It's April 17 and nearly every salesperson is selling from home. It's just temporary, right?
Maybe. But what if it's not? According to the President, Vice-President, Scientists and some Governors, the economy will begin reopening in stages, perhaps as soon as May 1. So it's back to the office and your territories, right? Wrong. You'll still be home. Welcome to the future of selling where I'll share my top five reasons why.
Reason #1 - School: Your kids are still home from school, they probably won't be back this spring, they probably won't be going to summer camp, and may not even be at school in September. And if they're home, then your salespeople are home too.
Reason #2 - Efficiency: Once your salespeople have begun to sell not only remotely, but virtually via video conferencing, you'll quickly realize that they can meet with 6-8 prospects and/or accounts per day, compared with 2-3 when they're traveling in a territory. Think about how much more business they can generate and how many more touches your customers will get from your salespeople?
Reason #3 - Cost: Depending upon your business model, the cost of cars, gas and maintenance, parking, airfare and hotel, meals and entertainment can be drastically reduced or even eliminated when your salespeople are selling virtually.
Reason #4 - Coverage: Many companies don't have enough coverage to blanket the entire region, country, or continent. Their customers are spread out so they deploy salespeople where most of their customers are. With virtual selling, your salespeople can reach every customer that's out there.
Reason #5 - CRM Compliance: Your salespeople have great excuses for not keeping their CRM up-to-date. They were "traveling", "on the road", "away from their computers", "unable to get to it", or they forgot. But when they are selling via the very same piece of hardware that their CRM is in, there are no longer any excuses for lack of compliance. It will finally be time for them to live in CRM and you'll finally have the visibility into real-time data that you wanted when you invested in your CRM platform.
Although those five reasons as to why selling from home will become the new normal, you should be forewarned. Selling from home is not without its challenges. Three primary challenges will make selling from home difficult:
Challenge #1 - Only 41% of all salespeople are well-suited for working from home. This speaks to whether they are self-starters, can work independently from a team, and can work without supervision.
Challenge #2 - Sales Managers will need to coach more, not less, increasing the time they spend on coaching to as much as 75%. Unfortunately, most don't spend even 25% of their time coaching. Sales Managers will need to huddle with their team twice per day despite the fact that most haven't even begun leading daily huddles yet. Only 7% of all sales managers have the coaching skills required to coach up a remote team.
Challenge #3 - The new world of selling will appear very much like it appears today, only everyone will get better at it. They must! Selling has been pretty easy the past three years and despite that, fewer than half of all salespeople were meeting or exceeding quota. It won't become easy again for quite a while. Companies will either be on spending freezes, have money but not want to spend it on what you're selling, or if they are buying, will demand that you sell it for less than ever before. All this at a time when it's more important than ever that you maintain your margins. This will require your salespeople to master three competencies that most salespeople aren't very good at:
Competency #1 - Consultative Selling - only 15% of all salespeople effectively differentiate by listening and asking great questions
Competency #2 - Value Selling - only 41% of all salespeople have the ability to be the value
Competency #3 - Qualifying - only 31% of all salespeople can thoroughly qualify an opportunity
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