How salespeople can thrive – not just survive – in 2022

What changed for salespeople in 2021?

Salespeople have had to adapt rapidly to remote selling. Fortunately, the channel has been at the forefront of adopting the latest tools and technologies to exploit this new virtual selling environment.

With customers relying on technology to survive, many channel businesses have achieved excellent results over the past 18 months as they help customers to adapt to new ways of working.

Going forward, there’s a constant need to stay competitive. Whilst businesses have invested to manage and reduce disruption, most are still in the process of adapting and refining. This is where the channel can help to ensure the right decisions are based on accurate information.

A question of skill, or training?

Today’s salesperson must be able to sell remotely. Even if we return to some in-person selling, the skill of selling over video needs to be continually monitored and refined. However, the basic requirements for appropriate dress and punctuality still apply.

A portfolio of modern sales tools has been turbo charged to help manage and coach people remotely.  This enables a manager to watch over their teams, monitor and advise on the sales process and understand how a prospective customer is progressing.  Data and insight remain vital to enable timely and accurate decisions to be made.

Data is key

As Microsoft Teams has become increasingly popular, so have the tools to gain insight into patterns of activity. With many meetings still online, this also means more interactions can be recorded, more information can be collected, and decisions can be based on accurate data.  For example, sales managers can evaluate the recordings of sales calls, evaluate performance and provide fast feedback.

How are vendors helping?

A successful vendor initiative is designed to strengthen relationships, understanding and knowledge.  Resellers and MSPs that are fully informed about a vendor’s product development roadmap will be better equipped to plan their own go-to-market strategies in line with the needs of their customers.

It also helps considerably if a product or service is in demand.

Free trials are always extremely popular since it provides the reseller or MSP with an opportunity to revisit their customer base with an attractive offer and open up a conversation.

Education is essential if salespeople are to be successful. In Tollring’s experience the key to a successful training programme between vendors and channel partners is collaboration and planning. Refining content to the audience, regular evaluation and reviews and co-operative promotion facilitate success. Salespeople throughout the channel need to know which opportunities are a natural fit with the proposition, to drive higher deal close rates, and to provide excellent customer experience.