The 2020 pandemic has acted as a disruptive force, reshaping the very fabric of business operations and steering them away from the familiar paths of the past. In this transformation towards what we now call the ‘new normal,’ it’s the sales realm that has been confronted with one of the most intricate challenges. One of them is remote sales.
The B2B sales landscape has undergone a dramatic shift, where the challenges and expectations have soared to new heights. Today’s B2B buyers are an intelligent and well-informed bunch. The era of effortlessly delivering a product pitch and swaying a buyer’s decision is a relic of the past.
74% of B2B buyers engage in over half of their research online before committing to an offline purchase.Smart Company
They diligently immerse themselves in research before even initiating a conversation with a sales representative. These contemporary B2B buyers are no strangers to their desires and have meticulously defined the parameters that govern their purchasing decisions.
- What is Remote Sales for B2B?
- The Need for Remote Sales at This Hour
- How to Win at Remote Sales?
- Adapting to the Evolving B2B Remote Landscape
- How to Implement a Remote Sales Approach for B2B SaaS?
- Wrapping Up
We’ve put together a list of our learnings from over the years to help salespeople overcome the pain points of remote selling, and guide them towards a path of triumph in this new world.
Let’s take a look at it.
What is Remote Sales for B2B?
Remote sales in the B2B context refers to the practice of conducting sales and client interactions without physical face-to-face meetings, using digital platforms, tools, and communication channels. It involves leveraging technology to facilitate sales presentations, demonstrations, negotiations, and relationship-building remotely, often across geographical boundaries.
This approach encompasses virtual meetings, video calls, webinars, emails, and collaborative tools that enable sales representatives to effectively engage prospects and clients from a distance.
For salespeople, who thrive on human interaction and personal connections, this shift to remote sales has proven to be a formidable feat. Their role is intricately woven with the tapestry of relationships, drawing energy and inspiration from both their colleagues and clients.
In a world reshaped by the pandemic, the once-firm ground of in-person meetings and traditional selling practices has been swept away, giving rise to a digital revolution in B2B sales. This shift from the tactile world of field sales to the virtual realm of remote selling has left countless sales professionals grappling with multifaceted challenges:
- How do they not only adapt but excel in this new sales landscape?
- How can they continue honing their skills and expertise within this virtual paradigm?
- And most importantly, how do they safeguard their mental well-being and prevent the perils of burnout in this dynamic environment?
The Need for Remote Sales at This Hour
The world is witnessing a transformation in work dynamics, with a significant portion of the workforce embracing remote and hybrid work models. B2B SaaS brands must align their sales strategies with this shift to remain relevant and competitive.
As highlighted in a recent survey carried out by McKinsey & Company, the landscape of B2B sales is undergoing a significant transformation amid the ongoing crises. Customers’ preferences are undergoing a distinct shift, with digital interactions taking precedence over conventional approaches. The reliance on live chat for supplier research and the utilization of mobile apps for orders have surged.
Intriguingly, the report establishes that a staggering 96% of B2B sales teams have made the transition to remote selling. What’s more, an impressive 65% of B2B decision-makers affirm that remote selling has proven to be more effective than ever before.
In response to this paradigm shift, companies are readily embracing a new work culture that not only accommodates but champions virtual sales operations. As the momentum of remote selling gains traction, it becomes paramount for sales teams to recalibrate their operational strategies. This adaptation calls for a wholehearted embrace of sales technology to elevate both productivity and efficiency.
Crucially, the momentum of remote selling shows no sign of waning, even in the wake of some companies reopening their physical offices it is safe to declare remote work as the new norm.
Moreover, several factors contribute to the need for remote sales, them being:
- Changing Buyer Behavior: Buyers are now more accustomed to online interactions and research. They seek information, solutions, and services through digital channels, making it essential for sales teams to meet them where they are.
- Global Reach: Remote sales eliminate geographical constraints, enabling brands to tap into a broader client base and new markets without incurring extensive travel costs.
