A McKinsey study found 3 in 4 sales interactions now happen online.
If you want to make sales, you need to be in those interactions. And this doesn't just mean taking offline interactions online.
Digital technology changes old touch points and creates new ones. It changes the dynamics of sales. For example: 1 in 4 buyers now prefer self-serve content to virtual sales calls (McKinsey).
How do you adapt your sales process to online channels?
Using the 8 virtual selling best practices below, of course!
What is virtual selling?
Virtual selling is selling in a virtual environment. In-person meetings and physical collateral are replaced with...
- E-mail and messenger exchanges
- Synchronous and asynchronous meetings
- Digital content, from brochures to pre-recorded demos
- And more
Before the pandemic, virtual sales were gaining traction - but slowly. As the pandemic rolled on, virtual sales increased 163%. This makes virtual selling the most common way to buy and sell as of right now.
Why use virtual selling?
1. Adjust to the new normal
Gartner reports 80% of sales comms will happen online by 2025. Sales teams that sell online outperform those that don't - by a wide margin (HubSpot). If you want to hit targets and stay competitive, you've got to keep up with the times and sell digitally.
2. Keep buyers happy
With remote sales, you don't have to travel (or even come into the office). You free up your schedule and do fewer repetitive, unnecessary tasks. This is something most buyers like; 70-80% of them prefer remote-only sales processes (McKinsey).
Forcing buyers through an offline sales process will make them unhappy. This is why sales professionals need to sell online.
3. Do what's working
All of this points to the idea that selling online just plain works. And since buyers prefer to shop in a virtual setting, meeting them there makes perfect sense.
4. Gain unique advantages
With virtual selling, you can...
Reach more people. Remote selling tools and processes let you reach prospects wherever they are, maximizing your total addressable market (TAM).
Sell at scale. Digital tools let you prospect and sell at scale. For example, a Sendspark sales pitch or prospecting video can go out to dozens of people. This makes it easy to sell at scale.
Save time. Traditional b2b sales are slow. Networking, traveling, holding meetings; all these things take time and effort. The virtual selling process removes physical barriers, streamlining processes and helping you get more done faster.
4 pros of selling in a virtual environment
In 2022 and beyond, you should always be selling virtually. Some touch point events might still happen in-person - key meetings, team building exercises, etc - but virtual is here to stay. You've got to respect it if you want to maximize sales.
Some key situations in which you need virtual sales are...
Selling to buyers in remote areas. When you're online, reaching buyers from other states and countries is a lot easier. Prospect using digital channels - and you can warm up and close leads the same day. No travel required.
Selling to buyers asynchronously. Virtual selling means you can sell to buyers in far-away time zones. Just record and send videos using Sendspark, adding unique captions and CTAs to maximize conversions.
Selling to busy buyers. A virtual meeting takes less time and commitment than a physical one. It's an effective way to reach busy buyers and pitch to them.
Selling to buyers at scale. Virtual tools let you create self-serve content that takes prospects through the sales process without your involvement. They also let you personalize content quickly and easily. This lets you sell to more people - and more often.
Virtual selling best practices
1. Prospect personally, at scale
Digital tools can fill your pipeline with quality prospects - quickly and at scale.
For example, Sendspark lets you record and distribute personalized videos to dozens of prospects each day. These videos can be fun, engaging, and high-converting.
Even better? With modern tools like Looka and Hunter, you can make sure the videos only go out to high-potential leads. Compared to analog selling tools like phone calls or sending mail, this is like fishing with dynamite.
2. Know your prospect
In a virtual selling environment, customers can be hard to figure out. You won't always see their faces or hear their voices. Cold-reading them becomes a big challenge.
This means knowing a prospect ahead of time becomes even more important than usual. Do your research, create and refine customer avatars, and educate your reps constantly.
Not sure who your prospects are? Look at your customer relationships. Your current clients will help you create a customer avatar that's representative of who you want to target.
3. Invest in virtual sales training
Transitioning to online sales can take a while. Education makes the switch faster. An easy, remote-friendly way to teach your team is with self-serve content - e.g. Sendspark's blog, Daniel Pink's sales Masterclass, Gong's podcast - so they can learn on their own time.
4. Meet prospects at every touchpoint
Online, your sales team has new opportunities to meet prospects at different touchpoints. Retargeting ads, email sequences, and personalized outreach videos are just a few examples of powerful digital tools.
The more tools you use to stay with buyers through their whole journey, the better you're going to do. So as you're researching and learning about your prospect, map out their journey in advance.
5. Create video content
People remember 950% more information when they see it in a video (Sendspark). Videos are also easier to watch and digest.
So if you want people to see and retain key messages, video content is a must. We recommend a mix of screen recordings, video capture, and edited videos.
The cool thing? You can record, upload, and share videos in seconds using Sendspark. You can also create GIF and still-image previews for the videos, then customize them. Since as many as 90% of popular videos on social platforms have attractive custom thumbnails, this is important.
6. Have a plan
You should have a plan for each step of the sales process. Offline, this meant sales call scripts, e-mail templates, and presentation frameworks.
In digital sales, this means async video SOPs, ad guidelines, virtual sale best practices, etc. Plan ahead and create playbooks for as many channels, media types, and touch points as possible.
7. Give your team quality equipment
For remote selling, your reps needs to look and sound presentable. This means decent cameras; clear mics; high-speed Internet connections; clean backgrounds.
A few team members may already have the equipment they need. For the rest, invest in the quality equipment they need for virtual sales success.
8. Invest in tools
The right apps and services make your reps better by saving time and improving results. For example:
- Gong.ai uses artificial intelligence to give actionable sales insights that increase your success
- Sendspark makes it easy to record, upload, and share videos from inside your Chrome browser
- Apollo makes it easy to find LinkedIn and email prospects
To see some powerful tools, check out this list of the SaaS tools we use to grow our own startup.
9. Use Calls to Action (CTAs)
Use verbal and non-verbal calls to action to guide buyers through the sales funnel. Add buttons to emails and landing pages; write persuasive copy; tell people what you want them to do verbally.
More CTAs means less guesswork for the buyer and more conversions for you. If you want an easy way to add landing pages with CTAs to your videos, just use Sendspark.
Virtual selling is about more than using Zoom and Microsoft Teams for sales meetings. It's about going to where your customers are - online - and selling to them there.
To sell online effectively, you need a good virtual selling tool stack. Sendspark helps you record, upload, and share video recordings and screen captures in seconds. To get a free account, get started here.