The great effect of the coronavirus pandemic on several industries is no longer breaking news, but businesses may have yet to experience the full force of change brought about by local lockdowns, halted operations, and an emphasis on social distancing and quarantine as the new normal.

The pandemic has only sped up the transition of businesses to remote work and fully digital workflows for all teams – including, and especially, sales. 

A skilled sales team knows that no matter what tools or interface, a successful sale is based on developing a strong professional relationship with the customer. So even if we can no longer meet our prospects and leads face-to-face, we can still engage with them virtually to convert them into a paying customer.

Want to see how you can make the most of digital and virtual to turn leads into customers? Read on to learn the newest best industry practices for making more virtual sales. 

Divide all sales presentation rules by 3 

Just as people quickly scroll past posts on social media, your audience during a virtual sales call also has a much shorter attention span. 

A virtual audience reportedly loses their focus after five minutes into a sales presentation. Compare that with the 15-minute attention span of a live audience and you have an even bigger challenge to deliver a captivating virtual presentation. 

The rule of 3s in public speaking tells us that audiences can better retain information or concepts that are presented in groups of three. So this means: organize the presentation into three parts, deliberately repeat important points like product benefits or features, and emphasize important CTAs at least three times. 

It’s also a good idea to shorten your virtual presentations by cutting out excessive words from slides or using more visual cues instead. 

Make sure your webcam, lighting, and microphone work for your team

In the same way that people don’t like watching low-quality videos with grainy images and unclear sound, your prospects will likely have an unpleasant experience if their sales calls with your team feature the same. 

Because of this, consider investing in proper audio-visual equipment for your sales team members. Set them up for success by also teaching them to use a good light source and a high-quality microphone during calls to promote professionalism and provide great customer experiences. 

Considering that this may be the new normal for a long time, you may want to offer reimbursements if sales members have to buy equipment for their home offices.

This all ties in to a well-produced presentation, which makes all the difference for a successful sales campaign. 

Provide value before and during the call

It’s important not to waste your prospective customer’s time. Before the call, do a little background research about your leads and their business, so you can position yourself as the solution they need ahead of time. 

You can also offer free and valuable digital content and assets to keep them hooked and increase your chances of closing a sale when they actually get on a call with you. 

Just as you get on the call, be sure to promptly and clearly explain the benefits of the call or presentation with you. Will they learn how to save time on complex processes in their business? Will they have an easier time managing their leads?

The beginning of your call is a great time to glean information about your client. Then, you can use this data about them and turn them into insights right away, so you can pitch a sale and have higher chances of closing. 

Make sure all sales team members have optimized social profiles

According to a previous survey, 96% of customers enjoy engaging with brands that they follow on social media. In another study, it was found that, unsurprisingly, 72.6% of salespeople who actively use social media have better performance and productivity than their colleagues who don’t use such. 

And one social network you’ll want your sales team on is LinkedIn. 

An optimized and professional LinkedIn profile, complete with a quality network, can help your sales or marketing team members generate better-targeted leads, conduct more effective outreach campaigns, and close more virtual sales. 

Each member of your sales and marketing team must craft a strong, active, and professional online persona that reflects them as model employees of the company. 

Source: Bluetree

Always encourage engagement during the call

Remember that communication goes both ways. A virtual sales call is not a one-way lecture, so it’s important to engage with the customers and client during the call. 

After all, prospects who engage with your sales team or brand are more likely to convert into a customer.

During one-on-one calls, regularly ask the prospect questions about how they are enjoying the presentation, or prompt them for any questions or clarifications. 

During group calls or webinars, it’s a good idea to use online polls or have a moderator to manage questions and engagement from the audience. The participants can either unmute their microphones and ask a question or type their inquiry using the platform for the call. 

Engaging with the audience also means that you don’t have to strictly adhere to your presentation deck during the virtual call. If you need to demo an app or service, then do so. 

You can also consider using smart tools like Loom which allows you to record and share your screen as well as maintain engagement with clients during a video presentation. 

Track your leads in CRM

Use platforms for customer relationship management such as Salesmate to keep track of your leads. With dynamic features and functions, you can guide your sales team through different stages of your sales pipeline. 

An effective CRM platform also has a built-in function for calls, texts, and email tracking in order to send follow-ups and measure the performance of campaigns sent to prospects. 

Great CRM platforms also work with existing tools you may already be using in your business, with deep integrations of popular tools. Salesmate has several deep integrations with the most popular marketing and sales software on the market, but it also integrates with tools like Zapier to help you connect to even more.

For example, if your invoicing software is FreshBooks, you can connect Salesmate with FreshBooks using the deep Zapier integrations between both apps.

Continue to follow up and to nurture leads with digital offers

After the virtual sales call, remember to maintain a good relationship with your prospects – even and especially if they didn’t convert right away. Continue to send them video tutorials and use cases, invites to product demos, free trials, and other digital resources they’ll find valuable after the call. 

Consistent exposure to your brand can be key to turning prospects into customers. Use email marketing services to follow up with leads and send them through a nurture campaign. If you’re able, get more personal by sending SMS messages as well.

Key takeaways

Virtual sales is a skill that many companies are learning to make the most of in the future. While there are still several challenges that come with moving businesses digital, there are still ways to ensure your sales team is operating and closing sales at maximum performance. Use the tips above to help you equip your sales team with the right tools and processes to make more virtual sales and grow your business.

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Author
Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.

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