The entire sales industry, like any other, had to change its model of work from the office work to the remote one in one day. For many companies, this situation is quite new. An enormous proportion of the salesman have never operated in this way.
As a provider of the remote sales services and virtual salesmen, we feel in this environment like in the normal course of events. However, for many persons, sales without leaving home seems to be impossible.
During the talks with many companies, we even hear about freezing of the commercial operations due to an inability to hold meetings. Therefore, we have decided to prepare a brief material on how to efficiently switch from office to remote work, while maintaining high efficiency in sales.
Switch from the off-line to on-line mode
As a salesman, you need to take care of your image. This seems obvious when we think about the business cards, clothing, preparation for a meeting, etc. Still, is your image on the Internet equally cared and planned?
Nowadays, virtually every business meeting is preceded by a verification of the other party through Linkedin, GoldenLine, Xing or another platform. There is even software that, based on the e-mail address from the calendar, enables to get acquainted with a person with whom we are to meet in a while. That is why our image on the Internet is twofold of importance today and it affects heavily the first impression.
Regrettably, many salesmen, in particular with many years of experience, is closely committed to the new technologies and social networking sites. This attitude is a drag on them and if they do not get rid of it quickly, regretfully it will only be more and more difficult for them.
Therefore, while switching from the off-line work to on-line work you should, first and foremost, take care of your image.
- Does your Linkedin, GoldenLine account describe well what you do, how you support companies to solve their problems, and what they can count on by contacting you.
- Is your Facebook account public? And if so, do you care about a content you publish over there?
- Have you ever thought about building the image of a consultant with the publications in the media?
Acquiring customers on Linkedin
You should start your sales operations from the Linkedin platform. These days, it is the most expanded business social network. Many persons associate Linkedin with a recruitment platform, and in practice it is an excellent environment for the sales teams.
The Linkedin platform should become a number one source for acquiring customers/clients during your remote work. Begin with developing your profile, take care of the proper photograph and banner in the background. Write what are you involved in and how you can assist others.
Then use the Linkedin Alumni option. It is available from you’re a level of your profile. The Alumni module allows you to easily find people based on your education. Find colleagues from universities, post-graduate studies, etc., verify where they work and check if you have common business denominators. This is the quickest and easiest manner to acquire clients during the remote work.
Another very simple method of acquiring customers on the basis of Linkedin is to use the current network of contacts. For this purpose, use the Linkedin filters to find persons from our contact group who are involved in the specific activities, and then search in their network for the friends who fulfil our sales target. In the next step, we only need to ask our contact to introduce us to a selected person from his/her network with whom we would like to be connected.
“Mr. Thomas Johnson, I have noticed that there is a person X in your network of contacts, can I ask you to introduce the aforementioned person to me?”
The last element as a part of Linkedin is conducting active sales. An additional module serves for this, i.e. the Linkedin Sales Navigator. It enables to generate leads on the basis of sending the invitations and has an extensive search module for the persons and companies that is not available in the business or free Linkedin version.
Acquiring customers Cold E-mail
Cold E-mail is another very effective method to acquire clients while working in remote mode.
The Cold E-mail campaigns consist in sending the brief business e-mail messages to a specific group of the recipients. The basis of an effective campaign is a database of the companies and contact persons. For this purpose, of course, such a database should be prepared.
The easiest way to develop a database is to use plugins like Hunter.io, which based on the First Name + Surname + Company Domain will allow you to develop an email address.
The next step should be to obtain a consent for the purposes data processing and marketing. To that end, a short e-mail format should be developed, in which we contact a recipient, ask about their challenges, needs and ensure giving us a consent for the further contact and processing.
Cold e-mailing can be very effective. Within the frames of the good campaigns you can achieve 70% + Open Rate and even 35% + Response Rate.
The base, well-selected content and message subjects have an impact on such high results. When designing the campaign, you should consider what connects our potential customer and what is the most important for them at the given moment.
As a result of the Cold E-mail campaign, we will get many valuable leads and prospects (potential clients), and all of them as a result of 100% remote work. Furthermore, the method itself is also perfect for working with the customers/clients from abroad without a necessity of leaving home.
Switching to the on-line meetings is now a requirement for the effective remote work in the context of the lead acquisition. The remote salesmen simply have no option.
Nevertheless, the remote meetings do not have to be less effective. The basis of the good meeting is to ensure a suitable conversation environment. For this purpose, we recommend applications such as Zoom, Google Hangout, Whereby, Skype, Microsoft Teams.
Prior to the meeting, it is worth testing your Internet connection. Sometimes at high Internet traffic, it is enough to turn off the camera to improve the sound quality. All of the aforementioned applications enable to share a screen therefore an information exchange is really simply.
It is also a good practice to send before via Internet an agenda, instructions on how to use the meeting application, and verify who will get in touch on the other side in order to prepare ourselves better.
Tools and plug-ins
Remote salesmen should use the new technologies to improve their on-line efficiency. Nowadays, there are hundreds of the different applications supporting the commercial work on the Internet. They are called the “Sales Enablement Tools”. It is a group of the plug-ins and adds-on which role is to improve work.
- MixMax – is a Gmail plug-in that enables to automate e-mail communication, plan sending, remind, develop sending sequences, send with a delay, preview if the customer/client has read a message and most importantly – share content, specimens, templates.
- Gramarly – enables to write content in English efficiently.
- FullContact – gathers information about our potential clients on the basis of the e-mail address.
- Calendly – allows you to schedule meetings in an easy manner.
- CRM – anyone, as each one makes sense. Its absence in the company is a wrong-doing 🙂
If you want to learn about other valuable tools facilitating work in the remote mode, please read our article: 10 Applications for Remote Sale.
The above-mentioned essential activities and practices should be sufficient for the sales team working remotely to become successful in acquiring customers in the remote mode.