Luckily, there are technological changes that allow the possibility of virtual communications, hold meetings, warm leads, and embrace modern selling methods, such as traditional marketing involving face-to-face meetings, organizing business clubs, road shows, and other similar marketing activities.
In contrast, remote selling uses the power of information technology advancements and the internet to conduct sales successfully.
What Is Remote Selling
Remote selling, which is also referred to as virtual selling, refers to the process of making a sale where both parties–buyers and sellers–are in different physical locations, which is made possible through the advancement of technology.
Although having a physical store still offers more benefits, such as the fact that a potential buyer can feel and see the products for themselves, it’s no denying that remote selling will pave the way for a business’ success.
This type of setup not only increases your reach, since you’re no longer restricted to geographical limitations, but it’ll also be beneficial for your business, especially since more people are now spending their time online. That’s why most businesses who want to have a wider target audience will establish a website that’s dedicated to selling their products and services.
Benefits of Remote Selling For Your Business
Now we know the nature of remote selling is, it’s time to talk about why your business should embrace this new method. This article will provide four major reasons why your business should remotely sell its products and services.
Here’s what remote selling can do you for business, especially its success:
1. Your Business Can Benefit From Advanced Customer Acquisition Tactics
Traditional ways of acquiring new business customers, especially in the business-to-business (B2B) space, require many customer visits, business exhibitions, coffee meetings, and other forms of social connections. Remote selling uses modern technologies like social media, and new innovations in communications. Some methodologies and tools businesses can benefit from include:
- Social Media Presence: Nowadays, it’s easy to find business owners, high-level executives, decision-makers, and sales executives on social media platforms. Brands looking to embrace remote selling can engage in conversations and contribute to industry topics, or optimize their presence on social channels to establish brand awareness and trust among potential customers.
According to LinkedIn, 82% of B2B marketers use their channel for lead generation, with 62% reporting better outcomes as compared to their efforts on other platforms. Thus, each social media platform caters for unique target audiences. To succeed in remote selling, your business must understand where its audience spends time online. For example, if you intend to sell to millennials, you’ll find them on Facebook And Instagram.
- Virtual Meetings: Traditional marketing entails hosting business clubs, attending events, and industry exhibitions to meet new clients. Those methods are time consuming and often not cost-effective, resulting in resource wastage.
Remote selling involves hosting webinars, Q&A sessions on social media platforms, and virtual meetings with clients.
Such techniques only require an investment in supportive hardware and some training. Your business will enjoy reduced costs and faster communication with potential clients.
- Embrace The Customer Value Journey: Remote selling uses the customer value journey by gathering signals in search engines, social channels, and websites.
The customer value journey develops trails as the customer researches a product, price range, or related products. The business can then structure the content, online assets, and marketing strategies in a way that matches their customer’s actions. This way, you’ll be able to target customers who have a higher chance to avail of your products and services because they’re searching for them in the first place.
The result of using the customer value journey is better spending of marketing budgets and improved sales conversions.
2. Reduces The Cost Of Doing Business
The marketing department is one of the biggest contributors to a business’ operating costs. Cost units such as marketing activations, staffing needs, and overheads all add up and can negatively affect the business if it can’t get a justifiable return of investment for these units.
Remote selling harnesses the power of technology to increase efficiency and, consequently, reduce overall costs.
Here’s how remote selling can reduce costs:
- Advertisement Costs: The traditional methods of advertisements like print, TV, billboards, and other classifieds are expensive and often difficult to access because of its limited capacity. And because of the nature of the adverts, you can’t always measure or properly account for the allocated resources.
Remote selling involves methods like PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns on social media platforms or search Engines. You can structure PPC ads to suit any budget. You can also measure results, like conversion rates, to justify a larger marketing budget for subsequent campaigns.
- Staffing Costs: Traditionally, business sales departments rely on many sales representatives to increase profitability. But as the sales force grows, related costs—such as training new staff members and increased medical insurance and benefits—also rise.
In remote selling, you don’t always need additional sales staff. Because sales communications happen virtually, it eliminates the need to send sales team members to various geographical locations to make people aware of your brand.
Thus, instead of hiring additional staff, you can use the budget to re-target customers, warm leads, increase brand awareness, and train existing sales team members on how to excel in remote selling. As a result, the business will save on staffing costs and meet its sales targets with ease.
That’s not to say your business won’t hire new sales staff at all; because as the business grows, existing sales team members won’t be able to handle the load on their own anymore. But hiring new staff will happen less often than in traditional marketing settings, allowing you to invest more in factors like those mentioned above.
- Office Space: With remote selling, employees in the sales department can work from home—reducing the need for more office space as the business grows. Also, processes like lead generation or re-targeting don’t require a lot of human intervention, reducing the pressure to hire more staff and acquire additional office space.
