Remote sales to a remote buyer

This week we’re joined by four excellent sales leaders to explore how our sales engagements with buyers are changing and the opportunities in remote working.

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Reframe what sales culture actually means

What does culture mean to you?

A lot of startups and scaleups offer ping-pong tables, dogs at work, and beer taps as a trade-off for sixteen hour days to pursue an equity event that’s unlikely to happen.

With the absence of these, we’re starting to see companies reframe what it actually means to work for the business.

It’s the work itself. It’s what excites, challenges, and unites your company. 

Businesses are constructing meaningful cultures that’ focus on the content of the work rather than the content of the environment.

The remote frontier is accelerating rep onboarding

If we’re truly honest, the previous state of onboarding in most sales orgs was disjointed and unstructured. 

How many times has a process been deferred to someone in the office because “James in ops knows it better…”.

The forced shift to remote work was the big revealer. Those companies with gaps in their onboarding process and its documentation came unstuck.

Businesses are having to visibly document the step-by-step actions of everyone and are creating a blueprint for success in the process. 

The classic ride alongs of shadowing seniors and sitting in meetings are now harder to orchestrate. 

By leaning increasingly on technology solutions like Gong, Refract, and Chorus to bridge that gap, we’re actually equipping reps with the tribal knowledge that often remained siloed.

When we can collapse these conversations and meetings into podcasts and recordings that they can analyze and revisit, then our reps actually accelerate into their roles.

This is not work from anywhere…

Companies need to be mindful of the parameters in which remote work is communicated around the company.

Having a home setup that’s cultivated for home working, is an entirely different environment to being a digital nomad.

Companies can enable a work-from-home setup, but they can’t control the digital infrastructure of your local Costa or the broadband access from Copacabana.

It takes a different type of discipline and organization to work from anywhere.

Learning by osmosis was misleading

Businesses that fail to document their onboarding and ramp process limit their ability to scale, assign accountability, or refine the process. 

We may have temporarily lost the advantages of shadowing co-workers and proximity learning, but without a visible process in play, we may have been reinforcing the bad practices of others.

Create the steps, benchmarks, and milestones to keep your reps accountable and successful, but also build the communication loop to refine that process.

Messengers of change

Sales have to interrupt the status quo and be the messengers of change.

With an uncertain climate, you have to be the beachhead for customers and move them forward with confidence in a purchasing decision.

We’ve seen sales cycles stall and others accelerate. 

Businesses can’t afford to stop selling in an environment they can’t control. Sales reps need to be more consultative, empathetic, and confident than ever.

The buyer owns the powerbase

You should already have been putting the customer’s experience first.

However, the buyer knows how the dynamic has shifted heavily in their favor and plenty of companies are having to think creatively on term limits and sales.

Remote environments are not equal

The shift to remote work has widened the disadvantages for some and increased it for others.

Spare a moment for the sales workers in shared accommodation competing for bandwidth and workspace.

Their workstation might be operating out of their bed whilst tethered to a mobile hotspot. They may also be negotiating their workloads with homeschooling.

Should the ability to be productive be reflected in the targets that are being universally set and what can businesses do to bridge this divide?

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