This post was contributed by John Thomas at Callingly.
Remote work is a tempting option for many people. Zapier reports that 74% of the workforce would prefer to quit their in-person job in favor of a remote role. As a result, companies must adapt and offer remote positions to attract the most attractive workers.
For some people, the transition is a relatively easy one. However, those working in sales are naturally extroverted. They thrive on face-to-face interactions and rely on in-person connections to convert leads. If this sounds like you, a few tips to help smooth the transition to remote work may come in handy.
Here are 5 tips to ace your remote sales experience.
- Set routines
- Look for industry shifts
- Use new and creative communication tools
- Automate your sales process
- Respond immediately
1. Set routines
In an office, there are social constructs like lunch breaks to help establish a routine. When you work from home these behaviors are not easily observable and it’s hard to set consistent habits. For example, many remote workers work late into the night because they don’t have clear expectations on when to finish work.
It’s important to have time for yourself and be your own boss. Start by making a calendar and commit to being productive during work hours and stop working when it reaches a certain time. Getting a buddy on your team can also be a great way to be accountable.
2. Look for industry shifts
Now that you’ve set a routine and know when to be productive, let’s take a look at where to focus your time.
Trends are always changing, so if the industry you normally sell to is concentrated in a specific region, then it’s time to pivot and realign your approach to focus here. For example, if you’re based in Los Angeles and notice opportunities with pharmaceutical companies concentrated on the East Coast of the U.S., consider shifting your work schedule by 3 hours to account for time zone differences.
Remote sales workers are in a prime position to adjust their schedule to engage with prospects when they’re most active.
3. Use new and creative communication tools
There are 2 types of tools to help your remote selling process:
- Physical tools
Remote salespeople often underestimate the importance of creating a presentable environment. It’s actually a lot more than just what you’re dressing and the background for your video call. If you’re doing remote sales, draw inspiration from Twitch and other video streamers. After all, they’re on video all day speaking to thousands of people.
Your physical tools are going to revolve around the video call environment you need to set up.
First of all, it’s important to have a good camera setup. Oftentimes, the webcam from your company laptop produces noisy, low-resolution video. Try looking at external camera attachments for your laptop.
Also, consider the lighting in your video call environment. Don’t just depend on light from your room as it probably won’t be bright enough to enhance the camera quality. If you’ve watched professional streamers, almost everyone will have a LED ring light or studio light setup.
Next up, make sure your audio and voice is crystal clear. The microphone in your company laptop will just pass the ear test, but if you want to enhance the delivery of your sales pitch, consider an external microphone you can plug into your laptop.
Those are some of the basics for physical tools. Time to consider software that can dramatically boost your sales.
Zoom is a widely-known video calling tool and it works great for almost everyone. However, did you know that Google also has a free video calling tool? Google Meet works within the desktop browser or on the Gmail app as long as they sign into their Google account – so your leads are still easily reachable even if they don’t have a Zoom account.
Try using video messaging tools such as Bonjoro or Loom to drive engagement instead of a text email. These tools allow you to record a video message hosted in the cloud and send a video to your prospects via email, LinkedIn message or whichever medium suits you best.
The software you choose to use is about making the virtual sales experience as personable as possible to replicate the face-to-face interaction. If an email only contains a hundred words, and a picture says a thousand words, surely a video will do so much more.
4. Automate your sales process
Over the last several years, many new tools have been released to make the life of a salesperson easier. Those who understand how to integrate these tools into their sales funnel to automate certain processes have a leg up compared to others.
How do you start? You may already use a CRM, but there are other tools you can use to automate and organize your sales process like Airtable, Trello, Slack, and Google Sheets.
Many of these apps let you pass data between them to create an even easier experience.
Let’s say a lead books a meeting with you via Calendly, an easy-to-use scheduling software that eliminates the need for back and forth emails.
When this happens, Zapier – a tool that connects applications and allows data to be passed between each one another – automatically triggers software platforms (like ActiveCampaign) to add the contact to a marketing automation workflow. All this is done automatically without manually intervention.
Take a look at what data you’re currently passing between applications and use Zapier to connect the apps together – and eliminate a lot of manual work.
5. Respond immediately
Did you know only 4.7% of companies connect to leads within 5 minutes or less?
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, if your sales team waits more than 5 minutes to follow up with an incoming online lead their chances of connecting with that lead went down 10x.
The longer the response time, the less likely you’re able to close – so respond to your leads quickly! If you don’t engage immediately to help solve your client’s pain point, then your competitor will.
With a lead response management tool (like Callingly), you can call your lead within seconds, track your calls, and ensure your CRM is always up-to-date.
Whether you’re a veteran to remote life or just starting out, be sure to take advantage of these tips to boost your conversion rates!