5 Ways to Navigate the Hybrid World of Remote and In-Person Sales
The COVID-19 pandemic undeniably upended how field sales reps do business. While face-to-face meetings are the most effective way to engage in consultative conversations and close sales, they aren’t as easy to come by, whether it’s because of government restrictions, company policy, or individual customers not feeling comfortable with in-person interactions.
We’re living in a new hybrid world when it comes to sales. Even though sales reps are getting back into the field, many conversations still need to be held remotely. Remote conversations, however, come with a few challenges, and the biggest one is that if you are not able to replicate the nature of face-to-face sales interactions, you miss out on opportunities.
The good news is that you can continue to win sales by focusing on sales fundamentals and doing a few things to adjust to the new reality. Here are 5 ways ensure your sales team is navigating well in the new hybrid world of remote and field sales.
1. Remember to Keep Things Personal
One of the oldest sales adages is that ‘people buy from people.’ People are more likely to buy from people they trust, especially when the product or service is complex or expensive. This fundamental truth about sales hasn’t changed just because you can’t meet with every prospect face-to-face.
“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.” – Bob Burg
To close high-value sales you must remember to build meaningful relationships however you can. If you’re unable to meet face-to-face with a lead, be sure to have your conversation via a video call whenever you can. The face-to-face time over a video call isn’t perfect, but it is the next best thing.
And if your sales team isn’t already sending personal “snail mail” thank you cards and notes to stay connected with prospects, there’s never been a better time to start this practice. It might seem like an old-school tactic, but with people feeling more disconnected these days, handwritten notes can help you stand out.
2. Don’t Allow Conversations to Be Less Consultative
Whether your team is meeting with prospects face-to-face or on video calls, the fact remains that the conversations need to be consultative when selling complex or high-value products or services.
Meeting with someone online or talking with them over the phone shouldn’t change how you approach a sales conversation. The focus should always be on listening and learning about the prospect’s challenges and needs.
This new hybrid way of selling that relies more on video calls and digital interactions has changed the medium through which we connect, but it hasn’t changed the fundamental truths about good sales practices.
3. Equip Your Sales Team for Improvised In-Person Meetings
Despite the restrictions and challenges of selling in this new era, creative sales people will find ways to safely meet with prospects – whether it’s an outdoor meeting or a meeting in another setting that allows them to engage with a lead in a socially distanced manner.
Equipping the sales team with what they need for face-to-face meetings, such as masks and hand sanitizer, as well as allowing them to be creative about impromptu meetings with customers, is the way to start getting your team back into the field building meaningful relationships.
4. Be Sure Your Tools Can Be Used for In-Person and Remote Interactions
Equipment that’s designed for field use, such as tablets and laptops, can easily be brought into the home office for remote use as long as they have the right digital sales enablement tools, but the inverse is not true: you can’t take a desktop or other ‘wired’ tools into the field.
Desktops aren’t the only thing that will be left behind in this new hybrid world, though. If you’re still relying on paper collateral, the need for at least some remote selling in the mix is going to demand that you transition to digital sales content, not to mention that customers may not be able to accept physical copies anymore.
Digital collateral can be shared with a prospect during face-to-face meetings via a tablet or laptop or sent to a prospect after a personal connection has been made remotely. Digital content is more versatile, and its effectiveness can be measured with the right data-gathering tools.
5. Ask Your Team ‘Do You Feel Ready for Anything?”
The new hybrid world of remote and face-to-face selling means sales reps need to be ready for any combination of in-person or remote and formal or informal meetings and conversations.
If there’s an area where members of your sales team are struggling, now is the time to ensure they are ready with the training and tools they need to be successful.
Prepare Your Team for Face-to-Face and Remote Sales
If you’re looking for a solution to help you navigate this new reality of sales that calls for a mix of both face-to-face conversations and remote outreach, StorySlab can help you optimize customer interactions wherever they’re taking place.
StorySlab offers insights for sales leaders, as well as intuitive access to your company’s content, training, and ROI calculators that can be used offline, online, remotely, or in the field. To learn more about our conversation readiness platform, you can book some time with our team.
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