Years ago, it used to be common practice to have face-to-face meetings with potential customers. You would meet in a conference room, have a business lunch, or take them out for coffee—but you did it all in person. These days, following a worldwide pandemic and an uptick in video conferencing, it’s no longer necessary to be in the same room with a prospect in order to schmooze them.
While virtual selling comes with several benefits—most of which involve increasing efficiency—it still presents its own unique challenges as a salesperson, a job requiring a lot of social connection. So, how can you succeed in virtual sales without really trying? Take a look at our virtual sales tactics 101!
What is virtual selling?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: virtual sales are sales online. At its core, virtual selling is moving customers or clients down a sales funnel using the digital technology available today.
A key component of this is the virtual meeting. Face-to-face communication, integral to building trust and rapport with a potential client, is simulated with video-calling software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams
Other aspects may include pre-recorded informational videos or even technical information posted on your company’s website. Virtual selling encompasses any online tool used to replace the traditional in-person sales meeting.
Benefits of virtual sales
The benefits of virtual sales as a primary sales approach are numerous and worth going in-depth on to get a better understanding of what they are and how they benefit.
First, virtual selling by its very nature eliminates any expense that would have been incurred through travel.
A study done by the Global Business Travel Association in 2018 noted that the amount of money spent by global businesses in 2017 exceeded $1.3 trillion. This includes airfare, reimbursements for meals or hotels, and similar expenses. Virtual sales eliminate any money used for sales-related travel.
Added to that is the time you save. Your workforce will be able to use time spent traveling more efficiently; you can really increase your performance metrics, approach more prospects, and spend that time increasing your selling skills.
Second, a virtual salesforce isn’t tied to a single geographical location. Virtual selling allows more options for the employer when it comes to hiring the best possible sales force. A virtual salesforce also has more options in what clients they can approach and how they approach them.
Third, virtual selling allows your sales team to be more flexible in its strategy. Fewer resources dedicated to the sales process means fewer resources needed to change an approach if it isn’t working. It also makes it easier on the customer, as virtual sales meetings are less demanding on their time and resources as well.
Drawbacks of virtual sales
The previous section makes virtual selling seem like a no-brainer, right? As with any business strategy, there are drawbacks to the approach as well, and one should not enter into the world of virtual sales without at least having considered those variables.
Let’s face it, as convenient as it is to meet with potential clients over a platform like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, there is a loss of personal connection when utilizing solely the virtual workspace. Handshakes cannot be exchanged, and body language can be more easily missed. All in all, it’s relatively harder to connect to a potential client through a computer screen.
When in-person meeting drag on, there’s some grace simply because it’s taken resources from both the customer and the salesperson to make the meeting happen. In a virtual call, the common expectation is brevity. Because the customer has less invested in the meeting, they’ll have less tolerance for off-focus sales pitches, and failing to be brief and to the point may well cost you a potential client.
Virtual expectations can be confusing! This has more to do with the nitty-gritty of the meeting than any high-concept sales strategies. In a virtual meeting, it’s more difficult to get everyone on the same page with regard to how the meeting will be run. Ambiguity over protocol and procedure serves as an interruption to closing the deal.
Virtual sales tactics and best practices
Face-to-face communication is still important
It’s a simple fact: communication is easier when speaking to someone in the eye.
The scientist Albert Mehrabian discovered that over half of all communication is non-verbal. It’s easier to miss that non-verbal component when you’re looking at the other person through a computer screen, so getting in that face-to-face time through video calls is still important.
Because we know that so much of communication is non-verbal, it becomes increasingly important to focus on both your own non-verbal cues and those given out by the prospective client. There are tools that you can utilize in conjunction with video calling software to help you do this more effectively.
A teleprompter app like VODIUM, for instance, allows you or your sales force to input a sales script and overlay it over the video window, so you can focus less on needing to concentrate on what you’re saying and more on delivering and receiving the correct visual cues during the sales meeting.
Less is more, so keep things brief
In today’s fast-paced virtual world of advertisements screaming for our attention and ten-second viral videos, brevity has become the watchword for the virtual sales force. If you convey your competitive edge to a customer briefly, you’ll have a better opportunity to impress them.
Where once it was common practice to start a sales meeting by asking after your prospect’s family, enjoying a cup of coffee together, and ‘shooting the breeze for a time, now it’s considered best practice to start right off into the sales pitch.
The pacing of the virtual meeting is of critical importance during the sales call. Go too fast and you risk confusing your audience or leaving them behind as you run merrily on from point to point. Go too slowly and you risk losing them to boredom and fatigue.
A teleprompter app such as VODIUM can be invaluable in pacing your meeting. It provides both an automatic scrolling option with adjustable speed to help you stay on point, as well as a manual scrolling option for those sales meetings that flow more organically.
Use virtual tools to boost your efforts
In a virtual sales meeting, the biggest advantage you can get is virtual tools to boost your effectiveness. These tools can range from simple note-taking and tracking tools to powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software suites and virtual presentation software.
As an employer and businessperson, you’re going to want to give your sales force all the tools it needs to be effective at virtual selling. One of the more overlooked tools in this sphere is virtual teleprompter apps like VODIUM which, as we’ve touched on, can help you control the pacing and aid in communication during the virtual meeting.
A good teleprompter app will also allow you to coordinate sales strategies across your sales force, so that all your sellers are on the same page as to what to push and how to go about selling your product most effectively.
Try a demo of VODIUM’s teleprompter tool
VODIUM is a premiere teleprompter app that can help take your sales force’s virtual selling to the next level. It functions with all of the major video-calling apps, and offers such features as transparency control and auto-scrolling to control the pace of the meeting.
Stop by our website and start your free trial today, and see exactly how VODIUM can benefit your sales force in this virtual age!