Working in sales can be a lucrative career path, but learning to succeed is often an uphill battle. Working from home as a remote sales rep can be even more challenging as there are separate, complex issues that arise when working remotely.
There are a few essential skills required for becoming a remote sales rep, and in this guide we will equip you with the knowledge you need to excel and smash your remote sales targets.
We will also provide 12 expert tips that are tailored specifically to remote sales work.
So whether you are an independent contractor, a business owner, or an off-site employee, read on to learn how you can start excelling as a remote sales rep today!
The role of a remote sales rep has gained prominence over the past few years, fueled by the transformative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
39% of sales reps prefer remote work over working in an office or hybrid options, so with more sales professionals embracing virtual work than ever before, the landscape is evolving, presenting great opportunities for salespeople to thrive in a remote environment.
Let’s check out the crucial skills that define a top-tier remote sales rep:
To achieve remote sales success, it’s crucial to be adaptable to any situation that comes your way. It’s imperative to have aproactive mindset and a diverse skill set.
Embracing change and becoming adaptable extends to refining communication skills, navigating various channels, and adjusting styles to suit diverse customers. By embodying these qualities, remote sales reps not only survive but thrive in the ever-changing landscape of remote sales.
To be successful as a remote sales rep, you need to be proactive and have a disciplined approach. Working from home requires a high level of self-motivation as if you struggle to get up and go, you will eventually slack on your work without anybody else around..
Being proactive in setting and achieving goals, coupled with discipline in managing your time, ensures consistent performance and success in a remote sales role.
With the absence of a traditional office structure, effective time management is crucial. One survey reportedthat a staggering 82% of people don’t have a time management system in place. The same survey found that spending as little as 10-12 minutes of planning your day can save you two hours of time.
As a remote sales rep, you can use that saved time to generate new leads and boost your revenue dramatically.
Prioritizing tasks, setting deadlines,creating a strategic sales plan, and maintaining a structured routine allow you to make the most of your time and achieve optimal productivity as a remote sales rep.
4. Effective Communication
In a world where face-to-face interactions are limited, you need to be able to articulate ideas clearly in order to build meaningful connections virtually.
It’s important you actively listen to clients and showcase a genuine interest in their needs. Be empathetic so you come across that you are understanding of their worries. Customers know when they are being listened to and your tone of voice and level of interest is evident over the phone.
Strike a balance between assertiveness and respect to instill confidence. Prioritize clarity and avoid unnecessary jargon. Incorporate open-ended questions that will help you gather valuable insights into their psyche.
These actionable insights will enhance your communication strategy, paving the way for more meaningful virtual connections and increased success in remote sales.
To communicate more effectively, you need to nail both your verbal and nonverbal communication techniques. Check out this detailed guide that will help you to master your sales communication skills!
A deep understanding of technology not only streamlines your workflow but also enhances your overall effectiveness as a remote sales rep.
There are a multitude of different tools to automate your work and drive revenue growth. Even though you may be working as a remote sales rep, travel is occasionally (or often) required.
When you're not relying on an employer's resources to cover your bases, you'll need to utilize your own vehicle and funds to make the trip from Point A to Point B.
If your sales position requires travel, it's important tooptimize your travel routeswith route planning software to make it to customer meetings in a timely and cost-effective manner.
The best route planning software for remote sales reps is Badger Maps.
Reps using Badger Maps save an average of 8 hours a week from better planning, becoming more focused and organized, and driving more efficient routes.
The Badger Maps Team feature can help you and the other remote sales reps on your team stay connected at all times. You can check your team’s activity in real-time, the status of their current accounts, and be able to allocate tasks to team members as they come up.
Using the Team feature is also a powerful way of visualizing your entire organization’s accounts, giving you a clear view of what your team should be targeting strategically.
“Badger Maps contributed heavily to our bottom line. Reps consistently met our goal of 10 meetings a day, 50 per week. That wouldn’t have been possible without Badger Maps.”
Arizona Director of Business Development
Badger Maps can also help remote sales reps mobilize their CRM, giving them access to important customer info from wherever they are. This enables them to sync and leverage data in their CRM, all from their mobile device.
Armed with the essential skills a remote sales rep needs, now, let's delve into practical remote sales strategies. Here are 12 valuable tips on how to work remotely in sales.
Tip 1: Create a Dedicated Workspace
When your livelihood depends on making successful sales, your attention needs to be on making contacts,pitching your products, and following up. This means that when you’re not on the road, you’ll benefit from a dedicated place to work without any distractions of daily life.
Whether your home base can spare an extra bedroom or simply a corner of the living room, your work needs a place where you can stay committed and focused.
Consider designating a specific area equipped with essential tools like a comfortable chair, a reliable computer, and good lighting. This is where you are going to spend a large chunk of your day, therefore you want your space to be as comfortable as possible.
A study by the University of Cincinnati found that 75% of respondents who worked from home reported hunching over their computers. Ensuring you have the right set-up for your work from home office is crucial to help you avoid any unnecessary injuries.
Personalize your workspace to make it conducive to productivity, adding elements that inspire and motivate you. Keep itorganized and free from non-work-related items to minimize distractions. By investing time and effort into creating a dedicated workspace, you establish a professional environment that enhances your focus and overall work performance.
A traditional workplace is often free of distractions like television, your personal computer, your fridge, and your family, but a home-based workplace is a little different.
