Virtual sales have become increasingly common since the dawn of the internet. They're a useful sales format to have at your disposal. Here are five things you need to know about them.
1. Focus on Training
By definition, virtual sales are quite different from traditional sales. You need to adjust training for your sales staff to accomodate those differences. Employees need to be trained to use virtual sales technology and tools, such as video conferencing and CRMs, but they also need to be trained to interact with customers virtually. You should increase the amount of check-ins and training sessions for those unfamiliar with virtual sales. Have your sales team brainstorm ways to increase the interactivity of their sales calls, such as polls or question and answer sessions.
2. Ensure Virtual Meetings Are Engaging
By nature, virtual meetings are less engaging than in-person meetings. This holds true for sales pitches as well. You should work with your sales associates to make virtual sales pitches as engaging for potential customers as possible. Interactive sections help, but you should include a variety of tools to keep the meeting from stagnating. Make sure customers have access to information regarding the sale to peruse and take notes from at their own speeds. Keep virtual pitches as short as possible. If they have to be lengthy, you should incorporate break times so people can rest, recharge and move around if they need to.
3. Leverage Personalization
Since you can't meet in person, it's vital that you personalize your interactions with your customer as much as possible to create a connection with him or her. You should research the potential client and adjust your sales pitch according to the organization's mission statement, vision, needs and company culture. You need to make your pitch relevant to the potential customer's wants and needs in order to entice him or her into the sale. During and after the pitch, make sure your sales associate responds promptly and listens actively to the customer's questions and concerns. Show the customer that he or she matters to you as a person rather than just as a customer.
4. Utilize Video Calls
Video conferencing is the most effective method of conducting virtual sales because it does the best job at mimicking the nature of in-person meetings. However, there are still things you'll need to compensate for. You should test the connection before beginning the presentation to ensure there is no lag or issue with audio or video. A good rule of thumb is to have the host mute everyone except the person currently presenting to avoid any background noise or interference. You should also require all cameras to be kept on for the entirety of the call, barring breaks. Video helps drive up engagement. Participants can read the body language and facial expressions of others on the call, forming a stronger interpersonal connection and increasing the likelihood of making the sale.
5. Ensure Customers Are Comfortable
Virtual sales can be as confusing and full of growing pains for customers as it is for your sales team, particularly those who are unfamiliar with it. You should include helpful tips and guides on your website for customers to use when they're interested in virtual sales. You could develop a virtual customer support assistant or create a video explaining your company's virtual sales process to familiarize the customer. Include a frequently asked questions section and ensure your sales staff have access to information customers need or commonly ask for. Additionally, you're going to lack the typical trappings of an in-person sales pitch. You won't be able to meet over lunch or coffee, or in an otherwise relaxed atmosphere. You should find ice breakers and other ways to ensure customers feel comfortable and listened to before, during and after the meeting.
Virtual sales are likely here to stay. You need to be able to leverage the proper tools and training to ensure your sales team can excel at making them.