What is Virtual Selling?
The definition of Virtual selling according to Gartner is: the collection of processes and technologies by which salespeople engage with customers remotely with both synchronous and asynchronous communications.
Virtual selling allows you to engage with your prospects on a different level and the magic word here is video. We’ll take a dive into the different approaches you can take and easy-to-use tips to start your virtual selling experience.
What are the benefits of Virtual Selling?
There are many benefits of virtual selling, but let’s shine a light on the 4 biggest highlights.
- First of all, it allows you to reach and meet more people all around the world. There are no restrictions or geographical location limitations anymore – so it makes you able to easily expand your business.
- Maintaining trust with your clients and prospects is the main requirement and virtual selling helps you do that. A virtual presence allows regular communication which is critical in the sales process.
- It’s common for customers to constantly change and with virtual selling you have the capability to quickly align. It will help you win the sale in the end, and this is very much possible in a digital environment.
- Increase the productivity of your sales team with saving time and costs. Virtual selling enables you to reduce the cost that you would normally spend on travel and this means more time for customer engagement.
To emphasize the importance of virtual selling, Everyonesocial found some numbers to back up the benefits of this powerful tool:
- 60% of sales reps increased their time meeting with customers and prospects virtually since 2015
- 65% of buyers in North America work remotely more than half the time, so the best way to reach them is virtually
- 70% of buyers and 91% of salespeople would prefer to work remotely more than half the time
- 63% of sales leaders believe virtual sales meetings are equally effective or more effective than traditional, face-to-face meetings
- 81% of sales professionals rely on video conferencing over face-to-face meetings.
- 80% of B2B customers say they prefer virtual selling
Effective Virtual Selling techniques
Start from the beginning and make sure you’ve done your research. When you as a sales agent book time in the calendar of your prospect, you have to be prepared because you’ve got a limited amount of time. So, get the basics down.
Get as much information as possible
Begin to know your buyer, what they do, what they value, and most importantly – their pain points. When you know which problem to solve, you can actively start bringing in solutions. If they ask questions, anticipate them and be ready to give the right answers. Also, always try to listen actively. Pay attention to the way they speak, what their tone is, what they mean without saying it so you can continue to have a smooth conversation. This is especially important if you can’t be in the same room as your prospect – you need all the info you can get. Try to be thorough and to the point, you don’t want to waste their time.
Try new ways to get your prospects attention
Remote sales prospecting is another level and it presents a new range of challenges, but also opportunities. How do you break into their inboxes and grab their attention? You need to make an impression, and do it fast. Engage with them any way you can – video is a great way to pull it off.
Make your prospects comfortable in virtual buying
For some buyers, it can be a bit intimidating to buy products online without seeing it in person – especially if it’s about high ticket products. It’s your job to make them feel at ease. This is how you do it: make them understand the virtual sales process so they’re assured when they’re making a big purchase. Secondly, it’s important to educate your buyers. This way, you show your expertise and you can build trust which you would also do in person.
Not everything has to happen in a live conversation, sometimes people need more time to think about their purchase or do other comparison research. In the end it’s necessary to build a genuine relationship – which can be challenging when you’re speaking in a virtual way. Find ways to show buyers your face, invest time in video calls with them and minimize the gap so they feel they can always stay in touch with you whenever they have questions.
Engage with your buyers
Unfun fact: 48 hours after a virtual sales call, buyers only retain 10% of what you talked about. This means that you have to identify the most important tenth of your message and be sure it gets through to your buyer.
Get visual and capture their attention, this is perfectly done through video. Show live demos, graphs of other clients in the industry and whatever you can get your hands on and what is interesting to your potential buyers. This way, you will keep them interested during the call and that’s what’s necessary to start engaging. Turn a one-way presentation into a collaborative exercise.
Data is key
When you’re selling, information is crucial. According to McKinsey research, companies that analyze and act on sales behavior can increase their sales productivity by up to 20%. But what sales metrics should you be tracking? How can you process them into insights? What do you do with that intelligence once you have it?
