Remote Selling Resource Hub
Your remote selling plans have accelerated. Now what? Arming your remote sales teams with what they need to be productive and effective can be done quickly if you have the right sales resources. The Remote Selling Resource Hub is the home for everything you need to make sure your remote teams are engaged, enabled and selling.
Table of contents
Stand up your remote sales teams in no time. Click on the links below to see all the resources to get started.
Remote Selling School video series
A complimentary video series from Winning by Design on virtual selling.
Sales tips and tricks with Showpad experts
Advice from sales and enablement pros on how to transition to a remote selling model.
Virtual onboarding and training made easy
Resources for the transition to managing a remote salesforce.
Sales coaching in a virtual world
Guides on how to maintain a coaching culture with remote sellers.
Virtual events and webinars
Industry experts share guidance and insight on remote selling
Remote selling FAQs
Answers to all your questions about selling online.
Remote Selling School
Need to train your remote teams on how to sell online but aren’t sure where to start? The Remote Selling School is a complimentary video series from Winning by Design. It’s the first step to getting your remote sales teams off the ground.
Sales tips and tricks with Showpad experts
In a hurry? Showpad experts give their advice on enabling sellers in a remote world. Hear from VP of North American Sales, Dustin Deno, and Emily FitzPatrick, Senior Manager of Global Revenue Enablement and Training, share advice on managing and training remote teams. We’re posting new tips and tricks from Showpad experts all the time. Bookmark us and check back frequently!
Sales coaching in a virtual world
A coaching culture can be built virtually. Even in a work from home environment, sales managers can still engage with their teams and guide sellers toward optimal performance.
Remote Selling FAQs
Remote selling is not a new idea, but is becoming far more commonplace due to recent events.
While a remote sales team means face-to-face meetings, training and coaching aren’t viable, There are still plenty of ways to keep sellers engaged and in the know. This sales guide will demonstrate how a virtual salesforce can be just as lucrative — if not more so — than its office-based counterpart, and how sales managers can ensure their teams have the support and resources needed.
|Sales people working remotely — can it work?|
We’re all familiar with the perception of remote workers: sitting on the couch in sweatpants, shopping online instead of working with Netflix in the background. Increased distractions and decreased productivity are two common misconceptions about virtual work, among others like:
Despite their negative reputation, remote sellers can in fact be effective, and even more productive, than those working in an office. Without the boundaries of the four walls of a traditional work environment, remote workers tend to overcompensate by incorporating more structure into their day, getting dressed in the morning and keeping the TV off, just as if they were in an office. A study by Harvard Business Review found that after permitting remote work, companies saw productivity increase by nearly 14%. Additional research discovered that people working remotely also stay more focused, losing 27 minutes per day in distractions.
While communication, collaboration and culture are certainly more of a challenge to maintain virtually, they aren’t impossible. Telecommunication via online applications like Zoom and Slack remove the physical distance between colleagues and allow for live open discussions where sellers can ask questions, share experiences and offer feedback and best practices. To maximize the benefits of these tools, schedule regular meetings and set clear expectations.
|How do you successfully build a remote sales team?|
The first, most critical aspect of building your remote sales team is to position virtual work as a value proposition rather than a challenge to overcome. Working remotely provides independence and flexibility that office life cannot provide, and has become far less complex over recent years thanks to all the tools at your disposal.
Speaking of tools, a remote salesforce relies on technology. Effectively setting up your team requires providing the selling tools they need on a high level and for day-to-day tasks, including:
Each of these platforms plays an important role in the sales process. Implement them from the very beginning and communicate their importance so they become a normal part of sellers’ routines.
In addition, establish a standard for consistent communication, with frequent team and individual calls — the cadence you choose depends on the size of your team, your industry, and ultimately what you feel is appropriate — to keep remote employees engaged and feeling part of the bigger picture. These calls can be for team and company updates and open discussion where participants can share best practices and ask questions.
|How do you preserve culture within a virtual sales team?|
With the sales team scattered across various locations, it’s often assumed the culture will be doomed. The virtual meeting tools mentioned earlier don’t need to be used strictly for work talk. Sales leaders can host virtual happy hours, water cooler chats and other meetups for sales reps to get to know each other beyond professional limits. Encourage side meetings across sellers and teams so they can bounce ideas off of each other and offer feedback.
Remember, company culture doesn’t come from internal gossip and work woes, it comes from how valued employees feel and the way they are treated. By making an effort and providing remote sales people with proper support and guidance, as well as keeping open communication, a positive culture comes naturally.
|How do you manage a remote sales team?|
Managing a remote sales team starts with sharing your ongoing commitment to serving reps’ needs with training, content, coaching and moral support. Sales people who feel that their organization values them and is invested in their professional growth will in turn be more motivated and productive.
