Gone are the days where face to face meetings and handshakes were essential for closing the sales. Once considered an industry buzzword, “virtual selling” is now the new normal and also has opened up a new, and magnificent productive approach to sellers, as traditional selling methods no longer interest or convince today’s digitally perceptive clients. The majority of salespeople have diverted towards virtual decision-making processes. What’s more, clients who use social media have more than 80% of larger budgets compared to those who don’t use social media.
To excel in this rapidly growing digital world, salespeople need to learn about some skills and proven strategies that will help them to connect with their decision-makers virtually.
Skills required by salespeople for connecting virtually
1. Digital research
It is the potential to use online resources to find, evaluate, and influence information to inform a decision about a sales opportunity. It could include sourcing new leads, searching current industry and market trends, details about a specific company, or information about a particular client or prospect. Salespeople can prepare for their sales meetings by doing some general research and gather information through digital media. By constantly scrutinizing activity on digital platforms using tools, personas can be searched and multiplied with the changing needs of the customers. Being a great seller, researching digitally to identify market trends and convincing factors affecting customers within their industry is very important. Research makes it easier to target the right audience most effectively and engagingly on the right channel.
2. Content curation
Right content, when shared on social platforms, helps to engage with, and convince prospective clients in the right way, which will further result in lead conversion. For best results, it’s essential to understand what to share, how to share, and when to share. This distinctive tactic helps sellers and their brands build trust and increase brand awareness. Content curators should always experiment. They should never be scared to try different formats and topics to see what engages until they have constrained what works for your client and their audience.
3. Content creation
Content creation is a tactic that helps a team increase conversions and builds long-lasting relationships. More than 80% of companies use content marketing as a part of their sales strategy. And about 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than the previous year. By creating content on a popular niche website, salespeople can indicate the profundity of their knowledge and share insights from the industry, along with their perspective. Tools like Social Mention and Buzz Sumo helps salespeople to keep track of the conversations happening around keywords, products, or services.
4. Analytical expertise
Salespeople who can explore online customer behavior have an added advantage as this tactic provides the sales team with the ability to take an enterprising and consumer-centric approach for selling their products or services. By analyzing data, sales experts will be more successful at implementing appropriate offers that attract customers.
5. Social platforms
With the availability of so many social media platforms, it’s vital to know which ones are used by salespeople’s target audience. Directing market research and understanding every platform is an essential part of every social seller’s digital weapon. They must be present on the respective platform where their prospects are. For instance, Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly active users and 1.23 billion daily active users, on average, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will find their target audience on Facebook.
6. Trust building
The majority of customers give priority to transparency. In today’s world, the customer wants to know everything about a business. It’s the job of the salesperson to provide maximum information.
Nurturing a customer online can take longer to build trust. The seller must make sure that the customers know everything about the company and seller. Above all, sales professionals should focus on providing an exceptional customer experience.
7. Solution to problems
Sales representatives that provide practical solutions to the customer’s problem will create the right brand image online and turn prospective leads into full-fledged customers. The constant evaluation will help to identify issues, pain points that will allow a seller to respond with valuable insights that lead to solutions. Sellers that can ask the right questions, and deliver a workable solution to a problem, will win trust and respect.
5 proven strategies for the salespeople to connect virtually
1. Building bond
In a face-to-face meeting, bonding happens gradually and organically. But, in the virtual world, the scenario of developing relationships is entirely different. Salespeople must be calculable and dynamic in their relationship-building efforts. When selling in a virtual environment, they must willfully create time for personal discussions and connections.
- Mind and ears should be open: Be ready to listen. Buyers will want to talk about unique domains, unimagined challenges, and uncertain futures. Try talking to them person-to-person, rather than salesperson-to-buyer about what’s going on around. This will help salespeople build long-lasting relationships. Be consistent with the same level of sensitivity throughout all their remote messaging – emails, social media posts, and blogging.
- Remember to break the ice: It’s important to recognize the tough times and their effect on buyers and businesses. But you’ll still want to add some vivacity to build relationships. Experiment with some light-hearted conversations on topics like sports, arts, travel, and so on. If not this, then try some icebreaker questions like, ‘What’s your favorite part of the job?’ or ‘what hobby would you choose to do?’
2. Creating value
Salespeople’s expertise might be one of the most essential and valuable tools for virtual selling.
a. Hit the point directly:
Salespeople should not waste time asking non-valuable questions. Seize the opportunity by creating value before they start recognizing virtual sales. They should offer distinctive perspectives based on their experiences.
b. Be well organized and researched:
The majority of buyers have limited tolerance for aimless conversations in virtual meetings. Salespeople need to be well organized and well researched before the meeting. They should be ready with presentation plans, proposals, and all other required stuff. Salespeople should do futuristic research so they can ask targeted questions. They can take advantage of virtual meetings by keeping the questions prepared and other reference material in their view and out of buyers’ view for guidance.
c. Acquiring the process
Virtual selling involves new twists at every stage. But structurally, salespeople will need to depend on the same methods that help them succeed when selling in a more personal way.
d. Find special ways to fill the pipeline:
In difficult times, salespeople want to follow up with prospective customers more often through calls, emails, or messages, but that’s hard when buyers aren’t working in their offices all the time. Try to:
- Set up a series of online webinars with colleagues, each offering a session in their area of expertise.
