10 Pro Tips for Virtual Selling
Virtual selling—working a deal remotely when you can’t be there in person—is the new normal for B2B salespeople.
In 2020, many sales teams simply shifted to virtual sales meetings online via Zoom or WebEx and continued to deliver new business. They met their quotas and adapted as best they could to the new normal.
But could they be doing even better?
As Allego’s VP of Growth, I lead our mid-market team. All day, every day, I’m on the front lines with our sellers, listening in on calls, meeting with prospects, and coaching. Since the pandemic, our team has gone 100% virtual, with very limited in-person interactions and few office visits.
Over the past ten months, I’ve observed a lot of things we’re doing well in our virtual sales calls. Because our sellers are trained on Allego and have the advantages of our platform’s capabilities, we had a leg up when the pandemic hit.
But I’ve also seen some things that could be improved when it comes to our on-screen presence on Zoom, our use of PowerPoint, and how we facilitate demos. I call these my top “pet peeves.”
I’m sharing these learnings with you in the hopes that they will help you deliver a better virtual selling experience whenever you’re online with a prospect, customer, or colleague.
Pro Tip #1: Share Your Screen Correctly
When sharing your screen on Zoom, it’s really important to share just the actual browser tab, application, or PowerPoint, not your whole desktop.
When you share your screen, unless you pick a screen you want to share, you’re sharing the whole thing. What happens when you share the entire screen? Everyone on the call gets to see all the files and pictures on your desktop. It is really ugly.
It’s even more embarrassing when a personal notification pops up. You definitely don’t want others to see those.
Pro Tip #2: Don’t Share Until You’re Ready
Many calls start with a boring introduction or title slide. Sellers share this slide while people are introducing themselves, instead of simply showing everyone’s faces. That’s the worst thing you do.
You want to be able to let people see each other with the webcams on in Gallery View. That is the ideal way to use Zoom. Hold off on popping anything on screen when people are introducing themselves.
Pro Tip #3: Create a Good Agenda Slide
Next, take a look at your agenda slide. Most have a few bullet points such as Introduction, Demo, Next Steps. That is super boring. No one wants to look at that. It is not customized to the prospect and looks like you put absolutely no thought into it. Make sure you have a really good, detailed agenda.
Pro Tip #4: Present Your PowerPoint
If you want to share a PowerPoint, make sure you’re in “Present” mode and share the presentation itself rather than trying to share the PowerPoint with all the UI trimmings around it. You don’t want people to be able to see the list of slides on the left, your notes, or the top navigation bar.
If you’re not going to show PowerPoint in presentation mode, perhaps because you want to use a blank slide as a “whiteboard” that you can type into live, you can maximize the amount of space by dragging down the notes view and dragging the slide selector so that it’s pretty small.
A lot of people don’t know that you can double click on the ribbon bar tab at the top, and the ribbon bar will disappear. Now you have allowed 90% of the screen to be filled up with the content rather than just 50% or 60%. If you want to bring the ribbon bar back, you can double click on it and it will come back.
Pro Tip #5: Don’t Search for Slides
Another issue is searching for a slide. It’s annoying for a customer to watch you flip through lots of slides. You should know which slide you want to go to. Click either on the slide itself or in PowerPoint, when you’re in presentation mode, you can type in the slide number. For example, you can type in 17 if you’re in presentation mode and skip straight to slide 17.
Get good with pausing and resuming screen share. You can do a lot of searching for the right slide or finding something in the demo without the prospect even knowing.
Pro Tip #6: Minimize Screen Time, Maximize Face Time
The last thing I want to recommend for PowerPoint is that you don’t stay on one slide for too long. When you have a longer point to make, don’t leave a single slide up while you talk about it. Just stop sharing. Click the stop sharing button in Zoom and let people see each other.
It’s just so important that people can see each other’s faces, because Zoom fatigue is real and body language is 60% to 70% of communication. If the slide isn’t the focus of the conversation, take it down and view the people.
Pro Tip #7: Scroll Less
One common habit I see all the time is endless scrolling while you’re talking. This is really irritating behavior. You want to keep your call as calm as possible. Think like you’re a Zen master. Stay calm. Resist the urge to move the mouse around really fast or continually move the mouse without stopping.
If you don’t need to click on something, take your hand off the mouse. That is really going to help you.
Pro Tip #8: Narrate Your Demo
If you’re showing a demo and you’re trying to make your product or service look easy, move slower. Don’t click too fast. If you want to show how to navigate to a particular place, do it really slowly. Moving quickly makes things look complicated. If you click fast, people wonder, “What the heck did you just do?” and they’re confused.
I also like calling out or describing where I’m going next when clicking. For example: “You see the hamburger menu in the upper left hand corner? I’m going to click that then…” This way you give them a quick second to acknowledge and say they are tracking along with you.
This is especially important if you are demoing an application on an iPad because the prospect can’t actually see where you are clicking. It’s important to narrate and direct them how you are navigating the application.
Pro Tip #9: Focus on Key Benefits
Don’t feel compelled to show every aspect of your product or service. For example, within our platform you can search for content. I’ve seen cases where a rep will do a search, then scroll through all the results, click into a video, see that there are 100 different comments, use the arrows, and click through all the comments. Phew!
The prospect gets thoroughly confused. Don’t go crazy trying to show everything. Slow it down. Just talk about what’s important and tie it back to the use case.
Less is more when it comes to virtual selling. If you overwhelm your prospect with information and content, they will take away very little from the demo because they didn’t have time to retain any of it.
Pro Tip #10: End the Call With Faces, Not Screens
End your meeting on a personal note. When the meeting is winding down, remember to stop sharing your screen. You want to avoid keeping the screen share on for too long.
Just stop sharing. Close out your tabs. Make sure people can see each others’ webcams. And talk about next steps. That’s going to make for a much better customer interaction.
If you have any virtual selling pro tips that work for you, share them with me at cliu (at) allego (dot) com. Good luck!
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