The hardest part about managing a remote workforce is providing guidance to sellers spread across states — maybe even countries — and time zones. Developing and maintaining a positive working relationship with your remote team requires the following:
The last piece of the management puzzle is to measure team and individual performance over time. Since you can’t be in the same room as your sales people, reporting will become essential in your management and coaching process, identifying gaps in skill and knowledge, content needs and other useful insights. Use these results, as well as your conversations with sellers on your team, to aid your approach moving forward.
|What is virtual training?|
Traditionally, organizations have gathered sales teams together for sales kickoffs and other sales meetings to review performance, new products and methodologies and marketing collateral to achieve goals moving forward. Not only does this take a significant financial investment, it also takes salespeople’s time away from sales activities.
Virtual training can be just as interactive and impactful as in-person meetings, without the time and money spent getting every sales rep in the same room for several days. In fact, nearly half of the respondents in a Training Industry, Inc. survey said they considered virtual training modalities “very useful” for impacting sales learning. Using technology, sales leaders can offer live classroom sessions, as well as recorded videos, written materials and quizzes for sellers to access on their own time, wherever they are, for continuous learning.
Online sales training also offers the advantage of keeping reps up-to-date with product, company and industry changes. Rather than one in-person training a year, virtual training can be updated at any time as the sales climate evolves, then instantly sent out to the entire team.
|How do you create successful virtual training?|
Remote training doesn’t have to be complicated, as long as you dedicate time, effort and care into ensuring sellers get the information and resources they need in a timely manner — and are equipped with the right technology. More on that in a later section.
Effectively delivering training to remote sales staff starts with curating (and creating, if necessary) learning content that covers all the bases: company, product, industry, buyers, process, etc. Working with the marketing and sales enablement teams, sales leaders can make sure their teams have more than enough material to build their sales skills, knowledge and performance over time.
Sales leaders can simulate in-person, instructor-led training with a virtual classroom. These classes include educational presentations, open discussions and team and individual exercises just like in a traditional training environment — the only difference being sellers interacting through screens. Instructors should plan just as they would if the training were in person, but work with IT in advance to ensure every remote participant is set up for maximum engagement and record the session for later use.
By nature, training employees digitally affords the advantage of convenience. Sales people can watch videos, review past training sessions, read documentation and practice pitches between other selling activities or outside of normal working hours. Virtual training solutions allow reps to record either real or practice pitches and watch them back to note strengths and weaknesses and make improvements.
Analyze training completion and performance so you can continue providing your sales team with the proper modules to aid in their growth. Offer certifications for the most important skills and knowledge to get an accurate picture of where reps stand in relation to each other, and who might need additional support.
|How do you conduct sales onboarding for remote workers?|
Your virtual training program must include an onboarding process for new sales hires. Remember that a new rep may be accustomed to working in an office environment, surrounded by fellow sellers, and although you aren’t welcoming them in person, make them feel just as comfortable. Introducing them to their co-workers and sending them company swag is a good place to start.
Onboarding should also include:
|What is effective remote sales coaching?|
We’ve brought it up throughout this guide, but it bears repeating: Making a positive impact on your remote sales team requires consistent and ongoing communication, and powerful productivity tools.
Sales coaching is integral to a virtual salesforce. All too often remote sellers can feel like they are on an island; a strong relationship and ongoing guidance from their managers can make all the difference in their motivation and performance. Effective virtual sales coaching should be built on a foundation of trust between coach and seller
Meet digitally one-on-one often with members of your team — at least once a week is recommended — and talk through their pipeline, spotting opportunities and potential challenges down the road. Review training performance and what needs to be done for further advancement.
Most important in coaching sessions is listening to reps’ concerns, feedback, and self-evaluation. To get the most out of meetings, ask questions like:
|What is virtual training software?|
Find a platform that allows sales reps to access training content online via either web or mobile, automatically delivered to individuals and teams in one centralized platform.
Sales enablement and marketing teams responsible for creating training content can easily upload, update, organize and optimize materials so sellers are only studying and reviewing the latest, most relevant information. They also get insight into what content is being used most with buyers, how engaged buyers were with the content and whether the content contributed to a converted sale.
Training technology also helps to ensure the information provided in training, first and foremost, is being used, but is also sticking across the team. Measuring performance allows sales managers to see what reps are completing training modules, as well as how they are performing, and adapt their coaching strategies accordingly.
Showpad’s suite of sales enablement software solutions empowers the entire sales organization to connect with buyers virtually.
Showpad Coach allows sales leaders to administer bite-size learning experiences tailored to each team’s and rep’s unique needs. Sales people can access content no matter where they are, and managers can assess performance in an online dashboard.
The PitchIQ functionality promotes growth among sellers, who can record practice pitches for managers and colleagues to review and offer feedback.
Showpad Content helps close the geographical and structural divide between marketing and sales, centralizing assets for marketers to distribute quickly and sellers to present and share with buyers and customers.