3 Tips to Virtual Success for Sales Reps

By Meghna Purkayastha

Working from home has become the new normal, which can be especially challenging for salespeople who are used to in-person meetings and colleague camaraderie. Sales reps are now cut off from the personal interaction some thrive on. Phone prospecting is difficult as sales reps are hesitant to call during these challenging times. When reps do make contact, they have to maintain an intricate balance between respecting the hard hits many businesses are taking during the pandemic, and trying to drive value-added conversations about the products they represent. What’s a sales rep to do?

What does virtual success look like?

As buying periods slow down, sales reps can still build deep relationships with their clients. To do so, it’s important to understand client needs, lean into their changing business priorities, and respond to comments and questions in real time, quickly addressing their needs in a consultative approach.

All this requires intense virtual coordination with the larger internal team. That way, the sales rep is armed with the latest sales strategy and account details, in order to present clients with the right solutions. Since the team isn't as accessible as before when we were all in the office, it's critical that we're able to get on the same page without hopping on the phone or a video call. For some, this digital approach is a completely new way of working. Here are three tips to achieve virtual success.

1. Build Internal Strategy with Automated Marketing Handoffs and Account Plans

In order for inside sales reps to correctly qualify new leads and customize their conversation to the customer’s situation, they need to be up to speed on the product offering, the latest messaging and talk track, and other industry-specific marketing assets. This all takes quite a bit of cross-team coordination, and with everyone now working remotely, it all has to be done virtually.

Automated pre-built templates can help immensely. With Quip for Customer 360, Quip document templates can be built into any standard or custom Salesforce object, like an Opportunity, Lead, or Contact. As shown in this video, a completed Marketing Brief template can empower a salesperson to have value-driven customer conversations equipped with the latest marketing messaging, product knowledge, strategy initiatives, and more. These informed conversations help the sales rep stay on top of what the customer cares most about, especially during these rapidly changing times.

It's important not only to be up to speed on the latest messaging, but having the latest account details and account strategy is critical too. It starts with embedded Account Plans in Quip. By incorporating live CRM data, these living account plans remain relevant throughout the year rather than static and quickly outdated. As collaborative documents, account plans can become a central hub where all stakeholders work together to build out strategy. And since Quip docs are also accessible outside Salesforce, stakeholders who don’t work in CRM, such as product or marketing team members, can contribute and offer their perspective.

2. Collaborate with Stakeholders on Close Plans

The second tip for virtual sales success is to create digital close plans that are collaborative with all stakeholders. Close plans are key to tracking the progress of a deal, building out use cases, ensuring customer requirements are met, and developing pricing. Without a close plan, deal coordination and pre-sales activities are difficult to fit in a structured field in Salesforce. Other teams involved in the pre-sales process, like solution engineers, technical support, or management can weight in to make sure customers are getting the most value from their sales rep and product.

Quip collaborative close plan templates can help by providing a single place for collaborative stakeholder input that’s attached to the relevant Salesforce record. A salesperson can keep a log of their customer conversations and capture key discovery information and requirements, while also keep track of pricing proposals and other deal changes. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for each customer deal or opportunity; just fill in the relevant template fields and go.

While working in close plans, sales reps can save time on data entry by using the log a call function, which makes it possible to log a call in Salesforce without leaving Quip. This eliminates any need to double-enter meeting notes. Your data stays up to date in CRM, and you can focus on continuing to build deep connections with customers instead of worrying about admin tasks.

Closely related to close plans are collaborative pricing proposals, which centralize all pricing information and discussions in a single place that’s shared with the customer. That way, you can develop pricing without a phone call or in-person visit, while reducing miscommunication and revision cycles, and helping your customer feel empowered. Bringing in key internal stakeholders like legal and finance is as simple as sharing them on the Quip document.

3. Foster Customer Success with Smooth Digital Handoffs

The third tip to success is to ensure the best journey for your customer once a sale has been completed. When opportunities or proposals are won, there are often many steps to onboard the customer. That may include key stakeholders from engineering, operations, service, and customer success teams who might not work in CRM. These teams often need access to information and insight about the key customer interactions and deployment details that live in Salesforce.

Now that sales reps can’t just tap on colleagues’ shoulders to keep them up to speed on deal details and customer requirements, a post-sales handoff template may be in order. These templates live inside of Salesforce and can be set up to automatically populate once an opportunity has closed, including adding necessary team members, even if they do not have access to Salesforce. With this more seamless handoff, the customer is well taken care of throughout the sales cycle.

If these are some strategies you’d like to try, check out our full collection of pre-built templates. Utilizing these templates can be crucial to a salesperson’s success and can propel your career path.


To help teams collaborate while employees are away from the office, Quip Starter will be available for free to any organization through September 30, 2020.