For Partnership Leaders

Keys For Success in 2021: Collaborating at a Distance

Whether you are part of a sales team, a sales manager, or a business owner - It's critical to embrace the trend of working virtually.


Are you getting familiar with collaborating at a distance? If so, you are not alone.

According to a June 2020 Fortune/Deloitte CEO survey, CEOs expect that even by January 2022, 36% of their employees will be working remotely. 

Other forecasts indicate that this trend to working at home is only going to increase and estimates that 30% of employees will permanently work at home by 2022. 

As with other changes in the workplace, the trend towards working virtually is not going away. At the same time, we also know that collaborating at a distance demands better tools, better skills, and often, better training. 

As a sales professional, are you seeing this trend in your organization? Whether you are part of a sales team, a sales manager, or a business owner—you know just how critical it is to embrace this trend to maximize effectiveness in remote teams.

Just this week, I heard this from Jake*, a regional Sales V.P. and long-time friend. Here’s how he put it:

“At first we thought that the trend of working remotely would come and go. We were all focused on gritting our teeth and getting through the worst of the pandemic. But now we’re seeing tremendous advantages—faster deals, better coordination, lower costs, and higher participation across all regions. 

I’ve always been a ‘get face-to-face’ guy, but with new tools and better skills, I’m optimistic that we can work even better – at a distance.”

Sound familiar?

I’m hearing this sentiment echoing in almost every conversation I’m having. 

Perhaps it’s that working virtually automatically makes you long for the good old days. You know – where you could have a conversation in the hallway, parking lot, or hanging out by the water cooler. You could have your finger on the pulse, hash out details, and get more done, by walking around.

 

Why We Love Face-to-Face

What is it that we love so much about collaborating in person? One way to think of it is called the 3-S Model. The “S’s” stand for spontaneous, synchronous, and sensory.

Spontaneous is the kind of ad hoc meeting, sharing of ideas, and unscheduled exchanges that happen when you’re in the same room or building. Many professionals rely on this bubbling flow of ideas to test out early-stage solutions, brainstorm options, and get feedback on the spur of the moment.

Synchronous refers to communication between people, at the same time as the activity. You know how different it is to give input, share information, and be part of the shaping of a product or solution. 

Sensory is what we humans crave. Seeing, hearing, smelling, touching all help us to truly understand our peers. With body language, eye contact, posture, movements, we can get subtle insights that are absent when we are just looking at words written on a screen.

The challenge for working remotely is to simulate the things we love and value in virtual collaboration. 

We’re seeing this take shape, and it is driving development for virtual collaboration tools, including CRM.

Here are the top 3 trends to help remote workers feel like they are up-close and personal.

 

Video Conferencing

Videoconferencing has exploded. Every provider from Google, Microsoft, and Zoom is reporting radical increases in video usage.

Video is the tool of choice for bridging the gap of virtual distance. If you are looking for ways to recreate a human connection, jump on a videoconference instead of emailing.

Not only are people demanding and relying on video, but they are also experiencing video fatigue. This is kind of like loving chocolate, but then having so much you just can’t stand to even think about it.

 

 

White-boarding

With an intuitive suite of tools, whiteboarding is a way to support in-depth collaboration. It invites participants to share ideas in their early stages. This is ideal for brainstorming, strategizing, and co-creating solutions. 

With recent advances, some of the virtual solutions now offer preloaded templates, blueprints, and tools to facilitate brainstorming. You don’t have to be a talented artist to make this tool work for your team. 

Some tools offer real-time translation. Others offer intelligent capture, making the presenter’s image transparent so that whiteboard writing can be seen as it is being created.

 

Personalization of CRM

As remote collaboration is on the rise, so is the use of CRM. Sales teams are using software to make warm introductions. Having the right tools, training, and mindset for collaborative selling is key to success in our virtual sales world. It unlocks all kinds of rewards including speed: helping you find prospects that are seeking your solutions. 

As a collaborative approach to selling is in high demand, adding human touch is essential. It’s all about reducing the barriers to working remotely. Consider how your team can add a personal touch to sales outreach. 

No one loves being treated like an object – which is what happens in scripted sales pitches. With personalized tools for making warm introductions, you are in charge of making sales more human. This translates into shorter sales cycles, higher profitability, and a true ability to provide long-term, personalized value for your clients.

 

Sum Up

As you explore how to make working remotely more effective, you’ll find fresh ways to help people connect as if they were working side by side. In 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.

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