Your outside sales reps may no longer have feet on the street but that doesn’t mean their classic sales methods aren’t just as effective over the phone. Don’t look at this transition as a negative — instead, consider this a perfect time to refresh your reps on company protocol and best sales practices. On the other side of this process, you will have an arsenal of versatile sales reps that can be successful in any position. Here are some of our ideas that are sure to keep your team sharp:
Introduce outside reps to online prospecting:
Outside sales usually consist of pounding the pavement to find new prospects and then connecting with those prospects via in-person meetings. Considering social distancing is in effect, it’s time to teach those reps how to use online prospecting. One of the easiest ways to start online prospecting is list curation. List curation is important as it assists in finding the best contacts to fit your ideal customer profile (ICP). Some of our favorite list curation tools are Zoominfo, Clearbit, Find that Lead, and Lead411. Additionally, we recommend A.I. app CrystalKnows. CrystalKnows allows you to view the personality profiles of others so that you know how to adjust your pitch accordingly. For example, “Fred appreciates visuals and enjoys expressive conversations. Fred might prefer to get to the point quicker, whereas you tend to make small talk.”
Familiarize them with your company technology:
Most outside sales reps are on the road the majority of their time. Outside reps are accustomed, almost exclusively, to mobile technology — switching to a desktop could be a challenging transition. Schedule team lunches to go through your standard operating procedures to ensure everyone is using the tools in the same way. This confirms that any reporting you are using for your board or exec meetings reflect an accurate lay of the land on sales efforts.
This could also be a great time to have reps test any new technology you’ve been considering. Gather their feedback on likes and dislikes, usage metrics, and ease of use. One of the hardest parts of introducing new tech is employee buy-in, so this is a fantastic hands-on approach to promote tech adoption.
Master Online Demos:
Often the greatest challenge that outside sales reps face when transitioning to inside sales is assimilating to online demos. The key to any sales conversation is being able to read cues from your buyer. Encourage reps to use a conferencing app like Zoom or an email video demo tool like Loom. This will allow them to have a virtual face-to-face connection with prospects and make it easier for them to continue an active listening practice that they used in outside sales calls.
This may be a difficult transition period for your reps, encouraging them to add their personal touch to their sales process from behind the computer. Remember, if anything, sales reps will come out of this on the other side with a broader skillset that will benefit your company in the long run. If you find yourself needing assistance in getting your team up and running, feel free to schedule a meeting with one of our team members.