- Efficiency and Flexibility: Remote sales allow sales teams to streamline their processes, allocate resources more efficiently, and adapt quickly to changing market conditions.
- Safety and Well-being: Amidst health concerns and unpredictability, remote sales provide a safer alternative to in-person meetings, safeguarding the well-being of both sales representatives and clients.
How to Win at Remote Sales?
Acing at remote sales in the B2B landscape requires a strategic and agile approach that harnesses technology, fosters meaningful connections, and prioritizes value.
Here’s a roadmap to achieve success:
1. Embrace Technology
Leverage cutting-edge communication and collaboration tools that facilitate virtual interactions.
Invest in platforms that enable seamless video calls like Zoom and GoToMeeting, presentations, and screen sharing. A strong tech foundation ensures you can engage effectively regardless of physical distances.
2. Adapt Your Strategy
Reconfigure your sales approach to cater to virtual interactions. Revise your sales processes to align with remote presentations, demonstrations, and negotiations.
Develop guidelines that prioritize clarity and engagement in virtual conversations.
3. Focus on Personalization
Tailor your approach to each client’s unique needs. Craft personalized presentations, content, and communication that address their pain points.
Demonstrating a deep understanding of their challenges builds trust and establishes your value proposition.
4. Develop Expertise
Equip your sales team with comprehensive product knowledge. Ensure they understand your solution inside out, enabling them to address intricate queries and showcase its advantages effectively.
5. Build Relationships
Prioritize building authentic relationships. While virtual, connections still flourish through genuine engagement.
Foster rapport by actively listening, empathizing, and demonstrating your commitment to their success.
6. Provide Value
Highlight the concrete value your product or service brings to the table. Present evidence, statistics, and case studies that substantiate your claims. Buyers want proof of impact before committing.
7. Clear Communication
Establish transparent channels of communication. Articulate your offerings, addressing any doubts promptly. Demonstrating openness fosters trust and minimizes uncertainties.
8. Virtual Engagement
Organize regular webinars, workshops, and virtual events to engage clients. These interactions maintain connections, educate clients, and showcase your expertise.
9. Utilize Data Insights
Leverage CRM and analytics tools to gather insights into buyer behaviors and preferences. This data-driven approach enables you to fine-tune strategies for optimal results.
10. Collaborate Across Teams
Ensure that you are implementing RevOps, a synergy between sales, marketing, and customer support teams.
A seamless customer journey is paramount in remote sales success. Align your brand message and offer a unified experience.
11. Agility and Adaptation
Stay flexible and adaptable. The landscape can evolve rapidly. Regularly assess your strategies, monitor performance metrics, and pivot when necessary.
12. Focus on Results
Measure success through key performance indicators like conversion rates, engagement metrics, and revenue generated. Continuously optimize your approach based on these results.
Adapting to the Evolving B2B Remote Landscape
Customer experience is the next competitive battleground.Jerry Gregoire
In a realm where information flows freely, customers are navigating a more strategic path toward purchasing products. To strengthen your B2B sales, a profound understanding of these changing customer dynamics is essential.
Today’s B2B buyers are a discerning lot, no longer content with settling for the ordinary. In fact, recent years have witnessed a seismic shift in their purchasing behaviors.
1. Rising Expectations
B2B buyers are demanding both quality and cost-effectiveness. Their expectations have skyrocketed, propelling their quest for tailored solutions that seamlessly combine usability with affordability. This has sparked fierce competition among industry rivals, with some resorting to slashing prices to woo such customers.
Certainly, meeting the expectations of prospective customers is imperative. However, rather than following the crowd and engaging in a race to the bottom with price reductions, there are more strategic routes to success.
- Enhance Value Proposition: Offering an array of benefits can be a game-changer. Shifting the focus towards the inherent value of your product can set you apart.
