- This article highlights the pros and cons of traditional sales vs virtual sales.
- It addresses the effectiveness of shifting to virtual sales and why it is beneficial.
The shift from traditional sales towards virtual sales has become even more evident in the last couple of years. You might even say that selling has transformed altogether.
And while some companies have taken to virtual sales effortlessly and are thriving, others struggle to adjust. However, not all is lost because you can develop excellent and comprehensive strategies to improve your virtual sales effectiveness.
This article discusses common challenges salespeople run into and what they can do to connect with the buyers to lead to sales.
1. Unique Challenges of Virtual Sales
A sales team may find a virtual environment challenging to navigate, primarily if they’ve previously focused on the in-person sales approach. An incredible 91% of salespeople say that grabbing the buyer’s attention and maintaining virtual engagement poses an issue.
Another 88% speak of having a difficult time developing a relationship with the customer. From the buyer’s perspective, they often don’t feel like sellers can solve their problem and are not being heard.
Many factors can contribute to these results, but fortunately, there are excellent practices that can improve sales. Here’s what you can do to make your virtual sales more effective.
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2. Build Rapport
If you’ve spent a lot of time and effort building rapport with in-person sales, that’s great. But these skills don’t translate the same in virtual sales.
However, the most skilled salespeople know that adaptability is essential and that building rapport with customers sometimes requires an unorthodox approach.
In virtual sales, keeping all your senses sharp matters. Connecting with someone virtually requires a different type of focus and even more listening than it would in person.
Acknowledging that the virtual setting differs from hanging around the water cooler is beneficial for both you as a salesperson and your customer.
3. Create and Offer Value
Some buyers are simply not a fan of virtual sales. That leaves you at a starting disadvantage. In this case, the best thing is to hit the ground running and rely on your expertise as a salesperson to provide value to the customer.
Being super organized and backing up everything you’re saying with research will inevitably lead to more engagement with the customer. Leave no room for improvisation but have all the answers ready upfront.
4. Enhance the Quality of Your Virtual Meetings
You might be keen to master the art of virtual meetings, but that’s going to be a problem if you don’t have all the right tools first.
Ensure that you’re proficient at using the virtual tools of choice (Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc.) Think of every potential hiccup in advance and troubleshoot it beforehand. For virtual selling, visuals are everything. When possible, combine video with audio.
5. Show That You Value the Customer’s Time
In virtual sales, time management is crucial. Zoom fatigue is a real phenomenon, and working remotely makes it challenging to separate personal and professional life.
It’s vital to keep in mind that just because someone has agreed to give you their time doesn’t mean you should take it for granted.
Instead, schedule the virtual meetings in a way that everyone knows when they end. If the standard time is 60 minutes, change it to 45. A 30-minute meeting could be a 25-minute meeting. Most people will be receptive to this concept.
6. Becoming the Master of Virtual Sales
If there’s one thing that connects all other factors to improve your virtual sales effectiveness, you should always show your customers utmost respect and needs.
Virtual sales don’t have to be impersonal. If you have a great rapport with your customers, it can often feel like you’re talking to them in person. The excellent audio and video quality of your product can certainly help with that too.
Given that virtual sales are here to stay, you should always focus on constructive ways to provide more value to your customers and prospects.
The result is you having more confidence and the customer taking your word at face value. And that’s the right combination that will increase your virtual sales effectiveness.
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About the Author
Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP, is an international communication consultant, high-performance presentation coach, speaker, and CEO of Experiential. She helps clients establish their executive presence, structure a clear, concise message, and deliver their thoughts and ideas with style, confidence, and authority.