Updated May 19, 2022
Research from Ladders’s data science firm predicts that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. That’s a sizeable percentage that experts believe will only continue increasing. Statistics like this reinforce that the future belongs to remote B2B sales. If you work in the industry, it’s wise to prepare for that future now so you’re ready when the day comes.
We cover everything you need to know about the future of remote B2B sales jobs so you can be ready. Here’s how to prepare.
Why remote work is the future of B2B sales
COVID-19 showed us all that a remote workforce is not only possible in professional settings, but is also often a better solution for companies and their employees. That’s true for a few reasons.
Lower overhead costs
The average monthly rent of just a 1,200 square foot office space is $3,000. Many companies pay significantly more for this because they’ve traditionally needed more space to fit employees.
But when most of the workforce is remote, employers don’t need as much office space for them. This can bring down their monthly rental costs significantly – not to mention the savings to be had in reduced supply costs.
Research indicates that employees who work from home are up to 47% more productive than those in offices. That’s reason enough for many B2B companies to start primarily offering remote sales jobs.
Access to a broader talent pool
Employers that offer the highest-paying sales jobs want to make sure they’re attracting the best of the best to those positions. But that’s tough to do when the talent pool they review is restricted to a single geographic area.
Remote sales jobs fix this issue. They give employers the ability to hire entry-level sales jobs and high-paying ones from a much broader talent pool.
Many employees prefer working from home because of the increased autonomy over their days. Someone who works from home can set their own hours
Superior work-life balance
Finally, work from home also eliminates commute time from workers’ schedules. The average commute time in the United States is about 27.6 minutes each way. That means remote sales jobs can add an hour or even more of free time to an employee’s day. That’s nearly 30 added minutes that can be devoted to prospect follow-up or cold calls.
Skills to develop for the remote work future
If you’re a B2B salesperson who would like to qualify for the highest-paying sales jobs of the remote future, then you’re going to need the right set of skills. Here are four worth focusing on as you prepare for these remote sales jobs.
Remote communication skills
Every salesperson needs to have strong communication skills to form relationships with new clients and maintain relationships with existing ones. But if you’ve primarily worked with your clients in person, then you may need to work on developing your under-utilized remote communication skills to prepare for the future.
Learning how to remotely collaborate with your team is also essential. Brainstorm with your team to determine the best modes of communication (email, Slack, group text, Zoom calls, etc.). Is oral communication or written communication more productive for your team? Which time zones are at play?
Once you’re interacting effectively, delegate duties to each team member. Check in frequently and make sure everyone is in the loop at all times.
Research suggests that we get about 55% of someone’s body language information. But remote sales jobs involve tons of conversations over the phone where you can’t rely on someone’s body language to pick up on how they’re feeling.
That’s why you should practice your active listening skills. You’ll need to be able to rely on your ability to read a prospect’s tone, word choice, and pattern of speech if you want to adapt your sales strategy correctly in the middle of a remote sales pitch.
Many remote sales jobs also involve giving presentations over video conferencing software like Zoom. That means B2B salespeople need to be skilled at presenting the image they wish to convey through a screen instead of in person.
Here are some tips to improve your on-screen presence during remote sales meetings and presentations:
- Remember to smile
- Get up and walk around periodically
- Look at the camera
- Switch from full-screen to showing documents every so often to keep things interesting
- Focus on creating a professional-looking background in your home
Written communication is much more critical for remote B2B sales professionals. If you’re not seeing your clients in person as often, then you’re likely going to be communicating with them via emails, social media messaging, and other written channels more consistently.
Here are some strategies for creating more impactful and effective written messages:
- Think about the purpose of your message before writing it
- Remove unnecessary words from your written communications to keep them short and sweet
- Edit your messages before sending
- Use grammar-correction software like Grammarly to make sure you always sound professional
Balance is a tricky thing when you’re transitioning to remote work. You won’t have your boss looking over your shoulder to keep things moving along.
Working at home is a welcome relief if you know how to manage your time. A standard 8-hour workday is different at home than it is in the workplace. Experiment with different schedule variations until you find the method that’s most productive for you. Try writing to-do lists, working for blocks of 20-90 minutes, scheduling and planning your breaks, etc. Don’t forget to prioritize your tasks and complete the most important ones early in your workday.
Analyzing digital information is an essential skill for remote workers. Take extra time to become familiar with your digital tools and platforms – you should know them inside and out. Side note: It’s a worthwhile pursuit to learn about other popular digital tools and platforms (like Google Analytics, Asana, Mailchimp, or Basecamp) in your free time to expand your abilities and grow your resume. There’s no better way to establish yourself as an essential remote employee than by mastering HTML, CSS, and WordPress development. This sign of initiative is a bonus skill that will boost your career in the future.
Most remote workers will be responsible for creating content for websites, emails, or social media. Dive into content creation projects and record them on your resume. Crafting customer service emails, collecting quotes for a blog post, curating Instagram content, building Pinterest boards, or designing digital flyers all qualify as content creation.
Best industries for B2B remote work
Now that we know why B2B remote sales jobs are likely the future of this industry and what skills you’ll need to carve out a position in that future let’s look at some of the prime opportunities in the space.
Here are five industries that are worth looking into whether you’re interested in looking for entry-level sales jobs or you’re finding higher-paying positions.
Zippia put together an exciting look at the future of the B2B sales industry. According to their research, the manufacturing industry employs the most B2B sales workers of any sector outside of the Fortune 500.
That means it’s very likely this industry will also be one of the leading employers of B2B sales professionals in the remote future.
Research shows that the technology sector will grow by about 13% annually until 2026. That means the number of skilled B2B sales professionals that this industry needs will likely go up by quite a bit over the coming years.
You can prepare to find remote sales jobs in the technology sector by becoming an expert in the specific type of technology or software that you’d like to sell.
The healthcare industry is also widely expected to grow in the coming years. That’s because the United States has both an aging population and a population that’s sicker than ever.
Two of the most significant fields within the healthcare industry for aspiring remote B2B sales workers are pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Developing expertise in either of these categories should set you up well to capitalize on the future of B2B sales.
Financial services account for about 7.3% of all GDP in the United States. That’s a whopping $1.4 trillion market. Companies rely on skilled B2B sales specialists to sell fintech solutions, mobile and digital payment software, and other emerging financial technologies.
Given the size of this industry and the shift toward remote sales work, it’s almost a sure thing that the demand for B2B sales professionals with financial services expertise should grow in the coming years.
Emerging markets are growing at a much faster rate than the United States. As more economies develop, more opportunities become available to well-positioned B2B companies in the United States.
These businesses need skilled remote sales professionals who can sell products to other countries. Excelling in this field will require you to have a strong understanding of emerging markets and their unique professional cultures.
But if you can do that, you should have a ton of opportunities to choose from in the coming years when it comes to B2B remote sales jobs focusing on emerging markets.
LeadLander can help you become a more effective remote B2B salesperson
If you want to excel in the remote B2B sales future, you’re going to need to learn about your customers online. One of the most effective ways to do that is by examining how different prospects interact with your company’s website. LeadLander makes this a piece of cake. Our visitor tracking software tells you how a prospect gets to your site, what they do while on it, and more. You can use this information to make smarter decisions about how you’re targeting different leads.
But don’t take our word for it. Sign up for a risk-free 14-day trial of LeadLander today to experience the value.