- Prioritize Value Over Price: Instead of reducing prices, accentuate the value your product brings to the table. Concentrate on delivering what the customers truly desire and surpassing their expectations.
- Exceed Expectations: Delve into the aspirations of your customers, ensuring not only their needs are met but also exceeded. This sets the stage for enduring loyalty.
- Value-Driven Purchases: B2B buyers are ready to invest in quality if they perceive value in return. In fact, an impressive 52% of buyers have indicated a willingness to pay a premium for prompt and efficient customer experiences.
2. Buyers Want Proof
A prevalent issue in B2B sales is the divide between what sellers promise and what they deliver. It’s common to witness companies making grand claims initially, only to leave buyers disillusioned later on. This disconnect has significantly eroded the trust B2B buyers place in sellers, leaving them yearning for tangible proof.
In the contemporary landscape of B2B sales, the cornerstone is trust – a trust that needs to be earned through actions, not just words. Distinguish yourself from those companies that overpromise and underdeliver.
- Offer Tangible Evidence: Providing substantiated proof of the value you bring to the table is a compelling strategy. Concrete data, statistics, and success stories paint a clear picture.
- Facts and Figures: Back up your claims with empirical evidence. Buyers respond well to hard numbers that validate your assertions.
- Hands-On Demonstrations: A tangible demonstration of your product’s capabilities can dispel doubts. Let buyers experience firsthand what your product can achieve.
- Empower Buyer Exploration: Extend the opportunity for buyers to interact with your product directly. Allow them to gauge its potential, fostering a sense of comfort.
3. Buyers Yearn to Speak to the Specialist
In a competitive arena, comprehensive product knowledge is the cornerstone of success. Some sellers, however, falter – either due to nerves or inadequate preparation. Adeptly reciting a handful of key features is not enough. Such sellers often lack the genuine interest to understand and assist buyers effectively.
Consequently, when buyers pose unexpected queries, these sellers falter or dodge the questions. Buyers yearn for engagement with experts who possess a profound grasp of their field and a comprehensive understanding of the products they vend.
These specialists guide buyers through the decision-making process.
- Equip Sales Reps: Equip your sales team with robust product training. Encourage them to immerse themselves in the product’s usage.
- Hands-On Familiarity: Encourage your team to use the product themselves, cultivating firsthand familiarity.
- Strategic Playbooks: Craft a comprehensive sales playbook, urging your team to employ it as their strategic compass.
Impressing buyers entails not only guiding them on the correct path but also furnishing them with compelling reasons to proceed with the B2B sales process.
4. Crafting Personalized, Real-Time Engagement
The era of generic content has come to an end. B2B buyers no longer wish to hear about what you’ve done for others; they demand insights into how your product addresses their unique needs. Their money is on the line, so personalized attention is a non-negotiable expectation.
A staggering 74% of B2B buyers affirm that personalized offers wield substantial influence over advancing customer relationships.
Furthermore, time is of the essence. Buyers expect real-time responses to their queries. A delay in attention prompts them to explore alternatives and consider rival options.
- Personalization for Loyalty: Forge loyalty by tailoring your interactions to the individual buyer’s profile.
- Customized Communication: Emails and content must be personalized, referencing the buyer’s specific issues.
- Direct Addressing: Tackle buyer challenges head-on, showcasing a keen understanding of their concerns.
- Automation for Speed: Leverage automated workflows to engage with buyers promptly, ensuring real-time responses.
Personalized and real-time communication not only crafts a positive experience for buyers but also fuels word-of-mouth endorsements.
How to Implement a Remote Sales Approach for B2B SaaS?
The transition to remote sales within B2B SaaS teams necessitates a well-orchestrated strategy to ensure effectiveness and sustained success.
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the key components that make up this transformational journey:
1. Technology Infrastructure
Investing in a robust technological framework is the cornerstone of remote sales success. Equip your team with communication and collaboration tools that effortlessly facilitate virtual meetings, video calls, and screen sharing.
