At the beginning of this year, because of the quarantine, most companies locked their doors, and employees had to start working from home. Although before the pandemic, they were more than 4.5 million remote workers in the US, many companies weren’t prepared for this. Sales teams, specifically, are one of the areas that are currently struggling the most to adapt. Mainly because they weren’t ready to change their strategies that usually involve face to face interactions. How to create lead generation strategies remotely? How can teams reach their goals if they are not at the same physical table to discuss ideas?
Sales teams can succeed in a digital world if they have the right management strategies for their organizations but also if they use the right tools. Technology is taking over the world, but teams can take over technology and have the desired results.
The Challenges Sales Teams are Facing in a Virtual World
With or without the pandemic happening, the sales team is facing a harsh reality: the Digital world is taking over. Companies are starting to realize that it’s unnecessary to travel and spend money on social events to generate sales. Yet, for many sales teams, without human interaction, it’s impossible to succeed. And for teams with this philosophy, the future isn’t looking as bright as they would want to.
Another critical factor that is worrying many employees is that technology is replacing many jobs in the sales area. From 2009 to 2019, W.W Grainger cut many of its locations and field sales jobs. The reason? They realized that they could invest more in digital tools to replace jobs from people – because, in the long term, it’s cheaper. And many other companies have faced (and still are) facing this.
Yet, technology isn’t the enemy. The growth of remote work comes along the growth of thousands of possibilities to make your team grow and succeed. There are tools and so much information available. Sales teams can not only survive but also thrive in this new digital era by embracing these changes. It all reduces how well organizations are being managed and the tools they are using to help them succeed.
Strategies for Successful Remote Management
As most companies experiencing remote work know, leading a team on-site is not the same as leading a distributed team. There are many factors, and even skills, that are necessary for successful remote management. Before starting to plan your sales strategies or looking for the best tools, your priority needs to be on management. Here are four simple (but powerful) strategies that have led me to guide my team the right way:
Communication in remote teams is what makes everything work. If you have the right communication guidelines, developing projects will be easier than you think. The first step is to create clear rules regarding how your team will be communicating. This means to have certain points covered, such as:
- What tools will your team be using?
- How will those tools be used?
- How do meetings take place? Is there a protocol?
- When there are urgent matters, how can your team reach out to you?
2. Hire the right people:
Not everyone likes or knows how to work remotely. You would think that because you have more flexibility and a better work/life balance, most people will enjoy working from home, but no. It’s hard to believe, but there are still people who love the office! Whenever you are interviewing someone, make sure they know how to use technology, work with a distributed team, and communicate efficiently (not only verbally but also written). A piece of advice: also hire for their soft skills, especially when it comes to hiring remote developers. Technical abilities are crucial, but soft skills determine how this person will adapt and contribute to the team.
3. Efficient organization:
There are so many useful tools for organizing remote teams. To name a few, tools such as Asana, Basecamp, or Trello, help you set up a workflow that allows each member of their team to perform their role better. Instead of micromanaging your employees, with these tools, you’ll see what everyone is up to and how things are evolving – without even having to ask.
4. Strong connections:
Now wifi connection, obviously this is important but I mean make strong bonds with your employees. You might be their manager, but you are also their leader, which is a big difference. While managers keep everything under control and know what everyone has to do, leaders inspire their team. Helping employees be better and passionate will lead them to deliver outstanding results. How to connect more with your team? Try encouraging more virtual water coolers in your company. For example, one Friday a month, you could organize a happy hour via conferencing platforms.
How to Get More Leads in a Digital World?
The simple answer to get more leads when you work in a remote sales team is by having the right tools. But besides analyzing which are the best tools that will help you reach your team’s goal, it’s crucial that you know your audience and what type of customer you are trying to attract.
Sales teams know what they’re selling like the palm of their hand. But sometimes they are not I sure how to qualify their leads and prospects. Or they are stuck with the basic dilemma of what is the best digital approach to achieve more and more customers.
These are 3 of the best ways that sales teams can implement to get more leads:
1. Email marketing:
Everyone uses email! Whether it’s Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo, all professionals need emails; it’s the basic form of digital communication. And email marketing is one of the most effective methods to turn users into customers. You send an attractive email with all the information about your product or service, and if it’s well written and engaging enough, you’ll have more customers in no time. Another aspect to consider when it comes to email marketing is using marketing automation tools that come with CRM integrations, allowing you to stay on top of your leads.
Another popular way to generate leads can be through paid advertising. Although they need to spend money on this, many companies think it’s one of the most effective ways of getting the brand a strong digital presence. By setting their ads on Google, Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn, it’s easier to reach potential clients.
3. Good content:
If you run a website, and you want to capture leads through your company’s blog, then you need to prioritize the type of content you are uploading. Many factors take place when running a blog; factors such as SEO optimization, website speed, the design, and overall the consistency and quality of your content.
Tech Tools Sales Teams Need to Use
The fact that most interaction has gone virtual doesn’t mean the sales team needs to run for their lives. Fortunately, as time passes by, more and more tools appear in the sales market, leading this to be much easier, effective, and headed to success if they are well implemented. Here are the tech tools your sales teams should use to thrive in the digital panorama.
During the last couple of years, sales and marketing teams have faced the dilemma of choosing the best sales strategies. The famous inbound vs. outbound debate! Nowadays, most organizations have strengthened their digital presence, with solid websites and content, inbound sales have increased significantly. And some tools help teams boost their leads efficiently.
Hubspot is one of the best inbound marketing and automation software platform. It offers attractive features such as email marketing (up to 2000 emails per month), reporting dashboard, lead optimization, email tracking, forms, chatbot builder, among many others. And one of the best parts is that the platform is free!
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn has more than 690 million users! Imagine how many potential customers you could get if you take advantage of this platform. And although you don’t have to pay anything to be a user, one of its premium versions can significantly help your sales team. With the Sales Navigator account, you’ll receive custom lead recommendations, use InMail to contact any other LinkedIn member (with the free version this is not possible), and have a dashboard to help you measure and track your social selling results. You’ll also be able to access an advanced search to help you find the right leads for your business.
If you are looking to turn more and more sales prospects into actual customers, ToutApp is the best sales prospecting tool that’ll simplify your remote selling. One of its best features is that your team will be able to create a pipeline playbook. This will help you and your team to organize throughout the whole sales process. Plus, it provides several ways that you can improve your pipelines like integrated email and phone activities. Or with sales campaigns. ToutApp also includes useful features that help you track your email, websites, and documents to get a clear idea of how clients are engagement.
If you are in the desperate quest of a sales lead management tool, consider InsideSale as your savior. It includes attractive features such as lead and accounting scoring, opportunity scoring, and sales communications. But without a doubt, one of its best features is email and web tracking. With this tool, you’ll understand how leads are interacting with your emails and the content you create.
One of the mistakes the digital sales team often makes is to work harder but not smarter. Yesware is one of the tools that will help you analyze your data to put extra effort into what’s worth it. Yesware focuses on the action; they provide actionable advice based on your data. Also, they are real-time results that are perfect whenever you need to act immediately if it’s the case. When you use Yesware, it will help you be on the same page with every member of the team. You’ll know the necessary steps to improve your sales strategy based not on what you think but the real data presented to you.
Be remote or have remorse
Or, in other words, go big or go home. If you are still suffering from the digital changes occurring in the world, you need to change your perspective. Yes, it isn’t easy at the beginning to gain leads and customers when you don’t have the human interaction you were accustomed to. But it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Remote work is still being explored, with new tools, strategies, and ways of connecting. It’s all about taking advantage of this and trying to be on top of your game by learning of all the new things that come to the market every day.
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