Virtual selling has become the new norm these days as a result of the current global situation. The worldwide pandemic made in-person sales and meetings nearly impossible, which led businesses and organizations to make a faster shift toward virtual selling practices.
Besides being the only functional response to restrictions created by the pandemic, virtual selling also makes for an excellent solution for lowering the cost of sales and adapting to the customers’ changing desires. Not only is virtual selling here to stay, but it might also be the only viable option for the foreseeable future.
What is Virtual Selling
Most simply put, virtual selling refers to running a sales process in a completely digitized manner. As the name suggests, this type of selling takes place in a virtual environment, allowing teams to make sales without being physically present at a specific location. However, even though virtual selling might seem more comfortable than in-person communication with a customer, this type of selling still requires effort and expertise.
Certain aspects of the sales process are even more demanding when done virtually since it takes extra effort to build trust and convey a brand message through a virtual environment. To excel at virtual selling, sales teams and executives must learn to be exceptional listeners, ask direct sales-leading questions, and focus on the right details that will guide the customer through the desired sales process.
Global digitization spread rapidly throughout the last two decades has led to significant changes in customer behavior. Nowadays, buyers are used to online communication and transactions, meaning they are likely to form trustworthy relationships with sellers and brands even in the long-distance virtual environment.
New technologies have paved the way for the practice of virtual selling, whereas the current pandemic has given businesses the final push toward making the transition. The social distancing rules have turned field sales roles into virtual sales positions, which forced sales teams to adapt to working in these virtual spaces.
Therefore, sales leaders and chief sales officers (CSOs) must prepare their sales teams for this transition and guide their sellers to replace live meetings with virtual behaviors as efficiently as possible.
Getting Started with Long-Term Virtual Selling
Now that social distancing has significantly reduced affected field sales, Gartner says businesses must adapt to efficient virtual selling practices to maintain profits and avoid sales drops. Here are some of the essential tips to help you get started with long-term virtual selling:
#1 Plan and Prepare in Advance
The first step to dominating the virtual selling field is to plan and prepare customer engagement in advance. Pre-call planning and a higher organization level will help your team boost and maintain sales even during this challenging transition. Proper sales planning is mandatory to achieve the highest returns, and, given the sudden shift in environments, your sales team will need some time to adjust. Therefore, emphasize the importance of sales planning and remote collaboration to ensure all your team members are on the same page. Organized teamwork is the only guaranteed path to successful virtual selling.
#2 Deliver Engaging Interactions
There is a massive difference in the way customers behave in traditional and virtual sales settings. For instance, virtual environments might be more easily accessible, but they are also less attention-grabbing than traditional in-person sales settings. In other words, it is much easier to capture a buyer’s attention in person and lead them through a specific sales path. When it comes to virtual selling, the sales teams must put extra effort into following customer behavior since they cannot track body language and other cues to help them in a traditional setting. Thus, your sales team should create engaging interaction opportunities to capture the buyer’s attention and navigate them through the sales process.
#3 Focus on Sales Enablement
Just because sales in this scenario is virtual, it doesn’t mean your sales team requires less or no resources at all. Businesses should focus on sales enablement when shifting to virtual selling because the right resources will help the sales team plan and prepare for engaging interactions in virtual environments. Providing the sales team with the right resources will help them close more deals and sell your product or service more effectively. These resources can include content, tools, and any type of information to boost sales and build trust with the customers.
#4 Promote Your Branding
Virtual sales teams should focus on promoting organizational branding because virtual selling implies competing for attention online. Thousands of brands are actively working on capturing the buyer’s attention, which can put your sales team behind if they don’t emphasize company branding across their online sales channels. Organizational branding should be promoted during virtual meetings and across company-branded pages and networks. The goal of spreading the brand’s message in virtual environments is to stay on the customer’s mind and enable more efficient virtual selling. Promoting the company’s branding includes using branded virtual backgrounds and screensavers, displaying the brand logo wherever possible, and emphasizing the company’s motto and taglines.
#5 Get to the Point
Finally, sales teams have to learn how to demonstrate value faster if they hope to succeed at virtual selling. As we’ve already mentioned, people’s attention span in virtual environments is much lower than regular in-person meetings. Therefore, it is vital to get to the point faster when selling through a virtual meeting to avoid losing the customer’s interest. Tools such as questionnaires, polls, and virtual customer conversation bots can help sellers navigate the virtual selling process much faster. The goal here is to deliver critical information as quickly as possible and engage with the customer more dynamically.
The Ultimate B2B Sales Hub for Virtual Selling
In essence, the success of a company’s virtual selling effort depends on how well their sales team can interact with buyers in a virtual environment. Platforms such as Referenceable can help businesses close deals faster and engage with their prospects in a way more efficient manner. As one of the best B2B sales hubs for virtual selling, Referenceable offers centralized sales content and customer reference management, along with targeted deal rooms all integrated into one place.
The platform allows teams to capture and organize all the sales content (Sales Decks, Customer References, Product Demos, etc.) in one central place and deliver highly targeted content to the prospects in the form of a personalized and interactive deal room. Referenceable makes virtual selling management more effective and helps sales teams transition to virtual behaviors simply and comfortably.