Opt for platforms that seamlessly align with your brand’s identity, ensuring an uninterrupted user experience.
By embracing technology, you not only bridge the physical gap but also establish a strong virtual connection that transcends distance, thus facilitating the easy incorporation of AI in demand generation.
2. Training and Skill Development
Empowering your sales team with the necessary skills to thrive in a virtual sales environment is paramount. Comprehensive training sessions should encompass effective online communication, adept presentation techniques, and the art of building meaningful virtual relationships.
Preparing your team to navigate the digital realm ensures their competence and confidence in engaging prospects effectively.
3. Adapting Sales Processes
Remote interactions call for a reimagining of your traditional sales processes. Tailor your methodologies to seamlessly accommodate virtual presentations, demonstrations, and negotiations.
Clearly outline guidelines for these remote interactions, emphasizing the need for clarity, engagement, and a keen understanding of the client’s virtual experience.
4. Data-Driven Insights
Harness the power of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and analytics tools to collect valuable data on prospect behaviors, engagement rates, and conversion metrics.
This data-driven approach enables continuous refinement of your sales strategies, ensuring they remain agile and responsive to the ever-evolving needs of the market.
5. Personalization Strategies
In a digital landscape, personalization is the currency that drives engagement. Develop innovative strategies to deliver tailored experiences to remote clients. Craft presentations and communication that resonate with their unique pain points and aspirations.
By demonstrating a profound understanding of their needs, you cultivate a sense of trust and establish a strong foundation for enduring partnerships.
6. Clear Communication
Transparent and effective communication channels are the bedrock of successful remote sales. Establish avenues that facilitate open dialogue with clients.
Articulate the value proposition of your product or service in a compelling manner, addressing any queries or concerns promptly. This proactive communication fosters a sense of security and reinforces your commitment to their success.
7. Regular Engagement
Consistent engagement is the lifeblood of remote relationships. Create a structured rhythm of interactions with clients through virtual workshops, webinars, and personalized follow-ups.
These engagements not only serve as touchpoints but also nurture a culture of trust and credibility, laying the groundwork for enduring partnerships.
8. Measurement and Evaluation
Setting clear metrics for remote sales performance is essential. Monitor key indicators such as conversion rates, engagement levels, and revenue generated. Regularly assess your results against these benchmarks, allowing room for adaptation and fine-tuning.
This data-driven approach enables you to pivot swiftly and optimize strategies for maximum impact.
9. Collaboration Across Teams
Remote sales success is a collaborative effort. Foster seamless collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer support teams to ensure a holistic customer journey.
Maintain a unified brand message across these touchpoints, reinforcing the cohesiveness of your approach and presenting a seamless front to your clients.
Bonus: Monitor Remote Selling Sales Metrics and Activities
In your role as a sales leader, it’s imperative to establish explicit expectations for your sales team regarding meetings, opportunities, and finalized deals. The continuous monitoring and tracking of their activities become essential when the desired results are elusive. Nonetheless, while close observation is warranted, it’s pivotal to focus on gauging the outcomes of their endeavors.
Incorporate a comprehensive reporting system within your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. This mechanism enables you to take swift and informed actions if the sales reps fail to meet performance benchmarks, especially concerning precise sales projections and other metrics.
For the purpose of tracking productivity, contemplate implementing a time-tracking tool. Though seemingly elementary, this approach stems from the reality that “out of sight” often translates to “out of mind.” Inculcating a system for measuring time spent on tasks ensures a holistic view of their efforts.
As the world embraces a hybrid work model, B2B SaaS brands must also adapt their sales strategies to effectively engage clients and prospects in the digital realm.
Remote sales offer a unique opportunity to harness the benefits of technology, cost efficiency, and personalized interactions, ultimately driving growth and success in an ever-evolving business landscape.
By implementing a well-structured remote sales approach, B2B SaaS teams can navigate the challenges of this hour and position themselves as leaders in the new era of sales.