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Top 4 Remote Selling Challenges

5 minutes read

Recently, we did a survey with 137 frontline sales professionals from across the world using SmartWinnr. All these salespeople have transitioned from face-to-face sales to remote sales.

From the survey, we have identified the top 4 challenges that remote sales reps are facing.

Challenge #1: Lack of right content to engage customers

Our survey revealed that this is one of the major challenges that remote sales reps encounter on a daily basis. Usually, when selling face-to-face, they get to engage a prospect by providing valuable insights to them directly.

But in remote sales, they need to engage a prospect virtually. Over channels like social media platforms, WhatsApp, email, live chat, etc.

While chatting over WhatsApp, for example, the prospect raises a pricing objection. What’s the best way to answer her? Share a readymade answer or try to wing it at that moment.

This is where content becomes important. Providing the customer with the right content at the right time is crucial in remote sales in order to effectively engage them in the sales cycle. Not just any content, but micro-content that can be shared on these channels.

Solution: Create a SWAT team with your Marketing and Sales. Encourage both teams to frequently communicate with each other.

  • The sales team should communicate the content requirements at each stage of the sales cycle to the marketing team.
  • The marketing team should provide micro-content in various creative formats like
    • Animated videos
    • Infographics
    • Even readymade answers to the most frequently asked questions


Challenge #2: Difficulty to uncover customer needs

In traditional industries, a sales rep would visit a customer’s office or house. Just by looking around, he would get a basic idea about the customer’s requirements. For instance, if an insurance agent sees a brand new car outside a customer’s house, he proposes auto insurance

In the digital sales world, customer research has to be done online. Using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. And, many sales reps who have recently switched to remotes sales are not aware of the best ways to conduct customer research virtually.

Solution: Train your sales reps on:

  • The sales team should communicate the content requirements at each stage of the sales cycle to the marketing team.
  • The marketing team should provide micro-content in various creative formats like
    • What platforms they should use to research various segments of customers
    • What customer details should they pay closer attention to in order to uncover their needs
    • What information should they consider to qualify a prospect
    • And, how to outreach prospects on various virtual platforms


Challenge #3: Lack of Motivation while working from home

Our survey revealed that while a lot of salespeople thrive in this work-from-home environment– there are some who find it extremely challenging.

The bottom 50% of the sales reps find it challenging to work-from-home. Most of the low performers have reported that they find it difficult to work without supervision.

Solution: There is a need for sales leaders to pay extra attention to the low performing sales reps in their teams. They need to:

  • The sales team should communicate the content requirements at each stage of the sales cycle to the marketing team.
  • The marketing team should provide micro-content in various creative formats like
    • Set a few smaller goals for them to achieve at a time
    • Check-in frequently and see if they need any help with their tasks
    • Take time to provide training and coaching for them often
    • Discover their motivators, gamify their goals and celebrate their wins often

This helps the low performers to:

  • Survive in the isolated work environment

  • And, stay engaged and motivated to give their best


Challenge #4: Don’t have the right digital tools

Not having the right set of digital tools is obviously a bigger concern for most remote sales reps. Because it is the primary necessity that helps them to conduct virtual sales successfully.

Right from prospecting to closing a deal -- from collaborating with their teammates to communicating with their manager --, remote sales reps depend on some tech tool or the other. The right tech stack creates a virtual work environment that helps them to achieve the highest productivity.

A lot of companies have already equipped their remote teams with the right set of tools. But, certain companies are still lagging behind in this area.

Solution: There are a lot of tech tools today in the market to aid remote work. But, organizations need to invest in at least a basic tech stack that will help their remote sales employee to conduct sales smoothly.

Below is a list of basic tech tools that are mandatory to provide to the remote sales reps:

  • The sales team should communicate the content requirements at each stage of the sales cycle to the marketing team.
  • The marketing team should provide micro-content in various creative formats like
    • A good internet connection (with proper bandwidth)
    • A working laptop
    • A CRM to manage customer and prospect relationship data
    • A sales training/ coaching platform like SmartWinnr to receive consistent sales training remotely
    • A video conferencing tool like Zoom to have virtual meetings with customers and prospects
    • A team communication and collaboration tool like Slack to collaborate with the teammates and managers
    • A resource sharing tool like Google Drive for information sharing

It might appear that the remote selling challenges are not different from the past. In reality, they are not that different. It’s the mindset that needs to change. With just a slight adjustment, your teams should be raring to go.

Published on Mon Jun 29 2020

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