Your company may have pivoted to virtual selling overnight this spring, but now you realize that working and closing deals when you can’t be there in person is the new normal. You need a long-term plan that will take you into 2021.
For everyone used to sitting down with a prospect, it’s new territory. Your experience is now delivered by technology. You communicate, collaborate, and connect with prospects via desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
Being successful these days depends on harnessing all this technology in a way that enhances the process of nurturing prospects, sharing information, conducting demos, and hosting meetings.
It may seem simple—just move your meetings online, right? But technology isn’t all sellers need. You also need to add new skills of engagement, technical aptitude, active listening, follow up, and time management to your toolbox of selling techniques.
Facing 8 New Challenges
To master virtual selling, you need to differentiate yourself, nurture prospects, handle objections, and fight screen fatigue—all at the same time. There are eight new challenges of maintaining prospect and client relationships remotely. Is your team ready to tackle them all?
Challenge 1: Fewer Opportunities for Collaboration
Today, it’s much harder to stay connected with peers and share knowledge without these informal connections.
Challenge 2: Increased Need for Agility
Virtual selling requires flexibility and more extensive groundwork since sellers have less in-person interaction and fewer opportunities to understand buyers.
Challenge 3: Differentiating Your Value Proposition
There’s both a greater need and an opportunity to follow up after virtual sales calls with something that will differentiate your value proposition.
Challenge 4: Engaging Distracted Buyers
The virtual buying experience can be distracting. It’s harder to get and keep prospects’ attention during a virtual meeting vs. an in-person one.
Challenge 5: Technical Issues
Everyone struggles (occasionally) with sound, video, or internet access. While understandable, these issues can make having an effective conversation extremely difficult.
Challenge 6: Lack of Rapport
Virtual selling isn’t as personal. It’s harder to build rapport when salespeople can’t read body language or feel the vibe in the room.
Challenge 7: Picking Up Company Culture
It’s harder to pick up on the culture of a company when sellers can’t walk from the company’s lobby to the prospect’s desk—factors that can be critical to understanding an organization.
Challenge 8: Rushed Prospect Meetings
Prospect meetings are truncated due to scheduling or technical issues and sellers have less time for demos.
Mastering Virtual Selling
The best way to tackle these challenges is to amplify and enhance the sales cycle with a one-two punch of technology and content. With the right tech and the right content, sellers are equipped to win every deal.
Technology: Ease of Access
Effective virtual selling depends on a full range of technologies: mobile, peer-to-peer networking, and live and recorded video. Live video conferencing tools can only take you so far. Virtual sales teams also need the ability to access key information while they’re on the go, share best practices, and learn as they go from subject matter experts.
The right technology solution enables sellers to do personalized outreach, record videos, manage content, and share collateral and videos with prospects. Sales managers must use this tech stack to support sellers with tools to coach, review calls and presentations, and give feedback.
Content: Useful and Relevant
The right technology must be paired with the right content. ThIs is critical to ensure reps are armed to deliver the best information to each prospect, depending on their particular needs and pain points. Content creation can be an obstacle for rep success unless they’re empowered to create and curate just-in-time content alongside formal marketing and product collateral.
The most valuable content can be discovered, personalized, and delivered at the moment when it will have the greatest impact on your sales team. Tracking activity on this collateral allows you to understand engagement and buying intent for every prospect.
Prep Your Team for Virtual Selling
Intelligent virtual selling is the only way to overcome the current economic or business uncertainties that lead companies to defer a purchase. Sellers who can build trust with their prospects and convey the right information using virtual techniques will be the only vendors who can break through buyer inertia and make the sale in today’s environment.
Every sales cycle follows some variation of a pattern from prospecting through close. Virtual selling walks through these well-known steps. What’s different today is that not only can you rely on the fundamentals, you can actually improve your performance at each stage by adopting a few new tactics, including live and pre-recorded video.
You can amplify and enhance live meetings with pre-recorded video. Sharing video allows you to convey personalized sales messaging before, during, and after a sales call and lets prospects view your message on their own time, when they’re not jumping from call to call.
Whether to prime the prospect’s thinking leading up to a meeting, recap key discussion points, or action items directly afterwards, stand out from a crowded field when prospecting, or remain top of mind throughout the entire sales process—pre-recorded video is a virtual seller’s most powerful tool.
Empower your organization with mobile, interactive technology built for the way today’s virtual teams work. Don’t get left behind by relying on outdated training and enablement approaches. Prepare your team to master the new world of virtual selling.
Download your copy of The Essential Guide to Virtual Selling for practical tips and advice for succeeding when you can’t be there in person.
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