1. Consider your Lead Source.
Like all sales campaigns, where your leads are coming from can make or break the success of the project.
Leads can come from a variety of sources: cold data purchased from a provider, data scraped from websites, or warm leads you have generated through other business and marketing activities. Consider where your leads come from prior to launch to make sure you’re prepared with the right information and rebuttals to be successful.
Warm Leads: Warm leads are those who have interacted with your brand in some way before, so they’ve already expressed some interest or familiarity in what you offer. Since the obstacle of showing them who you are and what you do is out of the way, these leads are closer to closing than those who have never heard of your business.
Cold Leads: On the other hand, cold leads are those who are unfamiliar with your business. They may be a good fit for your product or service, but they have given no indication that they are interested in becoming a customer. Although these leads can become clients, these tend to be a first step in a lead qualifying process and are not as likely to convert as warm leads or referrals.
Scraped Leads: Lead scraping is a method used to collect contact information from your target audience, which requires you to have a sense of who that audience is. If you know the industries or job titles you want to target, you can use lead scraping to find an audience that matches these criteria and pulls contact information to connect to them. These leads might be more receptive to your product or service as they are in a segment that typically needs what you are selling. However, like cold leads, they have given no indication that they are in the market for your product.
Where to get a warm lead list
While each of these methods offer some pros and cons, sales campaigns that are working with warm leads tend to see the most success. Digital marketing activities such as webinars, landing pages, paid- ads, or newsletters are an excellent source for warm leads, as the prospect has engaged with your brand voluntarily and likely provided some information about themselves. Gated content that requires a form or sign-up is a great way to learn information such as the client’s industry, company, seniority level, and more to help your sales team develop rapport and to help your marketing team further segment their lead generation campaigns.
2. Have a Process
One of the most important aspects of your successful remote campaign is following a clear, repeatable sales process. Processes can look very different depending on the nature of your sales needs, whether you’re selling B2B vs B2C, managing multiple touchpoints vs expecting a close within a single sale, or if you’re working with warm or cold leads. However, your process ensures clear communication between you and your sales person. When they’re working remotely, it’s even more important to make sure this step is in place.
Think of the sales process as your rep’s roadmap to a successful interaction with your leads. For example, let’s say you’re the founder of a tech company and you need an appointment setter to contact a list of warm leads to book demos. Consider whether you want your rep to call or email the leads, what they should say, and what the script should be given the potential answers. If they want to be called back at a later time or to connect over email, have you given your rep the tools to make this possible? When you want to book a demo, decide if you plan to have your rep book it on a calendar for a later date or provide a live-transfer to another person. If there is another person involved, your process will also include ensuring their availability, how the hand-off goes between reps, and what the secondary person will be doing in between demos. Consider how you will manage a hold or dropped call, what follow up activities you’d like to take, and what to do if the sales rep is unable to connect to the prospect at all.
Even in a relatively straightforward process there are many steps to develop before diving into a sales campaign. In a more robust campaign, such as one with multiple touches or one that requires qualifying a cold list first, you’ll need to think through each interaction and reaction that your salesperson will take.
How to Create a Sales Process
We recommend beginning with a simple document to outline some of the basics, and filling these in as you identify new scenarios and opportunities for improvement. We've outlined a more in-depth version of a sales process here.
The “basics” of designing your process that should be included are your lead source and initial contact, a process for qualifying your leads, assessing the needs of those you’re contacting to ensure your product or service is a proper fit, the pitch or product demo that you will be presenting and the time in the process that you expect to present it. You’ll also want to include information for managing objections and providing rebuttals, closing, and the actions taken after the final touch to encourage relationship building and repeat business.
The right process for your team will be dependent on the goals of your project, although the most effective processes are those that are continuously optimized to remove any nonessential steps. Understanding your own product, pain points of your target customer, and process will help you refine it over time.
3. Make Your Script Natural
The sales script is how your salesperson communicates with your leads, in other words, a conversation. When a sales rep is communicating over the phone, it’s especially important to have this piece of the process in place to make sure they are correctly representing your brand, the product or service you are selling, and highlighting the correct benefits for the clients you want.
The script is also a great opportunity for your sales rep to learn about your prospects. As we say, “selling isn’t telling.” The script should leave room for the prospect to speak, ask questions, and feel engaged with what the rep is telling them. In fact, a good script doesn’t sounds like a script. It should be conversational and flow naturally between the salesperson and the prospect.
