5 tips for successful remote selling in BtoB
For many salespeople used to face-to-face meetings, the last few months have been a real challenge with the obligation to work remotely. There have been countless conversations where managers have told us “I need contact, to see my customers, to sell. At a distance, it can’t work.”
How can companies ensure that salespeople are as effective remotely as they are face-to-face with customers and prospects?
We talk about it here with 5 tips to make a successful transition to remote prospecting and sales in B2B.
1. Giving up limiting and negative beliefs
Our brain can be our best friend but also our worst enemy. As we face the unknown and a new way of doing things, we all react differently. We get out of our comfort zone, out of our habits.
However, the intention that we will put is a game changer. It is not necessary to be a doctor of psychology or an expert in neuroscience to know that negative thoughts do not generate positive effects. Quite the contrary.
Therefore, by nourishing negative thoughts about remote client relationship, or by saying that it is impossible to apply it in your case, you are already putting yourself in a situation of failure.
The good news is that you don’t have to be 100% convinced that digital and remote customer relations can be effective for this to be the case either.
To sum up: going into “test” mode will suffice at first. Be ready for it to work and to challenge your prejudices and beliefs.
And everything will be fine! Even better: you might enjoy it ????
2. Revise your business approach
For many BtoB companies, the prospecting strategy used until a few months ago was based on a strong physical proximity with prospects and clients. Client hunting, face-to-face meetings, live presentation and demo, etc.
This commercial approach is made almost impossible with the diffusion of teleworking measures. In addition, there is the almost total absence of events (trade shows, networking, etc.) and imposed social distancing measures. Faced with this reality, B2B companies operating on a traditional customer acquisition mode must rethink their commercial approach.
Before getting too depressed, here are 2 good news!
First good news: from constraint comes creativity!
Second good news: people, including your clients and prospects, adapt.
- Formalize your current business approach and acquisition tunnel. Describe this step by step. If there are several possible cases, formalize the most common ones, the ones that usually convert the best.
- Think about how you can transform the steps that require face-to-face contact to be carried out successfully from a distance. This will surely require adjustments. The idea is not to get exactly the same result as face-to-face. The goal is to continue to be able to find and convert new customers and serve them well.
- Evaluate the steps where you need to strengthen your skills. Digital prospecting and social selling seems to be a good lead for your marketing and sales team but you lack experience? You think that webinars would be a good way to communicate with prospects but you don’t know how to do it?
To save time, get help (that’s what we’re here for!) or get some training. This will save you time, long-term skills and money too.
3. Work on value, value, value
More than 60% of the buyer’s decision is made before he or she even picks up the phone to talk to you or your competitors. In concrete terms, the discovery is made before the first contact.
It is therefore essential to start building and bringing value to your customers before you even meet them.
How do you do this? By showing that you are the right company to solve his problem and by helping him make the right decision. We can’t repeat it enough around here: B2B decisions are primarily based on emotion before being supported by rational arguments. If the subject interests you, we’ll talk about it here.
The less face-to-face interactions you have with your prospects, the more imperative it is to work on the notoriety, trust, authority and legitimacy of your offer and your company.
- Offer value-added content in which you already help your customers solve their problems.
Example: webinars, downloadable content on your website, customer case studies…
- Clarify your value proposition. Yes, you’re constantly being told, but a strong value proposition and pitch have an almost magical effect on prospects. It would be a real shame to deprive yourself of the Harry Potter wand if you can hold it in your hands…
- (Re)work on your offers! As a reminder, a product or service is not an offer. A price is not an offer. A catalog is not an offer. What is a good offer? It’s when your customers feel that they will receive a lot of value (more than the price displayed).
4. Invest your new skills
As mentioned above, managing the distance selling process in B2B may require the acquisition of new skills: remote prospecting, sales approach, visibility development, social selling or email marketing…
The use of training and coaching can be a real plus in speeding up the transition. Why is this? Because the unknown is frightening and adopting new habits and tools can create fears and apprehension. It is totally human.
- Choose training given by professionals in the “field”, people who practice these techniques every day with other companies or for themselves.
- Choose training that includes a practical part with workshops to start applying the techniques taught.
- Opt for training that can be financed by your OPCA! This allows you to acquire new skills internally without impacting your company’s cash flow.
5. Admit the cost of doing nothing
The general consensus is that the transition to distance selling has been unexpected and complicated. This change can raise concerns about budgeting, business impact, and more.
If your company weighs the benefits and risks, the cost of inaction will be far more detrimental than the cost of changing to distance selling tools and techniques.
To reduce the overall cost and lower the risks, consider hiring a company that specializes in B2B marketing to help you implement the strategies described above.
So ask yourself: what risk(s) are you taking by doing nothing or putting off doing it until tomorrow?
Now is the time to provide your sales reps (or the people in charge of selling in your company, including you!) with the strategy, tools and support they need to excel at working remotely.