The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically transformed the way we fundamentally function as a global economy. Businesses, governments, and individuals have had to take large strides in their preset ways of functioning if only to reduce the personal/societal impact of the losses caused by the pandemic. With on-hand tools for help, both governments and individuals have had a smooth transition into the new normal of online everything. Businesses, on the other hand, have had to scale down their foundational work bases and scale up their remote operations – something often considered optional by various organizations up until now.
To not drown in the dying economy, various solutions popped up in rapid succession for the survival of everyone’s business. Albeit the solutions suggested were commonplace, almost every major company has had to mold them to suit their consumers’ needs while not having to expend heavily on them. Some of those solutions, however, have gone on to become a permanent part of various workforces. One such example is the formation of virtual salesforces.
Before answering how you can build a successful virtual salesforce for your business, it is important to understand and reaffirm some basic definitions.
What is virtual sales?
Virtual sales is the process by which sales representatives engage with customers on a remote basis, usually utilizing long-distance communication techniques. It began with the telephone in the late 19th century and is currently the lifeboat of many, many business solutions around the globe.
While other tools such as B2B lead generation and sales-qualified meetings (which is what we, at FunnL, do!) are gaining ground in this major e-commerce space, virtual sales is what facilitates the transactions between customer and company smoothly. Here are eight ways that you can succeed at virtual sales.
Why should you build a virtual salesforce?
How can you build a successful virtual salesforce?
While there are various ways to go out and build a successful virtual salesforce for your organization, it is important to understand what a salesforce does to understand how to build one.
A virtual salesforce is an outsourced sales team that takes up the virtual sales portion of your business. They sign in from remote locations, thereby eliminating the need for extra office space expenditures, and utilize technology stacks that are commonplace these days, and often cheaper than a conventional sales team that is always required to be present in the office.
Here are five steps you can take to build and maintain a successful virtual salesforce:
Clarity takes priority:
Due to the remote nature of your virtual salesforce, it is important to keep everything clear and to the point. Be it what you expect from them, understanding what they expect from you, or what customers expect from your virtual sales teams, it is important to help them understand the outcomes and inputs in a very clear manner. Cleaning up misunderstandings is a time and money dump in and of itself, let alone cleaning up the mess left behind by remote teams.
Watch the KPIs:
While remote sales teams are expected to understand what the purpose of their formation is and what the expected outcomes are, you cannot measure their efficiency purely by output. You cannot keep a close eye on them, but you can keep an eye on their key performance indicators and indirectly obtain a deeper understanding of the workflow of your virtual sales team.
Manage, don’t micromanage:
One of the major aspects of virtual sales teams is a greater sense of autonomy and disassociation from conventional management restrictions. Apart from this, your company is not required to hire individual management specialists to monitor them, lowering your expenses. Accommodate your virtual salesforce with platform options and toolset choices, and avoid trying to conform their workflow to your conventional office standards.
Keep investments concrete:
It is often tempting and easy to invest in an array of tools that your virtual salesforce often ends up passively (if not actively) avoiding. Consult with them regularly, and keep yourself updated on what tools are being used in what manner. Ask yourself how you can help them perform better, and ask them how they think they can perform better. Such informed investments often tend to pay off in the long run.
One of the key mistakes that companies often make when it comes to succeeding with virtual sales teams is the idea that conventional communication methods are enough to convey clearly to remote sales representatives. This is often the first step towards miscommunicated mistakes and heavily compensated consequences. Keep your communication channels open, clear, and frequently updated. Put all discussions in writing, and record and share regular meetings for your virtual salesforce to keep track of what’s current.
While it may be apparent, the benefits of having a virtual sales team are that they can work when and where you need them. You don’t have to worry about paying for expensive office space or meeting room rental, so it ends up being cheaper than the alternatives. And since there is no commute time, your employees get more done in less time — which means better results, always!
At FunnL, we are helping major companies across the world with sales-qualified meetings and B2B lead generation services. We are the best at what we are because we have the best with us. We have been the reason for 25,000+ successful SQMs, and you can get in touch with us to help you get your next customer.