Brad was joined by his colleague Boyd Rose, and the two of them spoke about the continued amplification of Sales teams and their performance during the unexpected “work-from-home” mandate. Put simply, and in the context of the current climate, Brad identified four key elements to selling remotely.
Key elements to successful remote sales teams
Although we are more connected than ever, with digital connectivity comes more distractions. In fact, studies have shown that organisations are five times less productive than in the 1950s. Companies want to say a lot, but to a smaller, more targeted audience. What does this mean? This means that you have to work on tailored messaging.
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of sales will come from 20% of clients. Sales teams who can most accurately define this 20% segment of their client base will be able to deliver more targeted value, and in exchange will have these clients deliver the most value to their business. By stripping away the waste, or diminishing returns of the other 80%, teams can work far more effectively. Critical to this is an understanding at a granular level what this ideal client looks like. Remotely working provides a unique opportunity to take the time to step back, understand and reduce these waste areas, and focus on driving deeper connections in order to truly understand where client value lies.
2. Elevate yourself
The approach salespeople take to customers will typically fall into one of three categories:
Transactional: usually driven by price, or addressing of a surface level pain point identified by the client
Problem Solver: typically focussed only on a single aspect of a function within a business.
Partner: derived from an ongoing understanding of the client's organisational culture, strategic direction, and ways it is applied across all functions and divisions of the business. This level of relationship is typically longer-term and of most value, however it's far more complex, and requires sales teams operating on a higher level of sophistication than their competition.
Only through understanding the organisational directives of their clients will sales teams be able to provide support at this critical, strategic level; and identify a true synergy between organisational purposes. In order to drive this level of engagement, trust is paramount; and comprised of three aspects - empathy, relatedness and validity.
3. Sales Process
Understanding clients through the use of Customer Journey Mapping will be imperative. For a business to put themselves into the shoes of their customers is to remove preconceived notions or untested perceptions to truly understand what it is the client values most, and how to deliver this as effectively as possible. For maximum effect, Customer Journey Mapping needs to be undertaking holistically. That is, cross-functionally across businesses; including marketing, sales, customer service, support, manufacturing, supply chain and service.
By understanding how customers interface with your business, and the messaging of the sales teams in the market; influence can be exerted to potential clients before any interpersonal touchpoint has been triggered. The process of commercial storytelling (focussed, fact-driven, and future-oriented) will ensure movement through the sales process to close with abundance. But remember, always seek to understand before you try to be understood.
Underpinning all else is the culture of a sales team - In order to achieve maximum performance, engagement and alignment of sales teams is critical; and in the agile framework this is driven by the daily scrum or stand up (now facilitated digitally). This short, sharp, action-oriented meeting is driven by visualised figures, informed by organisational requirements and broken down to the most granular form to allow them to be tackled in small, actionable parcels. A cultural approach is imperative to maximising the performance of sales teams. Culture is especially important during this time of high stress and pressure as it helps team members look out for each other.
Actions and measures conveyed in a visual scoreboard is the next critical agenda item for an effective scrum. Typically, key figures for any sales teams are budgetary requirements, however breaking this lagging measure down into weekly leading measures such as call figures, lead response rate, client meetings, and demonstrations allows for a far more dynamic and responsive action plan.
Agile teams and scrums allow teams to quickly respond and correct if things start to steer off course, collaborate effectively, share significant wins to boost morale, and work through roadblocks with different perspectives and thinking encouraging a greater flow of ideas. High performers have their activities emulated and shared to help elevate lower performers, and synergies across the client base can have compounding impacts for sales across sectors or industries.