Here are the top 3 trends shaping virtual selling. They are the roadmap for making sales more human in our increasingly virtual sales environment.
3 Trends Making Sales More Human: In A Virtual Workspace
Humanizing sales while working virtually is the need of the hour. Here's how you can work efficiently, humanely, and collaboratively in this new normal.
As we’ve all seen in 2020, we’re engaged in what researchers have called, “the greatest experiment of all times in remote working.” There is no question. We’re working virtually and there are few indications that we’ll return to our previous normal.
This brings up big issues for sales leaders and sales teams. Namely, how can you work efficiently, humanely, and collaboratively in this now-and-next normal?
In this short post, I’d like to share 3 of the larger trends that I believe are signals for humanizing sales while working virtually.
01. Humanize Contact
Sales experts are emphasizing that we are in great need of making sales more human.
We don’t have the benefit of working face-to-face in meetings, lunches, and conferences. We aren’t gathering in auditoriums to hear industry leaders, join association goals, and gather for policy decisions.
All our old-favorite ways of meeting in a personal setting with colleagues, clients, and prospects are basically off the table.
When we look back on our projections of last year, we can see that at various times, we believed it would all be over by now.
Estimates ranged from a few weeks to a few months.
Remember when you thought, “We’ll be back in the office in 3 weeks.”
Remember when you believed, “We’ll jump back into action after summer vacation.”
Remember when you guaranteed, “We’ll have this handled by Christmas.”
Well, as we all know, these hopes, ideas, and beliefs did not come true. We are moving ahead and there is great cause for optimism.
But, let’s face it—everything has taken longer and had a vaster impact than we’d initially fathomed.
However, one thing is clear.
In absence of face-to-face meetings, we must humanize contact. In small and big ways, we can emphasize that we are aware of our human condition, respect each other, and can collaborate to move forward.
02. Personalize Contact
In sales, as we knew it, personalizing contact has always been critical. Usually, this showed up in consultative-style sales. The higher the price tag, the more personalized the strategy.
Yet, today, we are looking at an imperative to personalize at every level of interaction. All interactions can be personalized, all the way from initial contact, to information exchange, to case studies, to understanding needs, to client contracting.
With our abilities via CRM, we can now personalize everything about selling and prospecting. Not only can we, but it is also now what the customers expect.
Something is interesting about customer expectations. Over time, they not only increase, but they also shape the development of software and drive the requirements for sales training.
One of the biggest places we’re seeing personalization take root is in warm introductions. While in the past, referrals and introductions happened over a cup of coffee, now there are more effective strategies.
I’m seeing more and more of my clients employ this approach with their key partners. You can use a personalized sales graph to engage your partners in a meaningful dialogue about overlapping customer needs. With this method, it’s easy to visualize overlaps. You can see where you can serve customers to add tremendous value.
03. Virtualize Contact
More and more businesses and sales organizations are realizing that working virtually with customers takes skill and training.
According to the World Economic Forum, 50% of workers will need to learn new skills. They call this ‘reskilling’ and anticipate that this will be required by 2025. It won’t be easy coasting ‘til then, either. They estimate that 40% of workers will need reskilling in the next six months or less.
People will need to develop new skills to thrive in the workplace of the future. Two major forces, technology and impacts from the pandemic, are causing what is termed a “double-disruption.”
This training for the jobs of tomorrow may take 1-6 months, depending on the skills required.
Fortunately, much of this re-skilling will be done virtually. This is great news for sales organizations and sales leaders. It means you can start today. You can evaluate training needs to prepare your workforce. It’s never too early to look ahead and prepare your workforce to excel in the future environment.
Looking at the need to work effectively and virtually requires a keen eye for seeing the present and the future – simultaneously. When you overlap the needs of your future sales teams and leaders, one thing is clear. We are and will need the ability to communicate effectively in a virtual workplace. We’ll need to be even better at understanding client needs, personalized solutions, and working collaboratively.
As the WEF notes, top skills for 2025 include skills in the areas of problem solving, self-management, leadership and people skills, and technology use/development. Self-management includes newly emerging skills such as flexibility, active learning, resilience, and stress tolerance. The study found that employers believe critical thinking and problem solving will be prominent skills required over the next five years.
As we look at skills for success, we also can consider this: everything will be highly utilized in a remote workplace.
Many of the clients I’m talking with are already preparing their workforces. They are seeing the signs and reading the signals. Now is the time to get ready and be ahead of the curve.
In 2021, expect to be working virtually, and enabling your sales teams to make sales more human. Look for specific tools and training to help your teams sell more together.
By optimizing your virtual sales performance, you can join successful businesses that are shaping the market and realizing significant revenue potential. Partnership Co-Selling is how you can virtually qualify B2B sales opportunity. You can use this to boost sales, expand your network, and grow profitability.
Using a platform like CoSell.io is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams.
If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.