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Leslie Groene Website Homepage May 2021, Vol. 190

Selling Strategies Moving Forward

By nature, salespeople are social creatures that thrive on the energy and nuances of face-to-face communication to close deals. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown that into disarray, forcing us to adopt remote selling techniques in a sort of 'trial by digital fire' to hit targets.
These remote selling strategies are unlikely to fall away anytime soon. Although certain markets are reopening - allowing employees to return to the office and for tradeshows to recommence - there can be no argument that remote/virtual environments are now baked-in to our processes for good.
This means that salespeople need to master a new set of skills for success, but what does that mean for you and your sales team? Here are four remote selling tactics that will set you up for success in the COVID-19 era and beyond:

  1. Add 'tech-savvy' to your sales wizardry!
    According to a recent report by Mckinsey, 96% of B2B sales teams have fully or partially pivoted to remote selling. What's more telling is that 79% of B2B companies said that they are very or somewhat likely to sustain these changes for 12 or more months after the COVID-19 pandemic.
    As the remote sales environment is here to stay, you need to be an expert at running and facilitating multi-person meetings on video platforms like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams. With face-to-face communication, you have the advantage of 'reading' behavioral cues to determine when to close in or back off. Remote environments, however, don't offer you this luxury. Attention is also more difficult to command over video and people are easily distracted - or put-off - by unprofessional technical glitches. For these reasons, a sales professional needs to ensure:
    • Audio and visuals are crystal clear throughout the presentation. This may mean having a run-through with colleagues before the meeting.
    • A working knowledge of the tech and its abilities. For example, how to share your presentation or proposal in real-time and how to draw on your slides while presenting.

Questions like "Where is the screen-share button?" or "How do I make annotations?" are immediate red flags to prospects (even if you weren't asking them) and make your pitch seem unprofessional and unplanned.

  1. Get comfortable with sending one-on-one videos
    While you can't meet people face-to-face, you can still be personal during remote selling. Video platforms that help close the physical distance to 'keep a human connection with customers and coworkers when you can't be there in person'. Creating and sending tailored videos to prospective clients - instead of text-heavy, impersonal emails - is proving to be an effective sales strategy in these times.
    That's the kind of initiative that closes sales. Not only does it communicate the product's selling point in an inventive way, but it also makes the prospect feel valued because of the effort that went into creating the personalized videos.
  2. Get close(er) to your customers
    Social distancing doesn't mean that you can't get close to your customers. In fact, remote selling makes it simpler and more convenient to converse with prospects on their terms.
    In the future, there's no reason why you can't join customer service calls to learn about the customer's pain points first-hand. By doing so, you'll get a better understanding of a customer's buying process and the questions they have about your products and services, as well as the challenges or roadblocks to purchase along the buyer's journey.
  3. Reach out with empathy
    It isn't just sales reps who are working remotely, it's the decision-makers too -- and these C-Suite executives and strategic buyers are in the midst of an economic crisis that may very well be damaging their business. For this reason, it's best we reach out with empathy to understand their needs and pain points before trying to sell them our products or services.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

11:00am PT | 12:00pm MT

Free to PIASC members only


The world is constantly changing and you need to constantly change with it. The "new normal" will require us to manage client relationships in new and creative ways, and find new prospects using different, customized approaches.

What are the best management practices today for effectively leading your company and sales team to attain the success you want? How can you lead with conviction and still stay focused on the top line? Join us for this webinar to find out!

Topics to be covered include:

  • Creating prospecting strategies that will connect you to new customers
  • Understanding the "new normal" sales cycle
  • New ways to connect with clients—both virtually and in person
  • Creative ways to stand out for engagement with prospects

In addition, you'll also have an opportunity to ask your questions live during the Q&A session.