If COVID-19 has taught the business world anything – it’s that there has never been a more crucial time to change the way we work than right now. Some companies may already be ahead of the curve, but for sales organisations who rely on traditional on-the-ground sales personnel, and in-office sales planning – this shift may seem extremely daunting.
Yet, with significant advances in, and access, to technology, your sales team can continue functioning optimally, while embracing new, digital ways of working.
The risks of staying the same
In the wake of travel restrictions and social distancing, brought on by COVID-19, organisations across the world are faced with the challenge of keeping their employees connected and productive. Processes have had to quickly evolve to accommodate remote workers.
However, some sales organisations may not have been quick to evolve their processes, resulting in loss of productivity, lack of communication and frustrated employees unable to access critical work resources or staff across the digital divide.
Others may feel that this current state will quickly pass – and work processes should return to their normal state in the near future. The reality is that the current crisis businesses are facing shines a telling spotlight on areas that organisations are ill-prepared to handle, in a world that is dramatically shifting to the new norm of doing business.
And those sales organisations that fail to shift their ways of working will be several steps behind their competitors who do.
Changing the way you interact with your sales team and customers
As existing business models are reworked to accommodate employees working from home, sales organisations must tackle the new reality of managing remote sales teams and interacting with customers in new, digital ways.
Yet, managing remote sales teams comes with its own set of unique challenges, particularly when you are heavily reliant on face-to-face communication between both your sales personnel and your customers.
Sales people accustomed to the motivation and buzz of an office environment may also feel isolated and spiral into a slump without the support and physical presence of their managers and colleagues.
To prepare, sales managers need to have access to the right technology and access to resources made available for their sales teams, enabling them to maintain motivation and optimum levels of productivity.
What you can do: Digital tools to sell better
DIGITAL SELLING TOOLS
Ensure that your sales team has immediate access to resources required for selling, at their fingertips.
Develop an accessible resource library that is constantly updated with the most current resources to empower your sales people to sell more effectively.
1. Sales Support Content
Provide your remote sales teams with high-quality digital copies of your product or solution brochures that they can easily access from one repository and send on digitally, or present to potential customers.
2. Customer Testimonials & Customer Case Studies
Develop compelling customer testimonials and customer case studies, whether in written or video format, that your sales team can either include in presentations or quickly access prior to a meeting with a prospect. Include customer testimonials on your website, so that online prospects can see the value that your products or solutions can bring to their business.
3. Solution/ Product Demos
Resources, such as solution or product demos and explainer videos can also prove to be invaluable when your sales executive cannot meet face-to-face with customers.
Enabling your sales personnel to send a demo or explainer video – or even playing it over a video conferencing call will set you apart from your competitors.
AUDIO AND VIDEO CONFERENCING TOOLS
Audio and video conferencing tools are essential for ensuring ongoing collaboration and connectivity with your remote sales teams. There are a variety of paid for and free video and audio conferencing services you and your team can access online.
It’s a new world, which means we need new ways of working – fast. Your sales team needs to be able to access clients and the office seamlessly and effortlessly – whether on site or working remotely. To help you get started here are five free audio and video conferencing tools you could immediately utilise:
- Participant Limit: Up to 100 participants
- Conference Duration: Unlimited
With the free Cisco Webex Meetings solution, you can host or join a high definition meeting online from any device, including mobile, tablet, laptop, or video device. Cisco Webex offers an unlimited number of meetings with up to 100 participants and allows for call-in audio.
It also offers 1GB of storage, and numerous other collaborative features.
- Participant Limit: Up to 100 people
- Conference Duration: 40 minutes limit on group meetings, unlimited 1 to 1 meetings
Zoom Basic (Free) meeting provides you with unlimited number of online meetings and up to 100 people for group video conferencing.
The audio and video conferencing app provide high definition video and audio conferencing, active speaker view, full screen and gallery view as well as simultaneous screen sharing. Zoom meetings also enables you to join by telephone call-in.
In addition, Zoom Meetings offer Group Collaboration features, such as breakout rooms, group messaging and presence, co-annotation on shared screens as well as whiteboarding – ideal for brainstorming with your teams.
- Participant Limit: Up to 50 people
- Conference Duration: 4 hours per individual call
With group screen sharing, you can present PowerPoint slides, video recordings and more to your entire team. Remote co-workers can work more efficiently and long-distance learning is made possible for students all over the world. Assigning projects and discussing due dates are faster and more productive with face-to-face conversations through Skype’s group video calling.
Group video calls are subject to a fair usage limit of 100 hours per month with no more than 10 hours per day and a limit of 4 hours per individual video call.
- Participant Limit: Up to 10 participants
- Conference Duration: 45 minutes
Built by the team behind Google Voice, UberConference provides an easy way to schedule and host audio conferences. The free version of Uber Conferencing only offers basic features for relatively short conference calls. A pin is also required on the free version to log into the conferencing, while the paid version does not require a pin.
The free version, allows for all users to dial into any conference from anywhere in the world, however only the paid business accounts can access international access numbers. The free UberConference account enables the ability to record calls as well as screen and document sharing.
- Participant Limit: Up to 200 participants
- Conference Duration: Unlimited
Jitsi is a multi-platform open-source video conferencing solution, making it 100% free, open source, and WebRTC compatible. No account is required to use the video conferencing offering, simply start a call from the website.
You can also share your desktop, presentations and files, as well as edit documents using Etherpad. The video conferencing solution allows you to send private messages while you video conference through its integrated chat functionality.
Jitsi is however more limited than the other free video and audio conferencing offerings and does not include any additional collaborative features, such as breakout rooms or whiteboards.
THINKSALES ONLINE SERVICES & SUPPORT
Solutions to help sales managers manage remote teams and equip sales reps with the skills and tools to bring in revenue in the midst of Covid-19.
- Online Psychometric Assessments to assess Sales Reps and pinpoint highest priority development areas for selling in this environment
- Virtual sales training for sales reps and managers
- Virtual building of call scripting, needs analysis and conversation guides built to engage customers in an online environment
- Virtual consulting on customer engagement process design and sales strategy.