Remote Selling Best Practices From Leaders at Zoom, Salesforce and Docusign

The disruptions of 2020 are changing how buyers buy and sellers sell. Remote selling is now the norm: 96% of B2B organizations have shifted their go-to-market model in the last 6 months. Technology has given sellers unprecedented virtual access to decision-makers and the ability to get business done from anywhere, but it also makes the remote sales process even more competitive.

Some of the top challenges facing sales organizations today are keeping deals moving through the sales process, maintaining customer relationships, and collaborating to close deals. We recently hosted a special virtual event with Salesforce and Zoom called Keep the World Selling and Buying, centering on how businesses can accelerate the sales process in changing times, how the buying experience has changed, and best practices for the future of sales.

What’s different about remote selling?

One of the biggest changes for sales organizations is that most sellers have been thrust into the world of remote inside selling. Online meetings have become the norm, bringing many technologies and tools together, like video conferencing, electronic agreements, and CRM. According to McKinsey, almost 90% of sales have moved to a videoconferencing, phone, or web process. This shift changes the very model with which most salespeople have grown accustomed.

That’s why sellers need to adapt. “The old world Glengarry Glen Ross model of ‘always be closing’ was already on its way out - it’s dead. I think the new mantra has to be ‘always be helping,’” said Doug Camplejohn, Executive Vice President of Sales Cloud at Salesforce. Sellers need to be agile as markets fluctuate, understand the customers’ business landscape, and offer flexibility in the deal process and structure.

The panel also agreed that sellers need to adapt to become better listeners, and have greater compassion to connect with those they’re meeting with. Ryan Azus, Chief Revenue Officer at Zoom, added that this is especially true when thinking about how to protect a deal from slipping. “You can’t pretend to have all the answers to what the future holds. It’s more important to build hypotheses with the customer to co-create what the future will be, and insert your product or offering into those scenarios. Encourage salespeople to ask prospects: what does buying look like in your organization today? Don’t just guess.”

How has the buying experience changed?

Customer expectations have changed. Now, more than ever, buyers expect salespeople to be on a journey with them and to be empathetic to their situation, whatever it may be. “Buyers are really looking for speed and expertise from companies,” said Scott Olrich, COO at Docusign. “Not just what they’ve done in the past, but how are they going to help them right now, during the recovery, and more importantly, position them to succeed in the future.”

The deep uncertainty of the current times is paralyzing to some buyers. Lack of confidence in what the future holds has changed the buying experience in three ways. Buyers are now:

  • Refocusing corporate buying priorities on tools and technologies that are absolutely essential.
  • Bringing in more people to the decision making process as budgets shrink and scrutiny increases.
  • Looking for speed and transparency in how tools and technology are going to help them recover and move forward.

Trust, which Camplejohn notes involves consistent behavior over time, can be eroded very quickly. Companies that have earned trust with customers need to invest into keeping it. One way to do this is to come to the table with stories of how other customers have adapted and succeeded with your product during these times. Olrich agreed that the need for recent customer case studies is more obvious than ever.

“You really need to talk through the customer lens and be able to articulate how you can drive urgency and how you’ve successfully done that and been an essential solution for others,” said Olrich.

How should selling organizations think about the future? How can sales teams keep client relationships healthy? Get more insights from the panel by viewing the event on-demand.

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