These metrics open a window into buying and selling behavior – which can fill in the missing information gap. It makes it more clear on how buyers are interacting with you, which strategies are working and which aren’t.
Sales & marketing go hand in hand
It’s important to note that selling products doesn’t exist in a vacuum, especially when you’re doing it in a virtual environment. Your leads are coming from the marketing department, which makes it essential to align. Make sure both departments are on the same page when it comes to buyer-facing materials, think about your lead generation strategy together and create a unified revenue team that has a direct stake in the marketing & selling process.
Useful Virtual Selling Tools
Live Video tools
First off, Whisbi Engage. This tool helps you to increase customer engagement and deliver a more delightful customer experience on your website. Send your brand message to an unlimited number of viewers online through live video broadcast, using just a tablet. Customers are able to ask questions to brand experts and based on the advice they can easily make a purchase.
Unlike other live streaming platforms, our solution allows your website visitors to add items to their basket without needing to leave the stream. Brands can integrate Whisbi’s software without a hassle in 3 easy steps:
2. Download the Broadcast by Whisbi app,
3. Start live streaming – it’s that easy.
Our live video streaming solution is geared towards top of the funnel engagement, helping you drive sales. Our platform lets you achieve a 3:1 return on investment, and customers are 10X more likely to buy your product(s) – using our solution. This results in a 26% increase in up-selling.
JW Player is a video player with a number of built-in features like video hosting, live streaming, and a number of analytics tools.
Although its primary use case is for watching videos, it’s a great choice for both creating your own videos and sharing them in a live format.
Livestream is built for high-quality live broadcasting in a range of environments, including but not limited to meetings, webinars, conferences, online training courses, podcast interviews, and product demos.
Some of its features include the ability to share files, include polls and voting options in your broadcast, and easy mobile access for viewers. However, Livestream isn’t focused on sales, so it lacks features in this area.
Bluejeans’ service allows you to connect a large number of participants in one broadcast, with real-time chat to encourage easy communication. There’s a suite of reporting and analytics features to better understand your broadcasts and audience, and a range of lead generation tools to help grow your business.
On the other hand, Bluejeans is more focused on internal business meetings and conferences, and less aimed at engaging your audience and driving sales.
Pre-recorded video tools
You could also start by using pre-recorded videos with tools like Vidyard, Loom, and Wistia. This way, you can create personalized videos, specifically for each of your clients. It’s something not overly produced, but still comes across as natural and honest. It’s like creating a video for a friend, but then explaining your product or service in a specific way. If there is a resource that would be helpful for a prospect, consider using a video to briefly discuss what challenge it is going to help solve for them, why it’s specifically valuable to them, and what they can expect to gain from it.
Virtual Selling tips to help you succeed
- Start with investing in the right sales tools, like the ones mentioned above. Connect with your sales team, survey the tools that people like, analyze your strategies, and find the sales technologies that will help everyone succeed.
- Make sure you prepare yourself accordingly – before you even schedule a call, you need to research the customer and know the business, its values, its pain points, and the buyers themselves.
- Before the actual call is happening, try to share presentation materials. This way, the prospect can read up on your product or service beforehand and it makes it easier for you to focus on your talking points.
- Explain the steps you will take when it comes to virtual selling. You may not be the only one who’s still adjusting to virtual selling, so take the time to outline what buyers can expect in terms of calls, demos, and more. This helps prospects feel more at ease and gives them an opportunity to ask questions about your process. Plus it’s an opportunity for you to establish trust.
- And last but not least: remember – things can and will go wrong, and even when you are completely prepared, virtual selling is not going to be 100% perfect. Which also has its charm and will make the client understand you’re also only a human. Accept that fact and always remain calm and respond in a professional manner. It can be easy for frustrations and reactions to show, but take it in stride.
To find out how Whisbi can help you implement Virtual Selling techniques in your sales strategy and create an engaging online experience, schedule a demo with us.