Since the onset of the global pandemic, virtual sales meetings shifted the way sales meetings are performed. This abrupt change was unprecedented. Yet, sales leaders across industries learned that virtual sales meetings can actually be more effective and profitable than in-person meetings. Forbes states that 91% of B2B buyers prefer to consume interactive and visual content. This opens the door to greater reach prospects all over the world virtually versus only at trade shows or in-office.
Yet, along with this digital transformation comes the need to revamp the way sales meetings are handled. Best practices that worked well for in-person sales no longer work for virtual sales meetings. So, what should sales leaders be on the lookout for when it comes to virtual sales meetings success? Consider the following an overview of the three most necessary practices for accomplishing successful virtual sales meetings, and training your team to do so, every time.
1. Understand the virtual sales meetings basics
When it comes to virtual selling, consider your tech stack to be your most valuable selling tool. Virtual selling would be nearly impossible to execute well without the proper technology to effectively carry out the meeting. First, you need to ensure you have high-quality internet speed and enough bandwidth to perform seamless video meetings. These meetings can be hosted via Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and more. Based on a Rain Group survey, 89% of buyers say experiencing technology problems on the seller’s end is one of the biggest mistakes they’ve noticed in virtual sales meetings. What you desperately want to avoid is a poor internet connection. This causes difficulties for the buyer trying to hear what you’re saying or see the visuals on the screen.
To ensure that your internet speed is working optimally, we recommend running a tech check before every sales meeting. See if a member of your team is available to check your connection with you. Then, you’ll make certain that the audio and video works well and your visuals come through without a glitch. It’s the extra steps like this that keep you prepared. Consequently, you can focus on delivering an impressive customer experience and in-turn improve your win rates.
Keep in mind, even though you’re not seeing the buyer in-person, having proper customer relations etiquette is key. What does this mean? It’s just like the age-old expression: dress to impress. Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you’re not working. Therefore, dress appropriately during all virtual sales meetings. Next, you’ll want to ensure the area behind you that’s visible to the computer’s camera is clean and professional. Pro tip: if possible, try to have a blank wall as your backdrop so as not to distract the buyer. The last thing you want is for the buyer to find the poster behind you more interesting than your presentation!
2. The importance of dynamic and engaging presentations in virtual sales meetings
Keeping a buyer engaged is one of the most difficult challenges for a salesperson when selling virtually. Believe it or not, 82% of people work on something unrelated while in a virtual sales meeting. So how can salespeople keep their buyer engaged throughout the entire meeting? Dynamic and interactive presentations are one of the best ways to foster buyer engagement. Think about it like this, did Andy from Toy Story want to play with his boring slinky? Or would he rather play with Buzz Lightyear, with all his lights, sounds, and unique features? What would you rather interact with: a boring slideshow or a dynamic and fun presentation?
Recently, 59% of sales leaders reported that they will implement new sales technology to maximise impact in virtual sales meetings. Technologies that empower salespeople to build interactive presentations guarantee buyer engagement by making the buyer the hero of their story. With an interactive presentation, the buyer gets to decide where the presentation leads. They also get to decide what numbers go in the value calculators, and where the dialogue flows. These dynamic sales tools enable salespeople to quickly change topics. And as a result, keep the connection between them and their buyer through the entirety of a virtual meeting.
3. Always customise your follow-up
- Which slides the prospect spent the most time viewing
- Survey responses
- Which numbers and other information they added to the value calculators
Based on the results of the presentation analytics, sales representatives can take a targeted approach in their follow up tactics. For instance, let’s say during the virtual sales meeting, the buyer stated they had a budget of $200 per month. However, they were actually inputting budgets in the value calculator at $400 per month. With this knowledge, a sales rep is then confidently able to try and upsell the buyer in their next meeting. Maybe the buyer spent a lot of time viewing the slide on whole-life insurance packages. On the contrary, maybe the buyer did not spend as much on the universal life package. Knowing this, the sales rep has a greater understanding of what exactly the buyer is looking for. Thus, the sales rep is better prepared to address their needs with the right solution.
Engaging Presentations Go Beyond Interaction
Truly wow-worthy, engaging presentations go beyond interactive abilities though. Interactive and personalised sales content can be up to 25% more effective in communicating a message than traditional presentations. In order to gain continuous positive engagement from your prospect, be sure to personalise the presentation as well. This means providing the buyer with relevant information that addresses their specific needs while offering a valuable solution.
Let’s take a look at an example of an advisor selling insurance to a prospect in a virtual sales meeting. We want to create a dynamic and personalised dialogue between the insurance advisor and the prospect. This way, the focus is on the individual prospect’s needs and will keep the buyer engaged in the conversation. As the meeting progresses, the conversation will develop and change direction. The advisor needs the agility to present the prospect with a solution that fits their every need. As a result, the experience is much more personalised to the prospect. Ultimately, the prospect will provide more details about their beneficiaries, their health concerns, etc. Accordingly, the advisor is able to provide the prospect with helpful information tailored to their needs, in a dynamic presentation.
Afterwards, the salesperson has the ability to then send these personalised materials to the prospect. This is a great strategy to continue building the relationship between the buyer and seller. Which brings us to the next best practice: customising your follow-up.
Virtual sales meetings have their challenges. But with the help of the proper sales enablement technology and these three best practices, salespeople will be able to keep their buyer engaged throughout the meeting. And remember, don’t forget the “little things” like internet speed, your office space background, and professional personal appearance. Each is actually highly important and can impact the overall customer experience. We think it’s time sales teams embrace the “new normal” of virtual selling. Begin to implement these best practices now to adequately meet the needs and expectations of your prospects. Happy selling!