Over the years, the term “virtual sales team” has made many sales managers more than a little nervous. How do you coach them? How do you monitor their productivity? Which remote selling tools do you give them? How can you create a positive, high-energy culture if your sales team is not rubbing elbows with each other?
Now, we don’t have a choice. Everyone is working remotely and sales leaders need to manage virtual sales teams. As a digital sales transformation company, we at Vengreso live and breathe what we teach B2B sellers with our own virtual sales team. In fact, our entire workforce is virtual.
But how do you preserve culture within a Virtual Sales Team? It’s challenging when the whole team doesn’t gather together in a physical office space – but it’s absolutely possible to develop and sustain a positive sales culture.
We interviewed Mario Martinez Jr., CEO and founder of Vengreso, to provide some insights on this topic. Check out the video below for the full interview which was recorded before the COVID-19 timeframe.
In this video Mario answers an important question for every sales leader: How Do You Preserve Culture with a Virtual Sales Team? It’s challenging when the whole team doesn’t gather together in a physical office space – but it’s absolutely possible to preserve a positive culture…. Keep in mind, this video was recorded long before the pandemic forced everyone into remote selling.
Why Vengreso Is 100% Virtual
Mario says he created Vengreso as a 100% virtual company for three reasons.
1. Financial savings
First of all, as a startup, it made financial sense. No office rent, no parking issues, no utilities costs, and no paying a company to water the plants!
On average, office space costs about $12,000 annually per employee in the United States. Add to that the costs of desks, chairs, computers, phones, internet connection, utilities, maintenance, cleaning and more. With those savings, your business can reinvest in more resources, tools, and training.
Reducing costs is always a top priority for business, but during these unprecedented times it’s especially even more important. Leveraging a virtual sales team is one way to do that.We @GoVengreso practice #virtualtraining with our own #sales team and the results prove it’s effective. @KurtShaver #digitalselling. #DigitalSales #BusinessClick To Tweet
2. Access to talent
It also eliminated any geographic constraints to find the best talent and to be able to improve diversity in the team. The Vengreso virtual team is scattered across the globe with people in the Philippines, India, Colombia, Mexico, Bulgaria, and North America.
When you limit your hiring only to people who can commute to your office, you’re restricted to local talent or the few people willing to relocate (and if they do, you may have to offer expensive perks or cover moving expenses).
Hiring remote teams opens up the talent pool without restriction to other regions. Because the cost of living in some of these countries is less than the U.S., the salaries are at a lower scale – due to currency conversion rates – and you end up saving money.
Global talent also brings a fresh perspective that many times results in innovation in your company. People educated abroad and with job experience in other parts of the world bring a different perspective that sometimes is lacking in local talent.
3. Our business model is virtual
Finally, as a virtual digital sales training company, our own sales strategy demonstrates to our customers that virtual sales training works! In fact, it’s even proven by science! There are seven proven neuroscience benefits to virtual sales program.
You can also check out some of the best practices for implementing a virtual sales training.
How to Succeed with a Virtual Sales Team
Everyone from start-ups to enterprise companies are adjusting to virtual and hybrid sales teams to adjust to the “new normal.” The challenge is keeping everyone connected and in the know to maintain an exciting sales culture that breeds success.
Mario recommends using tools and technology to build connections and create a sense of bonding. He says, “Video is really central to building the right type of culture within an organization, and more specifically a sales culture.” This applies internally to the company and externally to customers.
We use Zoom to stay connected and conduct meetings. It allows us to see each other’s expressions and body language. You can learn a lot more about a person’s emotions and enthusiasm when you can see their facial expressions. Whereas on a phone call you will not see the frown line across their forehead or their smile when a salesperson provides useful information.
Oh, and don’t be surprised if people’s dogs get into the conversation. More than once, a visit by the UPS man has triggered a dog to bark during conversation across continents so make sure you know where the Mute button is and have a good laugh about it.
In Episode 141 of The Modern Selling Podcast, Chad Olds, V.P. of Enterprise Sales at Anchore goes into more detail and explains how to help sales reps hit quota while working from home.
Top Tip to Connect Buyers and Sellers in a Virtual Environment
Keeping your team connected is only part of the puzzle. Mario also shared his best advice for connecting buyers and sellers in a virtual environment.
He says, “We’ve moved so far past traditional phone conversations, that you shouldn’t be sending your customers an audio bridge.”
Instead, think about what your customers want. Modern buyers have four cardinal attributes. They are:
- Socially engaged
- Digitally connected
- Mobile attached
- Video hungry
With these qualities in mind, the draw to video is obvious. Don’t hold yourself back from getting on camera with your customers. When a customer can see your facial expressions and gestures it helps them to relate to you and allows you to build a sense of trust.
In fact, research suggests that there are 3 elements dictating whether your buyer will like or dislike you: 7% words or what you say, 38% the tone of your voice, and 55% your body language. That means that 55% of your ability to gain trust with your prospects rests on them being able to see you. Hence the importance of video.
Mario recommends leading with video, adding that whenever he schedules a meeting with anyone through his online booking calendar, “ Virtual Video Conference ” is in the subject line of the meeting. Video is, in a sense, your shortcut to building trust. Leverage it!
We @GoVengreso practice #virtualtraining with our own #sales team and the results prove it’s effective. @KurtShaver #digitalselling #remotesellingClick To Tweet
Whether or not you planned it, your team is now a virtual sales team. Enable them to use modern selling techniques to find, engage, and connect with prospects to start more sales conversations and grow their pipeline. This means if you haven’t leveraged a social selling training program yet to help your sales team develop the right skills for engaging, then you need to take action now.