Sales Training Tactics for Virtual Sales Teams

By Selling Power Editors
A desk with 2 cell phones, a stack of papers, and a glass of water.

A sales team requires great leadership and proven training tactics. Sellers, no matter the industry, must foster and leverage a range of sales training techniques and frameworks to quickly progress through the sales process and close deals with clients, vendors, and partners. Sales is a complicated process though, and a catch-all approach to selling your clients on products or services is bound to fail. This is especially true for the current climate. With lockdown and social distancing measures becoming a necessity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, sales teams have been evolving alongside a cottage industry of new, virtual communications channels.

There have, of course, been some growing pains as salespeople adjust to this new normal: Some aspects of the sales process have become far simpler, and many others a huge pain because of the novel reliance on digital outreach. But this framework isn’t going away, and virtual sales will continue to play a significant role in the future of industry, and across all sectors.

To create a standout sales training program that will continually outperform your goals and the competition, it’s important to evaluate the features of a great salesperson and integrate these habits into your training regimen for new or growing salespeople within your brand. While many of the traits of a great seller remain static no matter the medium, there are several new tactics and training objectives that you should build into training and development programs for continued success in this new landscape of sales training and consumer outreach.

Researching Leads

Market research remains the foundation from which sales teams can make headway with their current and prospective clients. This is where many training programs begin, and for good reason. Without rock solid research into the needs and purchasing habits of the market’s buyers, a sales rep can’t reasonably expect to make inroads within a target audience. Understanding the needs of the client is the primary indicator in the success or failure of your sales professionals.

Thankfully, there are many, many outlets for conducting market research in order to cultivate excellent leads. The internet is a wonderful source of data, and the network of social media platforms—frequented by some four billion active global monthly users—gives salespeople the nuanced data that they need to understand macro trends within the market as a whole and niche insights into the things that drive their unique client base. Sales professionals rely on market metrics provided by impressions and clicks within Facebook and YouTube ads as an industry staple these days. Sales leaders rely on a combination of this information along with their own instincts when it comes to making pitches to prospective clients.

When you already know that you can fill a need for the buyers you’re pitching, it makes the whole process a whole lot simpler. With market research and high quality lead generation, sales teams are able to streamline their processes and cut straight to the heart of what their buyers need.

Making the Pitch

After you’ve honed your research processes, it’s time to focus on pitching to clients. Sales leaders know that confidence sells, But confidence in yourself as a sales rep or in the product that you are pitching as a superior alternative to your competitor’s brand isn’t the be-all-end-all. A sales strategy that wins must make use of industry best practices and instill a sense of urgency in the client without showing any signs of brand weakness. In the digital selling space, this can be tricky.

Image (and by extension, a first impression) makes up a huge proportion of a salesperson’s sales skills, but with internet connectivity issues or a lack of commitment to building a virtual conferencing room that showcases the best of your brand it can be hard for your team to build focus on the product. A dropped call can result in a loss of confidence from the client—and ultimately the sale—even if your product fills a unique need that no other product has even considered yet.

This means that your sales techniques need to consider the virtual infrastructure that will facilitate your brand’s ultimate sales success alongside the script that your best salespeople have been cultivating, the presentation pitch deck, and any other best practices that you’ve painstakingly worked into the sales pipeline. Building a conference room that is perfectly suited for Zoom meetings, video conferencing, and product demonstrations over the great physical distances that virtual sales professionals will have to bridge is simply one essential aspect of the structural and behavioral changes that must be enacted to continue enjoying companywide sales success.

A great pitch combines the seller’s unique story alongside the technical reinforcement of a commitment to excellence in each sector of the sales pitch. By leveraging in-house workshops to hone your sales training, pitch, and corporate story you can build a strong team with great sales skill and a nose for driving the sales cycle through to the end. However, it’s crucial to expend the same energy on the tools that each salesperson will need to rely on throughout the interaction with each new buyer.

Closing on Great Partnerships

Virtual sales must chase after the same partnership arrangements that in-person retail seeks with every encounter with a new buyer. This is perhaps more important for team members who are working remotely though. Customers are engaging with the market in new ways, and with a completely evolved mindset.

There are a number of obstacles to built-in longevity nowadays, primarily because of the lightning fast connectivity in the real world that gives your team the very means of communicating with clients. Because information flows freely, all it takes is for a customer to find a better deal elsewhere. Bringing your entire team up to speed on the best practices and benefits that your company provides for clients is the best way to maintain these partnerships for the long term.

Sales leadership is all about closing deals and finding the right direction for long term success in the market. But there are few top performers in any industry that fail to understand that clients are more than sales figures. By engaging with each customer on every one of your team’s sales calls in an effort to build long term relationships, you can be sure that your salespeople will apply the proper sales methodology to create lasting engagement with a continually growing client base.

The landscape for sales teams is changing, but the underlying values will remain intact for the long haul. Make sure your team is focusing on the trends that drive consumer habits while selling to their uniquely personal requirements for long-lasting success.