I frequently hear salespeople say, “Once we get back to ‘face-to-face’ sales, I will be back on my game!” This is often used as an excuse for poor performance over the past months of Virtual Selling. Well, the reality is that Virtual Selling is the new sales ‘normal’. We may get back to more face-to-face interactions but to succeed in sales in 2021 and beyond, you MUST master selling virtually.
A recent article on Forbes included the following stats about virtual selling:
- “High-performing sales reps now spend 22% more time with customers — and they often prefer that time to be spent remotely.What’s more, 70 to 80% percent of B2B customers say they prefer remote interactions.”
- “Since the pandemic, the power of video as a way to connect with customers has surged, and digital interactions with sales reps are up 41%.”
- “The health crisis is reshaping the profession, with sales organizations in the U.S. and Europe finding remote sales models to be as — or more — effective than traditional approaches.”
Studies show that salespeople prefer to work from home.
I was speaking to a colleague who said, “I don’t want to fly all over the place anymore.” He has embraced virtual selling and is using the time he saves to reach and engage with more prospects.
And he is not alone. In a 2020 report by the Center for Sales Strategy, of the salespeople surveyed, the vast majority said that working from home has made them more productive.
Companies are also noticing the savings.
In a Global Sales Enablement Survey report compiled by Hubspot, they found that “64% of sales leaders who invested in remote selling met or exceeded revenue targets” in 2020. And that is for a year where ‘surviving’ was considered a ‘success’!
In the same report, they stated, “the adoption of remote selling is creating a competitive advantage” and found that “63% of sales leaders believe that virtual meetings are just as, or more, effective than in-person meetings”.
Virtual selling is the new sales ‘normal’ and we need to embrace it if we want to stay competitive!
What changes when you move to virtual selling?
Getting comfortable with the new, virtual venues can be a challenge. Technology has advanced tremendously in just the last year. Tools like Zoom and Teams that you may have not used before are now needed daily. Make sure you are familiar with and comfortable with these new options.
For some, this can be daunting. Like anything, learning something new can take a bit of time. Allow yourself some time to practice and don’t worry – you can do this!
Changing your mindset may be both the biggest and most important change. Virtual Selling is the new sales ‘normal’ and embracing that reality is key to your success. Read back through the stats if necessary and the EMBRACE this change. Your future success depends upon it.
Many things will stay the same.
I am a strong believer that many things will actually stay the same when you shift from live to virtual selling. Most of the important skills remain key across all platforms and modes. Memorize your script so you can deliver it naturally and use a CRM to track your prospects. Listening is just as important and invaluable as ever!
Selling is COMMUNICATING – it is about making a human connection. That hasn’t changed and successful salespeople know how to communicate, no matter the venue or platform.
Focus on the prospect, whether it is in person, over the phone or via video call. Make that connection and make that sale!
Do you need help making this transition? Does your team need training to get them ready to succeed with virtual selling? Give us a call at 908-879-2911 – we can provide you and your team with the skills and training you need to succeed.