3. Eliminates The Need For Physical Meetings
In marketing settings, sales teams have to meet frequently to discuss their progress and whether sales targets are being met. And Customers have to be visited frequently to keep them aware of your brand and new service or product offerings.
However, with remote selling, it’s no longer necessary to conduct these important activities in person. With technological innovations and support, the sales process can improve significantly.
Below are some technologies your business can incorporate to embrace remote selling and transform the sales process:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software: The importance of such software cannot be overemphasized. Businesses transitioning into remote selling can benefit from the ability of CRM software to produce reports, generate leads, and give key insights about customers.
Sales managers and senior management can use a CRM software to monitor the performance of individual sales staff relative to set targets. Using these insights, management can choose appropriate training programs based on team members’ various performance levels.
- Communication Tools: Traditional selling relies more on emails, letters, and phone calls to communicate. The effect is more distractions, missed notifications and general delays in delivering messages. Remote sales teams will greatly benefit from tools that allow easy and instant notifications of messages, files, reports, and training.
Businesses can rely on collaborative software like Slack, Calendly, G Suite by Google, and Microsoft Teams to make internal business communications efficient, thereby increasing productivity and allowing for instant problem solving.
- Quality Control: In traditional face-to-face marketing, or over the phone marketing, businesses have little control over staff conduct and whether they deliver quality service. The business’ reputation is constantly under threat regarding the way sales people conduct themselves or treat customers.
Remote selling offers a remedy with robust technology-backed solutions. The internal audit department or supervisors can monitor conversations with a centralized communication tool. They can use the logs for training or a reference point for correction. The overall effect is better customer service, a consistent brand voice, and an improved reputation among both customers and industry peers.
4. Monitor Customer Reactions
The customer’s word or promise doesn’t always translate into business, which makes it difficult to make sales projections. With remote selling, you can use digital metrics to read signals from your prospects. Such signals will form the basis of further actions to improve the sales team’s marketing strategies.
Below are some effective channels and tactics that come with remote selling:
- Email Marketing: You can grow an email list and use it to promote unique offers to various types of prospects. With email marketing software, like AWeber or Mailchimp, you can segment your email audience to make your marketing strategies more targeted.
For example, if you run a software company, you can target distinct groups who may be interested in different products. It wouldn’t make sense to tell Group A about Product B; likewise, it wouldn’t make sense to tell Group B about Product A. With segmenting capabilities, you don’t have to separate these groups manually—your email marketing software will do it for you using unique subscriber forms and tags.
Furthermore, email marketing software measures unique metrics such as bounce rate, open rate, click-through rate, spam complaints, and forwarding rate. These metrics will tell you whether your marketing efforts are effective.
- Social Media Channels: As mentioned earlier, remote selling involves several marketing strategies, including the use of social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and others. The aim of a business presence on these platforms includes increased sales, more brand reach, and accumulated followers on such platforms.
For example: With Twitter, businesses can conduct remote sales through branded hashtags, by contributing to industry-related topics, or by making daily tweets. Metrics used in Twitter include retweets, impressions, followers, audience type, replies, and likes. A sales-related post with multiple replies can lead to more sales because of the high engagement with prospects.
- Website Metrics: Your website is the ultimate destination for potential customers. Visitor actions on a website show whether your remote selling strategy is effective.
You can measure your sales team’s effectiveness using metrics like website traffic, purchases at the e-commerce page, heat maps, and social shares of blog posts. On the e-commerce page, frequent cart abandonment is a sign that something is wrong. For example, there could be too many distractions on the checkout page, or there may be a technical issue preventing customers from finishing their transactions.
- Re-targeting: Some prospects who were targeted during your sales team’s initial marketing efforts will make use of your service or product offerings. These prospects become customers, and it’s important to nurture a business relationship with them. Since they’ve already shown trust in your brand, you can re-target them as part of your remote selling efforts.
Using your CRM software, you can build a profile for them which will tell you what they’re interested in and which services or products they’re likely to purchase in the future. You can then re-target them with personalized marketing emails and targeted social media ads.
Re-targeting is also important for those prospects who showed an interest in your business’ offerings but didn’t take further action. Their inaction may be because of various factors. Something could have distracted them at the moment they wanted to make a purchase, or maybe their internet connection was interrupted. Whatever the reason, they’re still likely to buy from you. Thus, you should re-target them through targeted social media ads, for example.
As the world faces economic challenges and business disruptions brought about by COVID-19, businesses must adapt to stay afloat. Some recovery plans of affected businesses include cost optimization, improved efficiency, and alternative ways of doing business.
Remote selling has the potential to reduce business costs by eliminating the need for a big sales team, office space, and costly traditional marketing methods.