How to Become a Remote Sales Superstar
When the pandemic lockdowns started and professionals across America moved their work home, many experienced apprehension about losing touch with coworkers, feeling isolated, losing productivity and maintaining work/life balance with the “office” only steps away.
If you’re a sales professional, you’re probably someone who enjoys being out interacting with people throughout the day, and the switch to working from home has been particularly hard on you. Not to mention the fact that your livelihood has historically depended upon your ability to form and maintain relationships with people. So now what?
Here are some tips for not just surviving remote work, but making this your best and most productive work experience.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
You’re not a slacker if you’re having some difficulty with the transition to working from home. The world as we know it has been upended, and humans are notorious for resisting change on a good day. One of the first steps in making your at-home sales experience a positive and productive one is self-care.
Self-care encompasses a lot of things, from establishing some work-at-home ground rules to creating a happy workspace for yourself.
1. First, it’s important to have a schedule and then to communicate that schedule to the people you live with. Let’s face it, having mom or dad at home makes the kids think that every day is a play day. If you’re lucky enough to have an office with a door, it may be useful to tape up a “Do Not Disturb” sign or post your work hours as a reminder to those who may want to interrupt you.
2. The ground rules also apply to employers. While many employers worried that remote employees would end up DoorDashing takeout and binge watching Netflix, the truth is that people report working more hours than ever before. Establish a schedule and honor it by taking regular breaks throughout the day and disconnecting from work when your workday ends. Burnout serves no one.
3. Having a designated workspace is also important to productivity. For many Americans, that means improvising. Maybe you and a spouse or roommate are competing for the home office. Maybe you have kids who are also schooling at home, or maybe you simply live and work in a small space. Even if your “office” is the dining room table or a lap desk, it’s critical that you have a regular space where you go to work. It should be comfortable, you should have a good wifi connection and work tools should be within easy reach. In today’s Zoom culture, it is also important to consider the background that others will see when they video chat with you.
4. Consider your health when you are improvising your home office. I recently tuned in to an online seminar with Dr. Ajay K. Sawhney, chiropractic doctor at Divine Spine in Yorba Linda, California. Dr. Sawhney recommends that everyone take the time to create an ergonomic workspace that facilitates comfort and good posture. For example, he says that computer screens should always be at eye level. Even if you’re working from the kitchen table, you can use a few reams of paper or an empty Amazon box to place your computer at the proper height. If you work from a laptop, get a wireless keyboard so that you can elevate your screen above your keyboard. Dr. Sawyney also recommends getting up to stretch and walk around at intervals throughout the day to give tense muscles a rest, stimulate circulation and make your mind more alert.
A few more things to consider: Try making the most of natural light. It is known to contribute to better sleep and greater productivity. A good set of headphones are also a worthy investment, since they block out noise and are comfortable to wear all day. And while you’re wearing them, you can enjoy that sweet playlist you curated. Studies show that the right kind of music can motivate and improve concentration.
Get Down to Business
Remote sales are a more transactional function than selling in person. You may find that your results are more dependent upon your time management, product knowledge, strategic prospecting and your ability to do a great virtual product demo or presentation.
1. CEO and Professional Speaker Shari Levitin advises sales people to start with the tough stuff. “Begin each morning with sales related activities like prospecting, strategic planning and meeting with customers … . It’s alluring to engage in behaviors that do nothing to advance sales — responding to email, diddling on social media and other distractions spiral out of control quickly when working from home. Besides, research shows decision-making is at its peak first thing in the morning. The more decisions you make throughout the day, the harder the next one becomes. Decision fatigue sets in. … The best salespeople know to exert self-discipline, prioritize tasks and dive into the tough stuff first.”
2. It is important to provide prospects with good content that can sell your product or service when you’re not there. If your customer has a challenge, send them information that speaks to their pain points. Also, when they are close to making a decision, send content that validates the decision-making process and instills confidence in you and your product or service.
3. Become an expert at using video throughout the sales process to maintain connection with prospects. Send recorded video messages in follow-up emails to make yourself more relatable. Turn on video during meetings and encourage customers to do the same. Reading facial expressions can help you to be more empathetic to their needs.
When it comes to video conferencing solutions, most think of Zoom first. But here are a few more resources to consider:
Skype: Allows free international calls, can host meetings for up to 50 people, offers subtitle and translation services, screen sharing and the ability to record calls.
Google Meet: Easy to use and free for G Suite users, includes screen sharing and can host secure meetings for up to 250 people.
ClickMeeting: Full-featured service includes meeting hosting, ability to record and send product demos, live webinar hosting and a detailed analytics dashboard.
Remember to update your CRM each time you interact with a potential customer, even if you don’t actually talk with them. This will help you to remain organized and strategic the next time your reach out.
4. Virtual product demos are much like in-person ones. But here are a few things that will make your presentation an event:
First, prepare well by knowing your prospect and their needs so you can tailor your presentation to them.
Next, create an agenda and share it with your prospect ahead of time. This way they will know what to expect and how much time to allow for your presentation.
Remember to focus on the value of your product or service rather than features. Demonstrate why your product or service will benefit them. Get to the point quickly and respect your prospect’s time.
Stop periodically and ask your prospect if they have questions. It’s also a good idea to host a Q&A at the end of your presentation. Have a list of FAQs at the ready so you can answer efficiently.
End with a Call to Action, just as you would in an in-person demo. This could be a link to more information, an opportunity to register for a follow-up presentation, an incentive or simply the chance to purchase your product.
If you want to be the next Remote Sales Superstar, become a master of follow-up. Remember that sales cycles are shorter online than they are in person. By clearly communicating next steps and scheduling the next meeting while you have your client’s attention, you will ensure that you can walk them straight to the finish line.
Lastly, the way you dress can greatly impact your mood and productivity. For god’s sake, put your big girl (or boy) pants on!
Big Chief Creative Media is all about building digital trust and making you the next virtual sales superstar through excellence in brand communications, web marketing and lead generation. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.