7 Virtual Selling Strategies to Help Your Team Thrive in the Digital Age
Virtual selling. Everyone talks about it. Everyone thinks they know what it requires. And everyone believes they know how to do it well.
The reality is virtual selling involves much more than conducting Zoom meetings. It calls for taking a holistic approach to the buying process and applying virtual tactics to each step for maximum impact. And that takes skill and practice.
Savvy virtual sellers think of sales activities as happening either “frontstage” or “backstage.”
Frontstage activities are any communication and collaboration that is synchronous and happen in real time. The seller interacts with buyers live through a videoconference tool, phone call, Facetime, or in-person meeting.
Backstage activities are communication or collaboration that is asynchronous (not live or in real time). The seller interacts with buyers through text message, email, video, voice mail, or a digital sales room.
With 92% of buyers preferring virtual sales interactions, according to Bain and Company, it’s imperative that your sellers perfect their virtual selling skills. If they can create the feeling of an in-person connection with buyers in diﬀerent locations, they will win more deals.
Here are seven strategies from experienced sellers that will help your reps create exceptional virtual buying experiences.
7 Strategies to Create Exceptional Virtual Buying Experiences
1. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
B2B buyers want Amazon-like experiences: virtual, fast, accurate, transparent, and personalized. Business buyers are also impatient, and they will leave if their needs aren’t met.
Research backs this up: 84% of buyers say being treated like a person, not a number or a sales target, is critical to winning them over, according to Salesforce Research. In addition, McKinsey research shows personalization increases revenue 10% to 15%.
To help companies fulﬁll buyers’ expectations, sellers must provide a hyper-personalized experience during every touchpoint. Everything from prospecting calls and emails to post-meeting communications must be customized to the buyer.
2. Prepare for the Meeting
Sales reps who make virtual selling look easy and who see the greatest success are those who practice and prepare until their presentation is flawless. Such preparation allows them to personalize their script, and it helps ensure they stay on track should a buyer throw a hardball question at them.
Preparation takes several forms. It involves communicating with the stakeholders before the meeting to surface questions and objections they may have. They can do it via email, phone, text message, or a digital sales room. In most cases, sellers must write clearly and concisely. Providing them with templates and coaching will help if they struggle with that.
Sellers should also ask their colleagues about the prospect and learn all they can about what similar buyers look for during a presentation.
Then it’s all about practicing their pitch, refining it, and making sure they know how to use the tools required to conduct a virtual meeting.
3. Share Materials and Track Engagement
Winning content is the collateral that helps close deals—moving buyers through the pipeline from ﬁrst touch to contract. Sharing the right kind of content before the meeting and tracking engagement after the meeting will show the impact and eventual revenue contribution of speciﬁc assets.
Types of content to share include supplemental assets that help the buyer understand your solution and how it can solve the buyer’s problems—case studies, solution briefs, customer testimonials. Reps should also include a personalized video of themselves explaining the content they shared.
By tracking the activity on the videos and other content shared, your sellers can better understand the prospect’s interest and buying intent. If a prospect watches a video 5-10 times, for example, you know you’ve hit on something important to them.
4. Deliver a Dazzling Presentation
This is when your sellers’ frontstage selling skills come into play. To deliver a dazzling presentation, your reps must execute four key elements:
- Make the meeting short and interesting
- Build trust and rapport
- Be collaborative
- Manage the participants’ energy and attention
Like you, your prospects are busy. Plus, your competitors are vying for their time and money. That means sellers must make the most of their meetings with them. Winning sellers know how to hold participants’ interest, form connections, and move deals forward—preventing attendees from getting bored and sneaking looks at their phones.
5. Follow Up to Stay Top of Mind
Engagement with the buyer does not end when the presentation is over. Sellers should use the time in between sales calls and meetings to strengthen the relationship with buyers and prove their value.
They can start by sending a personalized video that recaps the meeting and covers any missing points. They can also share articles, reports, case studies, videos, or other content that the buyer might find useful. They should send the content over time to avoid overwhelming the buyer, but also to help remain top of mind.
As with pre-meeting content, sellers should monitor the buyer’s level of engagement with the content. Are they opening, downloading, or watching what you sent? High engagement = high interest and intent.
6. Nurture and Maintain the Relationship
A seller’s work continues even after a sale is made. They must maintain and nurture the relationship to ensure the buyer remains happy and agrees to renew when the time comes.
Monthly check-ins are a great way to do this. They allow you to discuss trends and issues in the industry, as well as share articles, research reports, and other content. If meeting live isn’t possible, the next best option is to create a video explaining the content and send that along with the material.
Sellers should also consider using a digital sales room. Everything they send to buyers can live in this private communications channel that the seller can customize. This personalized approach helps sellers maintain a human-to-human connection and makes it easier for buyers to ﬁnd and keep track of information—no more searching through email inboxes.
7. Use the Right Virtual Selling Tools
With the right virtual selling tools, sales teams can streamline processes and provide
robust, engaging, and personalized experiences. Look for a sales enablement platform that lets sales teams record calls and automatically take notes, record and share personalized videos, centralize sales content and collateral, share content with buyers, and create effective presentations.
Then make sure your sellers know how to use the tools and understand how using them helps them win more deals and have long-lasting customer relationships.
Skills to Last a Lifetime
Virtual selling isn’t going away. Yes, some in-person meetings will make a comeback, but not all of them. Even still, pre- and post-meeting communications will be virtual. How your sellers handle those interactions will determine whether they succeed.
Plus, by ensuring your sellers have backstage and front stage skills, you will future-proof their careers and make them a valuable member of the sales team for years to come.
Download Smarter Virtual Selling: 7 Best Practices for Hybrid Sales Teams and learn how to enhance every stage of the sales cycle with new tactics of virtual selling.