Practicing video pitches is a good idea for remote sales teams. Training on and practicing with new tech tools will set your remote sales team up for success. — Getty Images/alvarez

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way B2B sales teams operate. A recent SalesRoads report found that for about 60% of organizations, more than half of their sales staff are now working remotely for the first time ever, and many of those businesses expect it to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

That’s why modern organizations need to take advantage of B2B sales tools to help them close deals in this new remote environment.

[Read: Coronavirus Small Business Guide]

B2B sales tools for remote workers

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, a solid sales team would utilize many different tools to increase their chances of boosting their numbers. With today’s remote workforce, investing in sales tools that help you provide your prospects a personalized, engaging experience is worth the investment. If you haven’t already, consider investing in these types of sales tools to help your remote sales people thrive:

  • CRM software. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is the most vital investment a business can make for their sales team. CRM software is simple to use and can house your customer data and business data, track customer interactions and integrate many vital sales tools — such as your website, social media profiles, emails and other marketing materials — all in one place. Some of the best available CRM software are HubSpot CRM, Salesforce CRM and CRM.
  • Marketing automation software. Marketing automation software helps companies streamline the marketing process by managing daily tasks — such as sending emails, creating social media posts and tracking B2B lead generation activities — and create targeted marketing strategies based on the performance data of previous marketing efforts. Some marketing automation software options available include Marketo, HubSpot Marketing and ActiveCampaign.
  • Video conferencing software. Many businesses turned to video conferencing software during the COVID-19 pandemic to manage their daily operations. However, the influx of free and paid video conferencing tools available can make it difficult for businesses to choose the right one to meet their needs. Some of the options available include Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet and Skype.
  • Scheduling app. Rather than wasting time emailing back and forth with prospects about meeting availability, a scheduling app can streamline the process by creating a scheduler link you can send to prospects so they can choose the date and time that works best for them. Calendly is a free appointment scheduling software that integrates with Google Calendar and Office 365 and easily embeds into your website.
  • Social media selling apps. Social media is a great marketing tool that can increase awareness of your products or services and connect with your target audience. Now, social media has a new use for your sales team: social selling. With the right strategy, social media selling apps — such as Nimble, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and IFTTT (If This Then That) — can help your sales team convert your company’s social media followers into customers.

[Read: 8 Ideas to Foster Customer Loyalty When Reopening]

You need to ensure your sales team is comfortable with any new tech tools you implement to get the greatest ROI.

Retraining your remote sales staff

Once you’ve chosen your B2B sales tools, you may need to rethink certain aspects of your process and retrain your staff to shift sales into the virtual realm. Follow these tips to get everyone on the same page with your new remote sales process.

Ensure everyone knows how to use any new tech tools

This may seem obvious, however, your sales team can’t take advantage of the new tech tools you’ve invested in if they don’t know how to use them properly and to their fullest extent. You need to ensure your sales team is comfortable with any new tech tools you implement to get the greatest ROI.

Run “practice” video pitches

Long before the pandemic, many sales teams invested in video conferencing tools to investigate warm leads and save money their travel budget. Today, however, video pitches are a sales team’s only option, so it’s important to refine your pitch. Practice makes perfect, and a vital part of retraining your sales team should include having your salespeople run “practice” live and pre-recorded video pitches. This is especially important if your sales team is used to pitching in person.

Remember the basics of good selling (i.e. listening to the customer)

No matter what tools your sales team uses to connect with prospects, it’s important to always remember the basics of good selling: listening to your customers and prospects. It’s important to understand how your customers are doing during the pandemic and what their new pain points are. After listening to their concerns and deeply understanding the issues they face, explore how you can support them moving forward. The key is to understand when to listen, when to sell and how to transition between those two states smoothly.

[Read: New Normal? The Most Effective Ways to Communicate Change To Your Employees]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published August 12, 2020