Since the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, the word virtual has become of constant use in our vocabulary. Everything we do is online by now. In April 2020, a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes worldwide per day was announced by Microsoft. With the increase of managing business virtually, the skill of selling online has become much more relevant as well.
Now, what is a virtual sale or virtual selling and how can you be as successful as you were before the pandemic? And how can you communicate with your client in the same way and achieve the same results? We have provided you with 10 factors you should consider implementing in your virtual sales or virtual selling process as well as your sales strateg and sales training.
1. Inform yourself about the best Video Conferencing option
Nowadays, you practically can´t survive without having the right video conferencing program. Many businesses invest greatly in producing newer and better tools to communicate virtually.
You probably know the main apps; Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom. However, they will probably get strong competition soon. To make your decision on which program suits your team´s virtual sales meetings best, you must think about:
Is it difficult to operate?
What do you need for this app besides a strong internet connection?
How reliable is the framework?
Can you synchronize this tool with other apps you have at the moment?
As soon as you have done your research and decided on using a particular program, make sure that everyone in your company is acquainted with it in order to use it. The basic virtual selling skills should be known to every employee – how to share a screen with others, how to host a meeting and which chat functions this platform entails. Think about which key elements your team requires to accomplish your goals.
2. Stick to a specific "virtual selling" sales process
Your team needs to have a mutual understanding of your virtual selling & sales processes in order to improve them. This encompasses prospecting, qualifying, presenting, and finally closing the deal. Account management and client retention are equally important. Decide on which communication channel you want to use for which stage of the sales cycle and how you should therefore change your previous method.
We have an example. Imagine that the core element of your sales process are demos. Here, you cannot arrange face-to-face meetings – this means you have to provide a virtual demo. Plan your time wisely with an agenda to showcase the product or service, respond to customer questions, and map out the following moves in an online meeting.
Of course, you also have to try the tool in advance to make sure that everything will work as it should. A bad connection or a pixelated screen can destroy your presentation very quickly. When you set the ground rules for your virtual sales process, you can improve and individualize it based on your received feedback.
3. Connect with your participants virtually
If you want to learn how to sell online, you need to engage your clients in the conversation. You can do this by providing visual elements, interactive discourse and delivering a clear message. Make sure to plan enough time to give as much information as needed for the client to decide, but not to get bored of your presentation.
Plan several breaks and prompts to keep your participants activated about the process and formulate questions about the given information if it´s a longer event. However, when there is more than one person responsible for making a decision in your meeting, you don´t need to include a Q&A section. Everyone perceives the presentation in a different way and therefore has an individual approach to how they can use the information specifically for their team.
4. Inform your prospect
While being in your prospecting phase, you want to convince your client why your product works best for their issue. The content you are providing them needs to be direct and informational – no matter which platform you choose. This information needs to include:
The purpose of your product/service
The audience for it
What makes your product/service stand out from others
The positive effect it will have on your client´s life
Use data from case studies, Roi percentages, and other barometers that support your arguments for why your product or service is the best option. This will, of course, also enhance your reliability.
5. Tell a story while virtually selling
To make yourself a more relatable figure even virtually, you can connect to your customer at a personal level. You can do that by telling an educational story while providing enough information and giving a personal context. This is rather vital to make the meeting a more personalized space.
Before you start with your presentation, inform yourself about your client´s needs and goals in order to provide them with their ideal solution. This is how you connect with them – only facts and figures cannot establish a meaningful relationship.
Pay attention to what others are saying and how they are saying it (nonverbal language cues). With virtual selling, this can be a bit more of a challenge than face-to-face. You could, for example, wait for your audience to respond to the information you have just presented and thus give them time to process it.
See if everyone is paying attention to what you´re saying – and if not, speak slower and present your matter in a clearer way. The purpose of your meeting is not to overwhelm your customer with information, but to make sure everyone understands the most important message. Also, answer questions you get directly and not too vague. Don´t give unnecessary advice and give examples in order to prove your point.
7. Send your clients a Follow-Up.
A Follow-Up is useful to make sure everyone is on the same page. As soon as you´ve ended your virtual meeting, send everyone a quick resume of the call and focus on what you´re going to do next. Thank them for participating, send them additional information such as a link to an article you mentioned or marketing materials that may help them for solving their problem. By doing this, you can outline your mutual future intentions and therefore avoid miscommunication.
8. Track Metrics
You can enhance your virtual performance by tracking metrics. You can fix personal and team data points to make sure you are working toward your goals, finding where you can do better, and get ready for future growth and changes in market. These KPIs you could add to your basic reports:
The lead response time
The standard revenue of closed deals
New, qualified prospects, and fixed appointments
The set figures and timelines will help you initially to see your virtual selling progress and implement alternations as you go on. By using these in your virtual selling process, you can identify slow seasons, changes in consumer habits, and other details quicker in order to improve your selling performance. For instance, if Q4 is a much slower selling time, how can you act against that at the start of the year?
9. Be Adaptable
Try to meet your clients where they are as much as you can. In your virtual selling process, you may have to change the way you speak in order to satisfy your clients´ needs. While some prefer email for sharing information and follow-ups, others need a frequent check-in call to solve issues.
What you also have to consider with people who are working remotely, is that some people have lots of different responsibilities that could make them change plans abruptly. You should provide transparency for your clients by having an online calendar. That way, you enable your prospects an easy and quick process where you can adjust your schedule to the one of your clients.
10. Reinvent your virtual selling method
If we can take anything from the last years, it´s that whatever we are doing now may not work in the future. Before, you could easily achieve sales by direct calling. The more people called, the higher chance you had to get new business. This resulted into cold emails and having LinkedIn referrals. Now, people want an individualized solution.
You want to initiate a set virtual sales process while also constantly communicating with your clients to ask them for feedback – either one-on-one, through a survey or by looking after metrics like email open rates or social media engagement. This way, you can improve the process and of course, meet people where they are at the moment.
Also take into account that technology is continuously changing. Track the metrics and try to look for noticeable changes and trends. Try to make sense of these numbers and get to the “why” to adapt your method appropriately.
When learning how to sell virtually, you need to know your platform, technology, audience, strengths, and weaknesses. You will not learn how to affect people the same way in-person and online overnight. The more practice you get, the better you can adjust to the constant changes. This will help you to grow confidence and eventually sell more successfully.