The onset of the current pandemic has had a powerful negative impact on the global economy – in short, everything plummeted. Sales, employment rates, profits, and almost everything else in the market took a turn for the worse.
However, the sales industry is one of the few industries that happen to have recovered very quickly from the aftermath of the current pandemic. While every other industry continued (in some cases, continues) to trend downward, sales and marketing sectors present in most major economies have almost recovered from the disaster.
In a time and place where almost all physical contact is considered to be dangerous, how does a department that conventionally requires physical interaction succeed past others? – The answer is “Virtual sales.”
What are virtual sales?
In a nutshell, the process of making sales independent of location (often termed “remote”) is known as virtual sales. Thanks to the quick expansion of existing technologies and their commonplace applications, virtual sales rates are now almost on par with conventional sales records in most major global markets.
Various studies and surveys have found that on average, employee-customer interactions have increased by 55% since 2015 when it comes to virtual sales. Such positive responses are the gateway to improved company-client relationships – the key to the longevity of any business.
With very much to gain and very little to lose, there is no reason to not take a lesson or two in virtual sales, if it isn’t already incorporated into your line of work. This positive imbalance is our segue to the main focus of this article.
“How can I succeed at virtual sales?” Here are eight important ways.
Rapport. Rapport. Rapport:
We live in an era that is the diametric opposite of how it was when the sales industry was established and popularized. Prospective buyers currently have a lot of time to explore, and a lot of hesitation to overcome when it comes to making purchases. In this situation, having a good rapport with the customer helps them connect the dots from “why should I?” to “why not?”.
The Future Is Now:
Working people through the sales process (often nicknamed the sales funnel), even if phase-by-phase, is often a tricky and intimidating approach for most conventional sales representatives, let alone a virtual sales team. And one of the winning approaches you can take is to focus strongly on the future of the customer. “How do I want them to feel?” puts the customer at the top while focusing on their future. “How do they feel?”, on the other hand, is pithier but distracting.
Pick Your Tools Carefully:
Choosing what software to utilise when conducting a virtual sales session is primarily a personal decision. That being said, it must also be mutually comfortable to use as well. For instance, when conducting a virtual meeting with prospective buyers, it is one thing to use Zoom over WebEx (say), but another to insist that an obscure piece of software is a personal decision. Understanding the flow of your virtual sales session is key towards choosing the right tools to proceed with.
Keep Conversations Focused:
One aspect that is common amongst buyers and sellers is the time they reserve for aimless conversations. Buyers want to browse as many options as they can, while sellers need to sell as much as they can. Strong research and targeted questions are key to not wasting time when it comes to virtual sales. This is also a win-win move, something buyers are sure to appreciate when they recognise it.
Consumers are always looking for something in exchange for not just money, but also time. When they spend time in your virtual sales sessions, they expect to learn something out of it, and maybe gain something apart from what you are selling. This could vary from knowledge to relationships, and it is very important that you prioritise value creation, value addition, and sales on the same level.
Control The Environment:
The most appealing way to lure in more prospects is to present yourself attractively. The only hitch when it comes to virtual sales is that there is a large audience; a large number of people implies greater diversity. Appealing to a diverse group of people requires a variety of strategies, which are quickly switchable if you are in control of the environment. This way, you can maximise your potential sales. This would not be possible when it comes to conventional sales.
Rally, Then Interview:
While appealing to large audiences at a time sounds appealing, hardly ten percent of the crowd is attracted to making a potential purchase. The next time a prospect approaches you to learn more about what you are selling, meet with them on a one-to-one basis. The aspect of such a sales meeting is two-fold – make the prospect clearer, and make them feel just a little more important.
Master The Process:
Remember your objective: to succeed at virtual sales. Before you focus on how you can appeal to more prospects, you need to master the basics of sales and customer priorities. All the points that are mentioned above – including rapport, value creation, and focus – form a part of this process. Mastering the process makes you highly confident in yourself and your abilities, which you can project outward and appeal to more clients quicker.
There you go! These are the eight solid ways to succeed at virtual sales. While there are more ways out there, these are what we (at FunnL) feel are the most important of them all.