Selling remotely is nothing new, however, it’s clear that the pandemic has brought significant changes in this area. Companies have moved from selling remotely when necessary to remote selling being an absolute necessity, and in order to succeed and thrive in this generation, companies are going to have to adapt remote selling into their long-term plans.

As a sales professional with 40 years of experience and a leader of a remote company during the pandemic, I know that business owners need to ensure their sales teams have the right skillsets to sell successfully. Here are 5 skillsets I’ve found that you need to sell remotely.

  1. Flexibility

Being flexible is a necessary skill for working and selling remotely. It’s important to remember that each customer is not the same, and the type of technology they use won’t always be the same either. Although every company should have a standard app or program that employees use for online meetings, it’s a good idea to have a bit of breathing room in this area. 

Allowing your sales team to use a range of computer programs or apps could help some of your customers. Firstly, if there are technical problems with one program or app, the meeting could be transferred to another. More importantly, if a customer is not technologically advanced, the sales team would have the room to be flexible and would be able to carry out the meeting with the program or app the customer is more comfortable using. This does mean that your sales team will have to be trained to make sure the online sales meetings are all at the same standard, regardless of the program or app used.

  1. Be Teachable

As communicating with customers online has increased, the technology has improved along with it.  There are so many features that were simply not available before. Being teachable and being ready to learn is the way to continue business and sales growth. 

It would be easy to be comfortable with the skills already acquired and to stop there. However, online communication tools will continue to be developed. Features such as live transcription have become easy to use and available for us all, and newer tools are constantly becoming available. Keeping up with new developments will impress your prospects and customers, because your meetings will constantly improve and become more interactive.

  1. Communicating Well Verbally

Having strong communication skills is crucial for remote sales. Communicating verbally in person compared to remotely are different, and they feel different too. An awkward silence in person seems easier to resolve in comparison to an awkward silence on a video conferencing call. Mastering verbal communication for an online meeting can be the difference between gaining a customer and losing a sale. 

Give your sales team time to practice different techniques with each other and to share their results. This approach will not only help your team to raise their standard in this area of expertise, but it can be a great team bonding activity as well. When practicing, suggest to your team that they record themselves so they can watch and learn areas that they did well and others in which they can improve. Overall, maximizing communication skills will help each salesperson to conduct meetings well and will help them to best answer questions that your prospects and customers may have.

  1. Have a Positive On-Screen Presence

Corresponding with prospects and customers remotely is now the norm, so having a positive on-screen presence is a must.  Every member of your sales team should be aware of how they present themselves when in person. They should then be able to transfer these skills to an online setting. 

Though everybody has had moments during the pandemic where they have been bored during an online meeting, each member of the sales team should be aware of this and know how to appropriately conduct themselves when selling to a prospect or helping a customer. They can then use that ability and knowledge to transform meetings with customers into informative meetings that everyone can enjoy.

  1. Building Rapport Is Key

Having an on-screen presence will enable the members of your sales team to be at their best. It will help them to build rapport with customers. Being able to build rapport while selling online is a monumental skill.  It helps the customer to have trust in the seller, and sales teams should try to build this up with potential buyers by ensuring they give prospects and customers time to speak and time to ask questions. When a salesperson is able to build rapport with a potential customer, the potential customer will more likely buy the product or service offered.

Since selling remotely has become a natural part of every company’s sales cycle, it’s crucial for business owners to make sure their sales team has these five skillsets.  Though the world is changing every day, if you and your team excel in these 5 areas, you’re well on your way to business success and growth.

Doug C Brown owns a business consulting and training company, Business Success Factors, where he helps businesses around the globe acquire, convert, and lock in clients for life. Doug specializes in teaching timeless principles of conversational sales resulting in higher-profit clients, high efficiency sales operations for a smoother running company, and reliable formulas to sell more.

His newest business addition will be Vibitno in 2021. The main service is a software as a service and an all in one cloud-based automated sales force automation software. Vibitno’s focus is on delivering automated sales efficiency and productivity for business owners, as well as management and ownership.

Remotely stock image by Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock