The social distancing and other safety requirements of a post-COVID-19 world have made the jobs of outside sales reps that much harder.
Instead of walking into a customer’s place of business, they’re now having to rely on conducting virtual sales meetings over the internet—and that presents an entirely new set of challenges.
Barking dogs in the background, tech issues, and a general lack of experience working virtually are just some of the many obstacles that your outbound sales reps will need to overcome. As time goes by and people get used to the “new norm,” they will come to expect the companies they do business with to adapt and maintain a professional image.
We want to share with you a few tips for your consideration on how to adequately prepare and support your sales reps so that they can continue to perform like the Rock Stars that they are.
Create a Professional Experience
In the first few weeks of the COVID-19 shutdown, it was somewhat normal for people conducting virtual sales meetings to show up on camera with a baseball cap or a background shot of their kitchen or living room. Nobody knew what to expect or how long the lockdown would last.
As the weeks and months went by, it became readily apparent that in-person sales meetings and calls were a thing of the past. Now is the time to sit down with your sales team and create a game plan that will allow them to conduct a more professional virtual sales meeting.
A branded backdrop or a roll-up banner that resides behind the sales rep while they’re on camera can add a new level of professionalism to their calls. By now, almost everyone is tired of “the new norm,” and a professional visual atmosphere will let your customers know that you’ve adapted and are moving forward.
Before COVID-19, a sales rep would place an order with their manager for sales materials, and they would deliver those to customers and prospects by hand. They can still pass out sales materials by having them mailed directly to their customers in advance of a sales meeting.
A good graphic designer can take your current printed sales materials and turn them into virtual .pdf’s, which the sales rep can then distribute via email. This is a great way to update your marketing collateral, and once life returns back to normal, you can have that same .pdf turned into a 3-page brochure or catalog.
Get the IT Department Involved
Your IT department is a critical link that will help keep everything running smoothly when technical issues arise. While most people in this day and age have high-speed home internet, it’s nowhere near as reliable nor fast as the connection that you have in your office.
If you haven’t already, consider purchasing your sales team new laptops, webcams, and other professional IT equipment that will allow them to conduct their virtual meetings with as little hiccups as possible.
The software that they use for conducting meetings is also essential. Consider the fact that your customers may not want to download a program and run it on their computer. There are several video teleconferencing software tools on the market that will allow someone to join a meeting without having to download anything.
Let’s face it. If sales reps aren’t outside pounding the proverbial pavement on a daily basis, there’s a good chance that their performance will suffer. You can help them out by performing lead generation and passing the warm ones off to the team members.
A properly set up and executed lead gen program can move prospective clients and customers from the top of the funnel down to the bottom. You can use a combination of off and online tactics that will ensure that prospects have ample information to make an informed buying decision.
Add a Human Element to the Meetings
The chief downside to virtual sales meetings is that they can be somewhat impersonal. Some of your customers may be camera-shy or have technical issues of their own. This means your sales team won’t be able to visually see them on camera if they call in over the phone.
A great way to add a human touch is to send out promotional products or a personalized direct mail piece after the meeting as a sign of your appreciation. You can even empower your sales reps to place pre-approved orders via the custom AgOnline Portal. This will allow them to quickly get the marketing and sales materials that they need without having to wait for managerial approval.
Marketing Help in Raleigh
When it comes to maintaining a professional image while conducting virtual sales meetings, there’s a lot to take into consideration. However, by taking the time to examine the entire process, your sales team will be able to present a much more polished image to customers and prospects. This, in turn, will help to instill public trust and solidify your brand.
At AlphaGraphics of Raleigh, we’re much more than a print shop. We’re also marketing experts who you can count on to help you when it comes time to market your business. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can help with your content graphic design and marketing needs, you may email us, request a quote, or call us at (919) 832-2828.