The paradigm of selling shifted from offline to online due to the ever-increasing growth of technology & the sudden appearance of the pandemic. Businesses are leaning more towards creating virtual sales teams rather than involving offline sales training. The concept of virtual selling is not new. But it took a drastic change in recent years with the advent of more remote work and efficient technological advancements. According to Gartner, various organisations' Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) want their 60% salesforce to remain operational virtually. This article will give you an overall 360-degree idea of what virtual selling is & how to excel at virtual selling.
Virtual selling is a method of selling products, items, or services entirely online using technologies rather than in-person or offline. Virtual selling includes the blend of sales strategies merging with technological benefits. It includes the internet, showcasing products or services through websites & content, building trust online, leveraging social media platforms, understanding client needs, and communicating clearly with the clients or buyers.
Virtual selling has become a reality that many businesses are inclined to render for more customer reach. Virtual selling comes with flexibility where the salesperson can communicate or contact the customer or potential lead through online platforms like social media, sales video conferencing, emails, etc. There are specific techniques & strategies to find potential customers who can deliver excellent services through virtual selling. Here's a list of simple approaches to excel in virtual selling.
Comprehending the Competitive Market: The sales opportunities increase as businesses leverage technology and conduct sales in the virtual space. Operating virtually through online means helps break down the geographical borders & restrictions involved with traditional sales methods. That is one way of staying ahead of the competitors. Another way is to convince the customer online that your product or item has more benefits with similar or lesser costs than other competitive products in the market.
Technology is the Most Potent Tool in the Virtual Selling Battle: The technology stacks become your best allies in virtual selling. To interact with potential customers, the salesperson can leverage video conferencing software with a high-quality web camera. Choose a video calling software having all the features such as chatting, file sharing, cloud support, etc., & that eats up less bandwidth. Then the salesperson should master it, so they do not remain confused or fade between a video call. Along with all these, a proper internet speed with high bandwidth is essential. Make sure your microphone should not add up noise during a conversation. Otherwise, it does not look professional. Other apps like presentation tools, spreadsheets, and digital notepads also play a crucial role in maintaining customer records, instant note-making & set meeting reminders. Make your entire technology-driven setup a problem-solution fit system so that you can cater to all the necessary services within a few seconds.
Establish Customer Trust: When the sales approach removes human aspects like shaking hands, keeping constant eye contact, and sharing coffee at the same table, it becomes intricate and challenging for the salesperson to instil trust. Also, many traditional customers don't find comfort in purchasing things online. To enhance customer trust online, try to connect via legitimate social media accounts or video calls. Also, try to establish yourself as 'human' and from a 'legit background/firm' in the eyes of your prospective customers. Video and voice-based contact with potential leads benefit virtual selling to instil trust immensely.
Understand Customer Needs: Online meeting through video or voice calls is of paramount importance rather than chats and social media texting. One effective way of understanding customers is by engaging them with constant interaction followed by questions about their requirements and difficulties they face & understanding their needs. Businesses should provide online interactive sales decks or pages where they can showcase different products or items with an easy-to-understand interface to understand customer behaviour better. If you can better understand customer demands, you can serve better products or services through virtual sales while maintaining customer satisfaction.
Right Communication Strategy is a Key to Excelling in Virtual Selling: Communicating properly to understand customer requirements and demands forms the pivotal connection in virtual selling. Appropriate communication helps the salesperson understand customer requirements and showcase what the user wants to see/buy. For remote work like virtual selling, the sales professional should provide dedication with total commitment towards the customer and what the business wants to sell. The professionals have to be attentive and energetic to communicate better with clients. Hand gestures and body language also play a vital role in better communication, especially in front of the camera or screen. Be authentic and remain confident, as these are the secrets to excelling in virtual selling.
Potential Lead Tracking Tools and Services: With the advent of data analysis and data scraping services, the salesperson can identify potential leads based on their past sales record, purchase behaviour, etc. Data analysis can help discover the pain points of competitors' customers. Data scraping can help find insights through tools and services that significantly enhance virtual selling by identifying the following points to discuss with potential customers. Various tracking tools and services make it worth tracking potential leads & approach the right client without wasting time and effort.
Practice Active Listening: One influential ability to better understand the customer in virtual calls and meets is to have proper listening competency. Active listening is essential to develop empathy and become more effective, especially in the digital era. Active listening can help influence clients and make them stay in a long-term relationship because this ability will make the bonding stronger & help you better understand them.
Through active listening, you can suggest to your customer a solution-fit product or predict the customer's choice and show them personalised product demos that they will love to buy quickly. Through proactive listening, you can also use precise & persuasive words to make them feel you are on their side. For this, a salesperson needs to practice this ability regularly.
From the enterprise perspective, there are various other efficient ways of virtual selling. Some companies leverage automation to carry out repetitive tasks or stay in touch with past customers (through emails or social media platforms) – while others train their salespersons with certain persuasive tricks to stay ahead in the competitive curve. SaaS-based cloud applications and services are the best solutions to make effective virtual selling.
We hope this article has given you a crisp idea of the different techniques a salesperson can use to excel in the profession of virtual selling. Having a video and online culture in the organisation helps shape the employees & sales professionals to gain confidence to persuade the buyer.
The biggest hurdle that virtual selling companies face is onboarding professionals who have the skills to excite buyers to sell their products online. The Chief Sales Officers are responsible for effectively selecting employees capable of performing excellent sales and taking their brand names to new and potential leads.