Last year, almost overnight, salespeople had to adapt to talking with customers and prospects via Zoom, Teams and Hangouts. Luckily, the platforms were easy to use so getting up-to-speed felt pretty easy. Apart from a few technical issues and the odd embarrassing moment, most probably felt that they did alright. Even if they didn’t, the person they were talking to was also finding their feet and making the same mistakes. It was an easy crowd.
Salespeople have got used to selling remotely now, so it’s easy to assume that they’ve got it nailed and that they don’t need help. That would be a risky assumption to make.
Here are three reasons why:
1. New challenges
For many, ‘sales is sales’ and the mode of communication shouldn’t make much difference; however, while remote selling might not have completely changed the game, it does present some significant new challenges. For example, salespeople lose 90% of visual cues when selling remotely- that’s a massive change that requires a different approach. Another example is around ‘Executive Presence’- the ability to inspire confidence in the minds of C Suite prospects. Its a skill that continues to grow in importance as decision-making groups become more senior. However, for many salespeople, that’s become way harder since they’ve started selling from home. There are a whole load of new factors that could affect how the customer perceives them such as their surroundings, their tech preparedness or their ability to deliver value quickly. Unfortunately, the failure to recognise and overcome these kinds of challenges is having a negative impact on the sales experience with just 16% of buyers saying that virtual sellers are skilled in making a strong ROI case*.
2. It’s here to stay
Hopefully, things will start to return to normal over the coming months but don’t expect remote selling to disappear. It’s here to stay regardless of the pandemic, not least because customers like it. According to McKinsey, 70-80% of B2B buyers prefer remote human interaction not just because of current safety concerns, but also because of the ease of scheduling and savings on travel. Being great at selling remotely is now a pre-requisite for anyone in sales.
3. Quality of sales experience is vital
The average number of sales opportunities for salespeople has decreased by 74% since Corona started** while buyers are more demanding and risk-averse than ever before. The current environment is so challenging and so competitive that salespeople need to fight hard for every opportunity. Key to that is delivering a great, stand-out sales experience, and, as clients become more used to buying remotely, their expectation of what a great remote sales experience looks like has grown.
Underplaying the significance of the shift to remote selling and just hoping that salespeople have got it covered is a mistake. The quality of the remote sales experience will continue to impact sales revenues.
It’s simply too important to leave to chance.
Learn how Flume Sales Training can help you be great at remote selling