- Invite the enterprisers to talk on topics that can help customers in different ways. For instance, the IT chief might do a session on data security.
- Create strategic associations with sellers with whom they share common clients, work together on social selling campaigns and group presentations.
3. Focus on the future:
As a salesperson, working virtually with buyers through all phases of the sales funnel, they would want to be sensitive to the present and focus strongly on the future.
Try the story approach. Salespeople’s convincing story should answer the three most important questions, ‘What do they want clients to learn?’, ‘How do they want their client to feel?’, and ‘What do salespeople want them to do?’.
Try building a story around these four tactics:
- Why act?: Help your client recognize that change is unavoidable.
- Why should customers act now?: Help your client recognize that if they don’t make a change now, they may fail.
- Why choose you?: Salespeople should prefer to pitch in on the benefits of choosing him, not features, related to each buyer.
- Why should they trust you?: Salespeople should show clients their value through their research, case studies, proven ROI in their industry, and prior work. Make customers believe in yourself.
4. Virtual meetings
Salespeople will hold online meetings throughout the process, and it’s crucial they get virtual meetings as much on point as face to face meetings.
- Defer to videos:
There is a possibility that all prospects may not be comfortable with video meetings, at least, not for the first time. But as much as possible, try using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, or Skype. It’s better to notice the emotional cues through facial expressions and body language to respond efficiently. Buyers are unlikely to miss important information and more likely to ask questions when they can’t see each other.
- Increase visuals:
Sales and Marketing will likely need to work together to change some formats and resources to be more realistic and amicable for virtual meetings. To make virtual meetings worthful, salespeople want to add more visuals. They’ll need almost three times the number of visuals to communicate the same amount of information as they would in a face to face meeting. But remember: they don’t need to over add the information; they just need to analyze and present the most important information and back it up with engaging visuals.
- Know your tools:
Before salespeople start your virtual meetings, they should be hands-on with their technology tools. Choose tools and get trained on how to use them, and troubleshoot technical glitches. Make sure not to obstruct with limited screen time and clients’ patience level. Practice executing virtual meetings with a colleague. Get on video calls with prospective clients only once you are sure about sharing screens, managing audio, and video.
- Know when to pull back:
In virtual meetings, it gets difficult to read your audience. Salespeople need to verbally check in consistently to make sure they aren’t overwhelming or underwhelming.the clients.
- The golden thumb rule- Check-in every six minutes if no one else is talking. Ask things such as: ‘How’s this going for you, too much detail? Too little? What about the pace? Are we on target? Am I missing anything?’.
5. Environmental management
For effective and efficient virtual meetings, salespeople need to take care of the house surroundings where they are having the meeting. For well-run virtual meetings, follow these simple “housekeeping” tips:
- Mute yourself:
When salespeople are not speaking, they should always mute themself. It cuts down the background noises and cuts down on background noise caused by their aptness to give verbal cues in the reaction such as, “yes” and “uh-ha.”
- Right positioning:
Get the right position for the meeting. Sitting in window fronts should be avoided. Salespeople should use a corner or blank wall behind them. Prefer single color walls. Set the device’s webcam at eye level.
- Be professional:
Professionalism is important. In every virtual meeting, they should dress like they would if they were meeting onsite. Make sure the background is clean, tidy, and uninterruptibly appropriate. Turning off alerts so no one is distracted in the meetings is very important.
- Keep your purpose in focus:
For salespeople, It is critical to identify and share the goal of the meeting just like they would in a face-to-face meeting. Don’t forget to restate the purpose of the meeting if the conversation gets off track.
- Close other apps:
Salespeople should close other apps, confidential documents, or anything they don’t want others to accidentally see. When they share a screen, their clients may accidentally see something which they don’t want to show.
In this era of extraordinary connections, sales representatives are growing likely to chat with customers from behind a computer screen, rather than by toiling to their offices. Here are the most essential 5 reasons stating the importance of virtual selling:
- Improved technology leading to an increase in efficiency
- Better opportunities without territorial borders
- Improved team dynamic
- Better suited for the dispersed customer base
- Lowers business cost
B2B lead generation agencies like FunnL already have an experienced, accessible remote work setup incorporated with the latest digital technologies to keep up your business continuity offers the best platform for virtual sales. Due to their virtual technological framework employees are already prepared for the virtual setup. They have all the experience and skills that are needed to work remotely and have generated 10,000+ sales qualified meetings, FunnL provides you with an all-in-one Inside Sales Platform that allows you to design, manage, measure, and optimize your inside sales campaigns.