How to Upskill Face-to-Face Salespeople for Virtual Selling

Industrial sales heavily relies on in-person relationships. So, what are the top skills virtual sales teams must improve?

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Sales teams are adapting to the new normal and many once face-to-face meetings are being replaced with virtual meetings.

What challenges are sales teams experiencing and how do we coach and train salespeople to be effective in a virtual sales environment?

Prior to Covid-19, salespeople achieving quota has declined each year since 2016 and I predict less than 50 percent of salespeople will achieve their sales goals in 2020 if they do not adapt quickly.

If you have not trained your once F2F salespeople how to sell virtually, it is very likely 60 percent of your sales team are struggling today.

We recently conducted customer research for a distributor and found that a little over 60 percent of their customers shared they preferred virtual selling to face-to-face meetings.

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What are the top sales skills virtual sales teams must improve?

#1: Sales Mindset

The first place we need to start to gain any sales velocity is to understand your sales team’s mindset and reframe any limiting beliefs.

You are helping your customers solve problems and overcome challenges not selling them something they do not need!

#2: Sales Skills

Sadly, less than 50 percent of sales teams have received sales skills training.

I suggest you assess your salespeople and pay particular attention to skills needed in virtual selling like: Qualifying, active listening, comfort using various online meeting tools and the ability to deliver a concise business case based on value.

#3: Value propositions

  • Do your salespeople have a current value proposition designed for their ideal customer profile today?
  • Does your sales team have messaging for each buyer persona?

Sadly, most sales teams I find are using a dated value proposition and are growing frustrated and often not engaged when what has always worked no longer resonates with customers.

#4: Industry Knowledge

What buyer’s want and value today are insights and advice not found on most company websites.

Buyers value the salesperson’s market experience and learning how others in the industry have solved problems they are facing now.

Have you equipped your salespeople with success stories that highlight the value your products and services provide?

#5: Know How Your Customers Make Money

Buyers share on win loss calls how they want and need sales reps to become trusted advisors connecting what they are selling to the impact it has on the buyers bottom line…but sadly only 15% of salespeople have mastered this skill today.

The Final Word

The current market challenges have made serving your customers more difficult.

RobertsRobertsSales teams must adapt and understand how their customers want and need to be served. If your sales team would like some help up skilling your team please contact me and let’s schedule a call.


Mark Allen Roberts is the founder and CEO of OTB Sales Solutions, a firm dedicated to sales training, coaching, improving sales effectiveness, sales strategy development, leveraging data to improve the science of sales, and more. He can be contacted at markrobertsnosmoke@gmail.com

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