Remember when the thought of having sales conversations and collaborating from home made your stomach turn?
How do you make a good sales pitch when you’re in your kitchen? What if everyone’s laptops stopped working? Would talking to a prospect through a screen feel weird?
Well, virtual selling became a reality for sales reps when COVID-19 forced the selling workforce to go remote. But now, working from home is welcomed (perhaps even preferred). Case in point:
- 63% of the sales leaders believe virtual sales meetings are equally or more effective than traditional, face-to-face meetings.
- 75% of B2B customers prefer remote sales interactions over traditional face-to-face ones
At first it was a necessity, now the virtual sales process seems like the best way to close deals. So if virtual selling is here to stay, what do we need to do to get better at it, fast?
Read on as we cover virtual selling best practices and tactics to help you master the art of selling from home.
What Is Virtual Selling Anyway?
Virtual selling or remote selling is the process of interacting and converting a lead virtually instead of connecting in person.
The most important part of the virtual selling process for B2B sales teams is “video. ”
Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype have adapted to the virtual sales world. They offer a more convenient way for sales reps to communicate, follow up, and sell without ever having to meet the prospect in person.
At the same time, there’s more to virtual selling than using technology to make sales calls. It’s an opportunity for you to establish trust, build relationships, and convert your prospects into paying customers.
Which Virtual Selling Skills Do You Need to Improve?
Virtual selling skills aren’t different from that of in-person selling. Confidence, fast-thinking, empathy… the personality traits are the same.
The difference is around the communication format.
You need to practice and train with video to iron out any issues and familiarize yourself with this new way of selling.
According to a study conducted by RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, buyers considered the following four factors when asked what has the most significant influence on their purchase decisions when interacting with sellers virtually?
- Leading a thorough discovery of their concerns, wants, and needs (71%)
- Explaining what’s possible on how to solve a problem (58%)
- Listening (68%)
- Making the ROI explicitly clear (66%)
You’ll also find the following four skills helpful to simplify your virtual selling:
- Establishing a professional brand by creating an optimized LinkedIn profile
- Developing and nurturing a valuable online network
- Practicing effective prospecting based on personas
- Engaging with your target audience by liking, commenting, sharing, and serving as an expert resource
While these skills may not come naturally to every sales rep, you can learn them. Of course, you could learn these skills from sales videos on Youtube or podcasts, but virtual-specific sales training is often a quicker pathway to success.
The Best Virtual Sales Training
Sales training is an essential part of a successful sales professional’s career, and virtual selling is no exception.
If you’re serious about leveling up your digital selling skills, consider working with a sales training company to brush up your knowledge and skillset. Why not sign up to the Selling Made Simple Academy and close more sales in the next 28-days or your money back.
6 Virtual Selling Tips to Hit Your Target
The only way to succeed with virtual selling is to reimagine your sales process for virtual selling. But, first, you have to figure out ways to use video and other digital elements to become more engaging when carrying out selling activities.
With this in mind, here are 6 virtual selling techniques to set yourself up for success:
#1 Plan Your Sales Call Ahead
Sales reps often assume their virtual calls will go exactly how they imagined without planning ahead. (News Flash: They don’t.)
You must set expectations and make the process as clear and straightforward as possible for the buyer, which is only possible when you plan ahead.
Start your pre-call planning by:
- Informing the prospect about how to join the video call
- Giving the prospect details of which platform to use and how it works
- Explaining how to join the meeting, and mention a backup way to connect if there are any technical issues.
Remove any confusion or doubts the prospect may have. This clarity will lay the foundation of a successful sales interaction.
#2 Send Personalized Prospecting Videos
Prospecting is the most critical part of the virtual selling process. You’ll find yourself competing against endless emails in your prospect’s inbox, so the pressure to get attention is high.
Prospecting virtually involves using video sales tools like Loom and Vidyard. You can use them to create personalized videos and speak directly to the prospect.
Not only will this make your email stand out, thanks to the more interactive video element of your email. But by allowing the prospect to see your face, you will build an instant connection with them too.
Think of this as a video form of a cold email. So the usual rules of providing content and value to the prospect still apply.
#3 Get a User-Friendly and Reliable Virtual Selling Tool
At this stage, you’re already well-adapted to the concept of holding virtual meetings. But whether or not these sales meetings are successful depends mainly on the virtual selling tool you use.
It would be best to have a reliable video conferencing tool like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex Meetings ready to rock and roll. Or any other means that offers a frictionless and secure video environment to communicate smoothly with your customers. We also recommend using popular tools that are easy to install and set up.
#4 Keep the Cameras On During Sales Meetings
Once you have the prospect on call, the other part of your job starts: gauging the prospect’s body language and interest and conducting the meeting accordingly.
Virtual selling lets you connect with a person on a deeper level than on a phone call. You can see their reactions—positive and negative—and adjust your approach to ensure better outcomes. When selling virtual you can judge body language and other rapport cues that you’d otherwise have to be in person to see.
The goal for sales professionals when keeping the camera on is to give the prospect your full attention during the meeting and try to study their reactions.
- If they’re confused, try to clear their doubts
- If they seem disinterested, try to engage them more
- If they’re keen to try out your product, take immediate action and move them down the funnel.
But none of this will be possible without the cameras. So encourage the prospect to turn on their camera and keep yours on too any time you’re engaging in the virtual sales process with a prospect.
#5 Handle Introductions and Hand-offs Tactfully
Although handing off the buyer from one person to another during the sales process should be avoided, sometimes they’re inevitable.
Business development representatives (BDRs) often start the relationship before handing it off to a sales professional. Subject matter experts and service teams may also be involved in answering technical questions the buyer may have.
See? Hand-offs are inevitable.
But think of all of this jumping about, from person to person from the prospect’s viewpoint: they began building a relationship with you, and when they start to trust you, you introduce them to someone they’ve never had a relationship with before.
This issue becomes even more grave when selling virtually.
To win at selling virtually, you have to make the hand-off as seamless as possible. For example, you can either introduce the new person through an email, giving the prospect more context around how the new person can help them. Or, even better, you can have the new person join in on a virtual meeting and formally introduce them to the prospect.
#6 Leverage the Power of Video Follow-Ups
When virtual selling, you’ll find yourself following up after sales meetings and after sending over proposals to prospects.
You can email a video to follow up with the prospect, recapping everything discussed in the sales meeting. This video will help you get your message across exactly how you intend and make it easier for the buying team to share it among other decision-makers too.
You should also include videos within your proposals to get ahead of objections and provide more transparency. Start your proposal by walking the prospect through the details and what documents should be reviewed in your video.
These tactics will improve your chances of closing the deal and establishing trust with the prospect’s organization. This is a must for both sales and marketing teams in 2021.
Virtual Selling Is Here To Stay
Virtual selling enables you to build a solid relationship with your client and get deeper insights into their needs. You can use this information to customize your pitch, improving your chances of actually making the sale.
Virtual selling isn’t only about the technology—you’ll still need your awesome selling skills to close deals. Sales leaders get this wrong all the time. You’re likely not doing in person meetings anymore and so it’s time to put the COVID 19 pandemic behind you, start to sell virtually and embrace the video call as the best way to engage, deal with challenges and win more deals.