While using your home as your work base can help even out your work-life balance, it's also easy to find your personal life bleeding into your professional practices because your workspace now serves multiple purposes.
Take as many measures as possible to keep distractions to a minimum. Studies have shown that it takes 24 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus after being distracted. That’s a crazy statistic that lays bare the true effects that distractions can have on productivity.
So try to keep the room or space you use for work dedicated to work. Maybe you have to set boundaries for when your housemates can speak to you. Or you need to put your personal phone on airplane mode during work hours. Whatever it is, make sure you minimize distractions so you can boost your sales and be the best remote sales rep you can possibly be!
Customer names, addresses, passwords, credit card and account numbers are considered sensitive information, so keeping customer data safe should be a top priority. Implementing encryption options like a VPNis a crucial step in safeguarding this sensitive information, ensuring secure and private communications in a remote work environment.
Instead of working via public Wi-Fi or an unsecured personal network, take time to implement encryption options to protect against breaches. After all, it's unlikely your customers will continue to trust you if you can't protect their personal info.
Tip 4: Maximize Your Signal
Have a weak signal in your apartment? Poor cell reception isn't going to go over well with your customers, so it's up to you to make sure your home gets good service.
While it's best to take precautionary measures before you sign the lease, investing in a good router and making calls over WiFi can help ensure that your signal is consistent and you’re ready for business at all times.
A sales career involves significant time spent on conversations with potential buyers, and as a remote worker without a business line, this means your cell phone is your lifeline to customers.
Before settling on a plan, conduct thorough research on the carriers that offer the best service in your neighborhood and throughout your sales radius.
When you're working out of an office, the workday can have a finite start and end time. These times may be flexible, but sooner or later, you'll get to go home.
When you come home from sales calls to the place where you both work and live, however, this divide becomes less defined, leading to more time invested in work than would occur under normal circumstances. By setting a schedule – and sticking to it – you can do your best to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
From studio apartments to a handful of roommates, there are plenty of living situations that aren't ideal for working from home. When there's no room in your home for an office, aco-working space can be a perfect solution for a remote sales base.
Offering an upscale, comfortable, and collaborative atmosphere customized for work, co-working spaces often feature millennial-friendly floor plans and can present an affordable alternative to maintaining an office at home.
Remote sales reps can also consider alternatives like cafes with reliable Wi-Fi, or hotel lobbies for a productive work environment. These options offer a change of scenery and necessary facilities, crucial for staying focused and achieving success in the sales field.
Tip 7: Cultivate Social Selling Skills for Online Engagement
Social media has become a powerful tool for remote sales professionals. Reps are utilizing social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to look for new customers who they may have missed through other, outdated lead-generation techniques.
Also, social selling relates to a massive boost in revenue, with 78% of sales reps who sell on social media channels outselling peers who don’t use the same channels.
To sell on social media, you need to share relevant content, participate in discussions, and build a strong online presence. Having an online presence will let you control the narrative of what is being said about you online. You will be able to craft your online identity however you see fit. Your tone can be playful, serious, or informative.
By integrating social media into your remote sales strategy, you enhance your reach and create valuable connections that can translate into successful business opportunities.
When you're working in sales from a traditional office, you'll often have trainers and managers to help you review product information, highlight desirable features, and learn best practices for making a sale.
When you're working remotely, whether for an employer or for yourself, you'll likely have tohandle your own training or at least part of it. Before hitting the trail or picking up the phone, take the time to learn your products inside and out.
That way when you’re faced with a tricky customer question, you will know your product like the back of your hand and be able to provide exactly the answer they are looking for.
Preparation is key!
Tip 9: Learn Tax Basics
Working from home can influence many elements of your professional life, and that includes taxes. Your tax situation changes drastically when you are self-employed, leading to things like quarterly estimated taxes and a wider range of deductions. Instead of missing out on savings, consider partnering with a certified public accountant (CPA) or taking time to read up on filing taxes when you’re working from home.
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Effectively managing your inventory is key to a successful home-based business. Having a significant amount of inventory can enhance your sales process, but it may become a challenge in a smaller living space.
Invest in a good storage unit to keep your products secure and well-organized. This not only promotes a seamless sales operation but also ensures your living space remains clutter-free.
By storing your inventory externally, youcreate aclear boundary between work and personal life, allowing you to relax and recharge when you're off the clock without the reminder of business-related tasks.
Tip 11: Focus on Relationships
Sales is all about relationships.
Your success depends on nurturing existing customers as well as acquiring new ones. Prioritize customer relationships by leveraging CRM systems or affordable alternatives, ensuring effective communication and automated processes for sustained success in remote sales.
If you don’t have a system provided, check out affordable CRM options for small businesses.
But whatever you do, don’t rely on spreadsheets or handwritten planners. Failing to maintain connections with your customers can cost you significantly when working as a remote sales rep.
Once you automate your processes, you’ll wonder how you ever got anything done before!
Who says success in sales requires working out of a traditional office? It’s possible to achieve sales success without the constraints of a traditional office.
These 12 tips for remote sales reps, whether you're aspiring to become a sales rep from home, exploring work-from-home sales representative roles, or seeking the best outside sales jobs, provide the foundation for a robust start to your remote sales career.
Embrace the flexibility of working from homeand excel in sales from the comfort of your own space.
Author Bio: Laura Gayle, a full-time blogger, has ghostwritten 350+ articles for top software companies, tech startups, and online retailers.