Remote selling techniques from leaders at Salesforce, Zoom and DocuSign
Remote selling is now the standard practice for many organisations who have accelerated their digital sales model over the last six months, due to the ongoing disruptions of 2020. In a McKinsey B2B Survey, over 96% of small to medium B2B organisations said they had shifted the way they go to market this year and 80% of organisations expect to keep the changes up to 12 months or more after COVID-19.
Technology gives sales teams access to leaders and decision-makers in previously unparalleled ways. This change has made the sales process easier in many ways, but also very competitive.
In this article, we explore the top challenges of remote selling and best practices for the future of sales.
What are some of the key challenges facing sales teams when remote selling?
The top challenges facing sales departments and organisations today include:
- Keeping deals moving along the sales process
- Engaging customers and maintaining customer relationships
- Collaboration to close deals
DocuSign recently hosted a virtual event with Zoom and Salesforce called Keep the World Selling and Buying. The event focussed on how businesses can accelerate the sales process in these challenging times, explained how the buying experience has changed and highlighted the best practices for the future of sales from the Zoom, DocuSign and Salesforce teams.
How to succeed in remote sales
Sales teams have had to get used to the world of remote sales quickly–digital tools like Zoom, DocuSign and Salesforce are facilitating the change. Online meetings, video conferencing, electronic agreements and CRM systems are used frequently.
In the webinar Keep the World Selling and Buying, leaders of the organisations that create remote selling tools came together to share remote selling techniques and tips, with guidance on how to adapt.
Always be helping
Executive Vice President of Sales Cloud at Salesforce, Doug Camplejohn, says, “The old world model of ‘always be closing’ was already on its way out–it’s dead. I think the new mantra has to be ‘always be helping’.” Doug stresses that it’s essential to be agile as markets fluctuate and learning to understand your customers’ business and competitive landscape is critical. Where possible, offer flexibility in deal processes and structure to accommodate client requirements.
Always be listening
Ryan Azus, Chief Revenue Officer at Zoom, says, “You can’t pretend to have all the answers to what the future holds. It’s more important to build hypotheses with customer’s and collaborate to plan what the future might be. Then plan your product and offering to fit with those scenarios.” The panel agrees that salespeople need to become adept listeners and ask questions that really help to understand their prospective customers. Ryan says sales teams should be encouraged to ask “What does buying look like in your organisation today? Don’t just guess.”
Take time to understand how the buying experience has changed.
Scott Olrich, COO at DocuSign, says, “Buyers are really looking for speed and expertise from companies.” In the current situation, buyers expect salespeople to be empathetic to their situation. Scott says that organisations are looking at “how are they going to help them right now, during the recovery and position them to succeed in the future.”
The ongoing pandemic brings deep uncertainty which can be paralysing for some buyers and can create a lack of confidence in what the future holds. It has changed the buying experience in the following ways:
- Buyers are focused on corporate buying priorities, and on tools and technologies that are absolutely essential.
- Buyers are bringing in additional people to the decision-making process–scrutiny is increasing, and budgets are decreasing.
- Buyers are looking for speed and transparency in how the tools and technology they purchase and use will help them recover and move forward quickly.
Building and Maintaining Trust
Some organisations may have already built a relationship based on trust with their customers, but during this time, it’s vital to invest to keep that trust. Doug Camplejohn notes that trust is built with consistent behaviour over time. Trust can be eroded quickly. One way to build trust is to demonstrate how other customers have adapted and succeeded with your product during these changing times. Olrich agrees that the need for recent customer case studies is more critical now than ever. “You really need to be able to talk through the customer lens and be able to articulate how you can drive urgency, how you’ve successfully done that and how you provide an essential solution for others,” said Olrich.