In the era of fake news, conspiracy theories, and opinions galore, it’s important to get our facts straight. Speaking with sales and business leaders, salespeople, and service teams over 2020-2021, we are finding many are rapidly changing their beliefs, minds and opinions about the true value and benefits of remote selling and remote sales training and, as a consequence, reaping the rewards. However, there are many ‘traditionalists’ still holding onto myths and outdated sales and training stereotypes that negatively affect their bottom line.
What we do know is that change is in the air, opportunity is everywhere, and no one wants their sales teams left behind.
With many of us weeks away from becoming a vaccinated economy, this is the time to ditch the myths and get our sales and service teams fit and ready for a hybrid selling and education future. No time to waste.
Here are the 3 most common myths we found still ‘making the rounds’:
1) Remote sales training doesn’t produce the same results as classroom/face-to-face training.
Remote sales training works. Really works!
We have long advocated for longitudinal learning – small chunks of interactive applied learning delivered over time – and have been delivering remote sales training and coaching for years before the era of lockdowns. This is a remote sales training case study from 2019:
Three weeks ago, we started working with and coaching a tele sales team of 9 people based in regional NSW. Week one post the first session, sales had already started to improve and by week three, this sales team had their best sales week ever. The sales leader revealed this in the session we had this week and attributed it to the training we are doing.
You can read the details here.
Remote sales training done well can deliver way better results than traditional classroom training, for example through the practical application of the learned content between sessions. Hundreds of businesses have been training their sales teams this way through lockdowns and those teams are reaping the benefits; they’re ready for the vaccinated economy. Our advice: don’t wait for face-to-face training to be back; your teams might be missing their annual sales conference or training event, but this doesn’t mean they have to fall behind in their training and development.
2) If a person can sell well face-to-face in person, they can sell well remotely too.
There is an overlap of skills between selling face-to-face and remotely, but there are a range of different skills particular to remote selling salespeople need to learn, develop, and adapt to. For example, how to get and maintain their prospect’s or customer’s attention in a video call, present physical products effectively, or how to adjust their presence and body language to the small visual frame they will be visible in. On top of that, a lot of salespeople experience a significant lack in motivation because they can’t be on the road or enjoy the physical visits to their clients. Training your teams on how to sell remotely is a clever investment because it’s a capability that will be vital and relevant post-pandemic as well (see myth #3).
3) Once lockdowns are over and the vaccinated economy is in full swing, all remote sales activities will go back to in-field and face-to-face only.
Even though many of us are craving to be in the same room as others, many B2B & Complex B2C field sales teams are already developing a hybrid approach to selling, meaning remote client meetings are already becoming a standard part of their sales and client meeting mix. For instance, the weekly or monthly client site or shop visit might become quarterly with other client meetings in between going remote. This is not a new trend, this has been on the rise for some time, but the physical isolation due to COVID-19 has accelerated this significantly with buyers and sellers seeing the benefits.
Other opportunities abound: Selling remotely opens new markets and new opportunities – locally and internationally. For example, markets that were previously out of reach because the cost of traveling for sales meeting was too high, are now accessible through video calls (and clients are very open to these meetings seeing them as effective and efficient). It would be crazy to go back to physical face-to-face selling only.
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Remember, everybody lives by selling something.
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