Remote Sales: 18 Best Practices to Improve Your Strategy

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Do you want to succeed in remote sales?

There are more than 5.7 million professional salespeople in the United States (of which 52.8% work in field sales), according to data from the U.S. Census. That’s more than 3 million people who overnight started to transition as remote sellers full-time!

Undoubtedly, remote sales prove to be a dominant sales channel today. However, sales reps who aren’t familiar with the format may struggle to sell online effectively. Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

Contrary to in-person selling, which largely depends on building a relationship, physical engagement, and reading body language (and social cues), remote sales is somewhat transactional. To be successful at remote sales, you will need to leverage your extensive product knowledge, time management skills, and virtual demonstration ability.

I’m not a great salesman by nature, but I have sold and managed sales people selling various things such as home services, and B2B leads with a pretty high success rate! Take note: 80% of B2B sales now take place digitally after the pandemic, so it is more crucial than ever to master the art of remote sales.

Here’s what I’ve found is best practice for remote sales.

1. Confirm Appointments & Send Reminders

For some reason it seems that clients in the ‘remote’ world care less about your time than they do in the physical world.  In my experience with remote sales, clients will often schedule meetings, and then ghost at the time of the meeting.  

If you’ve been victim to ghosting, you know it is frustrating, rude, and a huge waste of your time time.

That’s why it is important to confirm appointments and send reminders.  I like to get direct confirmation of appointment the day we schedule and the day before.  I also like to send reminders, a lot of them, by text message.  Programs like calendly are great for this!

2. Schedule Meeting Times When You Have The Full Attention Of Your Client

I once had a meeting with the potential client and they were working on a job site.  I had another where the client was running errands and ordering Starbucks.

Both were a complete was of time because I didn’t have their attention.  Form this I learned to schedule meetings when I will have their full attention, and let them know they need to be at a desktop computer.  

If I ever ended up in that scenario again, I would simply cancel the meeting and ask when they are free with their attention available.

3. Ask For the sale

I once had a young sales person that worked for me that was great at building rapport, knowledgeable, and my customers loved, but his sales numbers were horrible.  After reviewing how he was handling clients, and consulting with experts in the field, we realized he was never asking for the sale.  

While this might seem incredible basic, it’s easy to overlook and makes a huge impact on your sales performance whether doing things in person or selling remotely.  Simply asking “are you ready to get started?” or “which serving offering would you like?” yields 10x better results than simply saying “thanks for meeting me today, let me know when you’ve made a decision.

4. Master the Art of Time Management

You probably know how time is everything in sales– and the same can be said for remote sales. If anything, time can either make or break your remote deal.

Selling remotely provides you more time since you don’t have to commute or travel to meet your buyers in person. That said, you have the power to maximize the hours in your day.

I know it’s challenging to keep track of all your interactions and progress with each prospect or deal simultaneously. To help you streamline the process, you may want to build a regular schedule in your calendar to focus more on your daily high-priority tasks.

5. Practice effective personal communication

A salesperson must be able to contact and communicate– this tale is as old as time. If you want to improve your communication skills, ask your prospects how they wish to communicate with you. This touch of personalization may just help you close the deal.

6. Recognize the primary problems remote salespeople encounter

When addressing complex issues in real-time, the more you are aware of these potential issues– the better off you will be.

One of these issues is communication silos. Simply put, communication silos happen when teams operate independently and don’t frequently communicate information with other departments or divisions of the company.

The issue with these kinds of silos forming throughout your organization is that individual teams may lose sight of your company’s larger objectives. The sales cycle might be affected, for instance, if your account executives cannot see the types of inquiries your customer support staff handles daily.

And if you don’t address this problem head-on, you risk falling behind on essential initiatives and missing your sales goals.

7. Leverage Video Throughout the Sales Process

With virtual conversations, losing that traditional hands-on interaction with prospects is normal. This makes it extra challenging to stand out.

Not all hope is lost, however. You can leverage video to help capture the attention of your potential customers. The good news is you’re not limited to using video in demos and presentations. You can also use video throughout the sales process– from prospecting to closing.

For instance, you can insert a video in your prospecting sequences and email engagements. During meetings, keep your video on and encourage your prospects to do the same. This will help you be more relatable in a virtual setting.

8. Leverage Content in your Remote Selling Strategy

If you still think content is just a marketing thing, that’s where you’re wrong. Content marketing is just as important in sales. Why, you ask? Good content can sell when you can’t.

