standup, weekly check-in or a project management system, employees want to know that their progress is being noticed and that they are having an impact.
- Decide what methods should be used to communicate: email, Teams, slack, video calls, phone calls, text messages, etc. Set boundaries if necessary, depending on the medium. You may not want text messages about that contract at 2am. Make that clear from the getgo!
Determine Who You Need to Weigh In
The sales team needs to communicate with other departments. Who are they? Who is your contact?
Now, HOW Are You Supposed to Reach Them AND Get an Answer?
Your team has your ways and tools to interact? How do you reach other departments and/or specific individuals in those departments? In some ways they are doing you a favor, they aren’t getting the commission. You are. Specifically, when reaching out to other departments you want to make any interaction EASY so it happens QUICKLY.
Where Is That Amazing Chart from Marketing? Make Sure Your Sales Team Knows How to Access UPDATED Materials
According to G2, 9 in 10 sellers aren’t using those materials you’ve invested X dollars in because they have no idea where they are. Your sales team needs to know where the materials are and that they are up to date with the latest information, data and version of your service or product. Create systems to organize your content and set up strong infrastructures within Google Drive or try a product like harmon.ie if you are a Microsoft user.
Group Motivation Lends Itself to Group Collaboration
Create a team goal. Incentivize your team to appreciate, with a bonus or prize or staff bonding experience or even a bonus day off, that the success of the team is valuable and a priority. Celebrate individual and team success. Keep that remote momentum moving forward throughout the sales seasons.
Remote sales are here to stay. The bulk and quality of those interactions require a strong team and communication structure and by proactively creating a structure with a smooth process and toolset that work for you, the world is your oyster. Go get ‘em!
If you are a sales or account manager who needs to improve how your remote team works together, apply for early access by becoming a Collabria Design Partner.