For those in sales, the lockdown and meeting restrictions during the pandemic brought all your hard work to a screeching halt. The in-person meetings you finally got scheduled were no longer an option. We all scrambled to become Zoom experts and mastered the new “business casual look” i.e., dress shirt with sweatpants.
The pandemic forced us to think differently about how we meet with people and conduct business. Though it wasn’t always pleasant, most companies were able to successfully shift to virtual meetings and improved online sales platforms. For many, this was an unexpected push into new territories, with the ability to sell products or services to anyone, regardless of their physical location.
Even though many of us are now back in the office, on the road and meeting in person, virtual sales are still on the rise. In fact, according to the LinkedIn State of Sales 2022 Report, 64% of buyers say working remotely has made buying easier. Once we got a taste of not having to leave our homes in order to conduct business, many were hooked. Not only does it help expand our reach, it’s a huge time and money saver. Goodbye commute time and endless coffee shop receipts!
Whether you prefer in-person or virtual, in order to remain relevant and competitive in today’s market, you have to at least make virtual sales an option. Here are a few ways to ease into it.
First, Get Something on the Calendar
We talked about the importance and benefits of using calendaring applications in the post, How to be Seen on the Small Screen, but we’ll mention it again. If you’re still asking for availability via email, you are leaving money on the table. Giving your prospects the option to instantly book a meeting with you while they’re actively researching your product or service can significantly increase the probability of the meeting actually happening. Don’t make it difficult for them to learn more about you.
Additionally, giving virtual and in-person meeting options helps cover all your bases. Many calendaring applications allow multiple location types, including virtual (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) and physical within an approximate area. Allowing the attendee to select the “location” that works best for them is a simple way to personalize their experience.
One potential setback to this is becoming proficient in every virtual platform option you put out there. If you’re not confident in navigating a Teams meeting, don’t set yourself up for embarrassment.
Let Robots do [Some of] the Hard Work
Studies show buyers prefer self-guided interactions at each stage of the journey and are looking for answers at the drop of a hat. Sometimes, that means nights and weekends as well as the traditional M-F 9-5. Before you start adding multiple shifts, consider adding a chatbot and/or virtual assistant to the mix.
According to the Forrester report, The State Of Conversation Automation Technology In B2B Marketing, the top use case for online chat is marketing for the buyer journey at 66%. Closely following is the sales purchase process (58%) and customer support at 44%. Additionally, online chat was ranked one of the most effective channels for buyer qualification and deal acceleration.
Implementing a chatbot or virtual assistant can efficiently move prospects through the sales cycle regardless of time of day.
Wait! Don’t Leave!
Taking it just a step further, if your company provides a service or software, how can you enhance or implement in-app support, making it so users don’t have to leave the program in order to engage with you? We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again … the easier you make it for your prospects and customers, the higher the likelihood they’ll engage and remain loyal.
If you’re still on the fence about how virtual selling can positively affect your business, see how Atomic Data saw a 20% increase in revenue by pivoting to online sales.
Drive Virtual Sales with DIGIDECK:
- Real-time notifications alert you when someone views your deck, prompting you to connect in the app via chat or video
- Create stunning and interactive online catalogs
- Presentations are sent via a link. No downloads necessary