Sales professionals worldwide are facing a major new challenge – how to do business remotely, maintain and grow revenue. In the B2B sector in particular, where networking and building relationships are so important, field sales and face-to-face meetings are an intrinsic part of the sales and marketing strategy for many businesses. After all, how do you develop relationships, build trust and provide in-depth exposure to your proposition at a distance?
A different set of skills
A shift to ‘Inside Sales
’ is not as simple as putting your field sales team on the phone; it requires a very different set of skills and may not be an easy manoeuvre for even the most experienced sales professional. It isn’t just about the tenacity to get past gatekeepers but the ability to listen well and pay attention to each gem of insight, to read buying signals or hear cues when you are losing the attention of your buyer. Behind the words, a good sales agent needs to be aware of the emotion, the feelings and mood of the prospect, as well as the message they convey verbally. Without the benefit of body language, it is essential to quickly understand and mirror the style, pace and tone used by your prospect to make them comfortable engaging with you. In B2B, establishing personal rapport is vitally important but not always easy to achieve without the ability to make eye contact, read body language or create a conducive environment by ‘wining and dining’ important clients.
A tougher audience
What is more, in the current climate, bridging the gap between supplier and buyer is hindered further by the massive disruption to the supply chain that has turned normal distribution on its head. Individuals are stressed and worried about their health, their loved ones and their finances, so generally more cautious in their decision making and less receptive to a sales approach. With the tightening of budgets across all businesses, only a well communicated, credible proposition will persuade buyers to invest.
A tried and tested approach
Nonetheless, selling in a virtual environment is part and parcel of what agencies such as ours have been doing for decades, it has in fact been the foundation of our success for the past 30 years. Whether you call it telemarketing, telesales or ‘Inside Sales’, selling remotely over the phone is a well-established and cost-effective approach. It has been adopted successfully by organisations in most sectors from financial services and insurance, education and professional services to advanced manufacturing and technology. Our large online library of testimonials
gives just a tiny snapshot of the many varied propositions we have successfully promoted over the phone.
For those with little experience of remote selling, who have relied heavily on field sales in the past, the prospect of moving to a remote sales model may feel daunting. So, for those looking to find ways to safely ramp up their sales productivity as we step tentatively out of lockdown, we’ve pulled together our key recommendations and some useful resources below. We are happy to share our experience and give an honest view of how we might be able to help. If you’d like to chat informally with one of our team and understand how a remote sales approach might benefit your organisation, we’d love to hear from you.
Other useful resources