How to write a sales script
Naturally, introductions are in order for any interaction where two people don’t know each other. The script should begin with your salesperson explaining clearly who they are and why they are reaching out. This could look like a request to speak to a specific person, rather than explicitly stating that they are calling to sell a product.
A sales script needs to engage the prospect, so the next step should be to build a friendly connection. Often an introductory story or questions are used to develop rapport and to learn more about the prospect and their needs.
Once this has been established, the script should share the value propositions of your product or service, which your salesperson may potentially share in response to the issues that the prospect has just told them during the discovery stage. Along with providing all the necessary information about your product or service, you should include common questions and answers, as well as objections and rebuttals for your salesperson to provide.
When creating a sales script, we recommend starting at the end of the story. Consider what you want the outcome to be, whether that’s a sale, demo, or appointment. It’s important to communicate the goal of the interaction with the salesperson, so that they have the flexibility to be creative in their approach to achieving the desired result.
If you are running a multi-touch campaign, you may need to develop multiple scripts to ensure your salesperson’s success at each stage of interaction. For example, the first touch may be to book a demo, while the second script may aim to close the sale.
4. Compensate the Right Way
Sales can be a challenging job, and the best salespeople are always in demand. Providing the right compensation for the work your team is doing is one way to retain your best talent and ensure the success of your remote sales campaign.
The sales commission structure should provide a mutual benefit to you and your salesperson if a long term relationship is to continue. If either party feels that they are adding more value than they are getting from the relationship, it won’t be long before the salesperson is fired for underperforming or departs from your campaign due to being compensated poorly.
How to compensate your sales team
Because sales roles can be easily measured by performance, compensation often includes a commission structure that reflects their work. Whether your sales team is in-house, remote, contract, closers, or appointment setters, their compensation should always be tied to achievable goals for the role they are in.
When deciding how to offer commission, consider the various sales roles and responsibilities on your team. For example, if you have hired a remote rep to set appointments for your in-house salesperson to give demos, their commission should be based on how many appointments they have set rather than the closing of the sale, which is beyond their control. If you have hired a salesperson to close a deal on the spot, it makes sense to offer commission for sales closed.
You should always provide a base earning amount in addition to a variable pay structure. Commission-only puts the burden of risk on your salespeople, who may have no control over the quality of leads they are working with or may have not been given the tools to succeed in other parts of the campaign. This is why Overpass lets contractors choose their hourly rate. While commission is certainly a large part of contractors’ salaries, they are also fairly compensated for the effort they have put into pre-sales activities such as learning product information or reviewing scripts. Ensuring your sales team is fully onboarded into the process helps them, and subsequently you, to be successful in their sales activities.
5. Train your team.
Even if your sales team is not in-house, they are still a part of your team. This means that they need to be properly trained and incentivized. It can’t be assumed that because they know how to do sales that they will know how to sell your particular product or service.
Apart from a process, script, lead list, and a mutually beneficial compensation plan, they’ll need to have knowledge of softer aspects of your company and product to be successful. An important part of training is communicating with your contractor and making sure they have what they need, as well as being available to offer areas for improvement (especially as you’re onboarding them to your team).
Training your sales team.
As with any new hire, spend time with your remote representative to make sure they understand not only the goals and expectations of their role, but the greater objectives of the business, how you position yourself, and the desirable features of the product. If you are hiring someone to represent your brand, you’ll need to ensure that they have the material and training that it takes to represent your brand correctly. If there are technical details that they need to know to effectively communicate the value of your product to your prospects, you’ll need to make sure they understand how the product works.
While onboarding your sales rep is essential, training doesn’t end with set up. Ongoing communication is also a critical part of continuously improving your remote rep’s skillset and their ability to sell your product. Using a calling software like Overpass, you can monitor calls to ensure your rep is communicating the right ideas and provide feedback regarding ways they might improve. Optimizing your campaign also requires freshening up materials, like your sales script, to make sure it’s tailored to the right audience each time a rep is reaching out.
Remember, your rep wants to be successful at sales as much as you want them to. Be sure to invest in them as much as you want them to invest in selling your product.
Although your sales team is remote, they still require training and materials as well as a dedicated point of contact to continuously improve their success. While contractors may not require training in the specific area of sales, they still need to be able to ask questions and get answers from the in-house expert on your product and brand to make sure they are effectively selling your product, the way you want, to the right people.