Think about it this way: you cannot be in front of your customers all the time (whether virtually or in person). But, this shouldn’t hinder your sales efforts.

When your prospects recognize they are dealing with a problem and are looking for an immediate solution, you’d want to reach out and share valuable content that addresses their pain points in particular. This includes infographics or helpful blog posts.

Prospects close to making a decision can validate their choice if you send helpful content their way.

9. Master the Follow-up Process

Remember that online sales cycles are shorter than in-person ones. You need to master the art of following up. This means you must communicate clear next steps for your prospects, so they aren’t left wondering what’s next for them.

Ensure that the next meeting is scheduled before leaving the one you’re currently in. Always set expectations early on so you don’t leave them hanging. Use helpful phrases like “We’ll cover this next meeting,” and so on.

10. Establish a Dedicated Workspace

Similar to the first tip on this list, you’d want to have a dedicated home office space. This allows you to avoid distractions. Additionally, it will enable you to maintain a separation between your personal and professional lives– which will boost productivity and prevent burnout.

Having a different workplace from your living environment can help you concentrate and put your brain in “work mode.”

It will be quite challenging to concentrate if you’re trying to do your work when family members or roommates are in the same area going about their daily lives. Your productivity will be affected if your roommates, spouse, or children constantly disturb you as you pull off a sales pitch.

11. Pay attention to time zones

Never forget to include the time zone when scheduling meetings with your prospects.

One benefit of remote selling is the ease of communicating with clients, regardless of location. But, you still need to consider that a client may reside in a different time zone than you.

A good rule of thumb is to indicate the time zone you’re in all of your correspondence. It would also be best to select the best time to send your nurture sequences when all of your customer bases are likely still awake (based on the time zone in which they reside).

12. Monitor your clients

Like plenty of other things, data is king. Keep track of information on your prospects and client for remote selling, with relevant KPIs including the following:

  • What products consumers look up online
  • What they add to their virtual shopping carts
  • How many people view, like, or share your social media posts
  • The average time visitors spend on various web pages or areas of your website

13. Use Different Tools for Online Sales

Different tools and software are needed for remote selling than typical, in-person sales. Start with using automatic email software to send your sales content emails automatically. You can set up your clients to receive pre-written emails automatically in response to certain trigger events, such as when they sign up for your email list or buy anything from your online store.

Additionally, you can generate sales content in advance (nurture sequences) that are automatically sent on a weekly or monthly basis using automated email software.

14. Build Relationships via Social Media

In-person sales involve hanging out at the country club to expand their network… But what if you’re selling remotely? Well, social media is your best friend.

Start by forming connections with your clients and prospects on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This depends on whatever makes the most sense for your business or the clients you serve.

Then, you can strike up a friendly dialogue. Ask for opinions– post informative information to your feed. Additionally, if you have an idea that may be of benefit, ensure to speak with your prospects directly. Just refrain from mass sending your messages as you want to avoid being flagged as spam.

15. Get to Know Your Target Audience

The keyword here is to personalize all your communications. Before you record your video messages, take some time to analyze your target audience.

Create a unique experience for your prospects by personalizing your messaging. Remember that a more compelling pitch is always one that is individualized and personalized.

16. Don’t Push or Oversell your Offer

It’s best to let your prospects digest the information after sending them another customized video pitch. Give them time and space to react before bombarding them with emails, or they might think of it as another sales-y spam campaign. The key is to follow up with them at suitable intervals strategically.

17. Ensure That Your Content Includes Call to Action (CTA)

An effective technique to prompt your prospect to reply immediately is to include a call to action. 

After potential clients have viewed your pitch and become familiar with you personally, a call to action button like “Click here” or “Get to know more” will compel them to book or schedule a meeting.

18. Ask for Feedback

To improve your customer satisfaction rates, gather customer feedback at each level of the sales process. This will help you quickly determine which sales tactics (or pitches) are most effective for each potential buyer.

Gone are the days when a salesperson needed to spend hours in a boardroom and travel great distances to persuade a prospect. Today, you can use your computer or smartphone to reach hundreds of prospects and close sales from anywhere.

Selling virtually or remotely is a great strategy to attract clients worldwide and boost sales. But, many salespeople have leaped into selling virtually without adequate preparation, so it’s crucial to know the best practices for remote sales if you’re switching from traditional to virtual sales.

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!