fable logo

Virtual selling has been a concept within the sales industry for a significant period of time. Now, as remote work becomes increasingly common, sales professionals are adapting to virtual work environments at a higher rate.

The shift of consumers towards a more remote lifestyle has led many businesses to transition to virtual selling in order to reach their prospects and customers online.

Having an online presence is essential for survival in today's competitive market, especially for businesses that are not global franchises. B2B SaaS companies have transitioned to online platforms to adapt to the evolving business landscape and connect with clients in the digital era.

To maximize these benefits, it is essential to develop the necessary skills for creating connections and delivering compelling value propositions in the absence of in-person interactions with customers.

This article will provide comprehensive information on excelling at virtual sales, covering its importance, best practices, necessary skills, and potential setbacks in closing more deals.

What is virtual sales?

Virtual sales is the process of selling products or services from a distance, often utilizing communication technology such as video calls, online meetings, email, or chat. It enables sales professionals to engage with prospects and customers remotely.

Virtual or remote sales involve transitioning the key activities of a sales team, such as building customer relationships, managing customer expectations, and educating customers, to an online platform.

Why is virtual selling important?

Virtual selling is precisely what it claims to be. In today's market, customers prefer to make purchases online, even for significant business transactions.

According to Gartner, 80% of interactions between B2B buyers and sellers are projected to take place through digital channels by 2025. Based on G2's findings, 64% of sales teams that transitioned to virtual selling met or exceeded their revenue goals, compared to 50% of teams that did not make the switch.

Many salespeople are opting to work remotely or in a hybrid style and prefer to continue doing so. Virtual selling provides benefits such as flexibility in scheduling, cost-effectiveness compared to traveling, and access to a wider range of potential customers beyond those reachable through in-person meetings.

Challenges faced while selling virtually

Virtual selling has seen a rise in popularity due to its speed, convenience, and safety. Sales reps, sales leaders, and organizations still encounter challenges with virtual selling. Prior to transitioning your sales operations to an online platform, it is essential to address these common challenges:

Maintaining your buyers' attention

The internet is full of distractions for potential buyers. They may encounter a competitor selling similar products and choose to patronize them instead. Meeting buyers in person can help capture and maintain their attention without the distraction of competitor advertisements or the ability to easily click away. Whereas when interacting with a potential customer online it presents its own unique challenges.

Communicating clearly

Maintaining clarity can be a challenge when communication between the seller and buyer is through text chats or email. Messages may lack the nuance of inflection and tone present in face-to-face conversations, potentially leading to misunderstandings and communication challenges. Furthermore, individuals tend to find it simpler to provide and remember precise details when communicating face-to-face.

Showcasing value

Interacting with prospects and target customers online may restrict their ability to fully assess, analyze, and develop opinions on a product or service. Customers' skepticism increases as they can only view what the seller chooses to present to them. The key aspect of a sale is persuading the other party that your product is the most suitable solution for their needs. Without a hands-on evaluation of the product, they might struggle to accurately determine its worth. It is the responsibility of sales representatives to present products and persuade the audience of their worth.

Important skills the virtual sales team must have

It is important to give representatives training and coaching to help them cultivate the necessary skills to excel in the virtual environment.

These necessary skills include :

Proficiency in technology

To effectively sell in virtual meetings, it is important to utilize various technologies to achieve your sales objectives, with selling through video being the preferred method of communication for many sales activities.

In addition to video conferencing solutions, proficiency in making product demos, email communication, and social selling is recommended.

Utilizing technology involves the skills needed to address any technical challenges that may come up, such as guiding someone through the steps to enable their computer microphone for use on Zoom meetings.

Excellent social skills

Effective sales representatives rely on strong social skills to establish a rapport with potential customers. The lack of trust between them would pose a significant obstacle to a successful sale. Building customer relationships is the key to a virtual sales environment.

Strong communication skills

Effective communication is essential when selling online to ensure clarity and understanding between all parties involved.

Effective communication involves clear writing, speaking, and sharing accurate information. You must be comfortable talking over the phone or via video chat.

Active listening

The sales rep is required to attentively listen and address the customer's feedback, inquiries, and issues in all sales interactions. Conducting business online emphasizes this point even more. The customer may be feeling impatient, easily distracted, and cautious. The sales representative should recognize this and guide the conversation, prompting the customer to remain engaged.

Good demo skills

When selling products online, customers cannot physically examine them, unlike when selling in person. When selling online, the sales representative must accurately display the product while maintaining a positive image.

Also, do check our guide on creating product demos

Best practices for selling virtually

Selling products or services and collaborating online can present challenges, but it is becoming more essential. Successfully navigating the challenges of virtual selling can lead to numerous advantages. Effective strategies for online sales benefit all parties involved.

To achieve the desired results, it is recommended to follow these virtual selling strategies:

Being prepared

It can be difficult to establish a connection with your prospects if you are not knowledgeable about them before engaging in any sales conversation. It is important to have some prior knowledge about the person you are engaging with, as not doing so may result in inefficiency during sales interactions.

Just like in any sales process, succeeding in virtual sales requires preparation. It is important to research your prospects and understand their demographics, challenges, and how they align with your business.

Sharing materials before the call

It is important to provide prospects with the information and materials they need in a timely manner. Share the information ahead of time and use the scheduled meeting time to focus on important topics. Providing prospects with information beforehand allows them the opportunity to fully comprehend the situation before making any commitments.

Demonstrate to customers the virtual sales process

Virtual selling and buying differs from the traditional sales process that your prospects may be familiar with. It can be beneficial to demonstrate the process in advance.

Provide a roadmap outlining the process to help others understand what to expect and feel more informed about the next steps.

Work with marketing

Collaborating with the marketing team enables sales teams to access new resources and materials. Both teams have the potential to gain future benefits from this, as it optimizes the selling process and increases efficiency. The marketing team can now access data more efficiently than they could in the past.

Utilize interactive demos

Interactive demos can enhance engagement during a virtual sales process by altering how prospects perceive the software being presented to them. Creating personalized interactive demos can help your customers fall in love with your product. Creating such interactive demos is now possible with Fable

Keep track of interactions and relationships

It's important to maintain communication with your prospect or customer even after they have completed a transaction with you to make your you are reaching the customer expectations. Utilize knowledge from past interactions to strengthen the relationship. Maintain communication and keep in contact so that customers are more likely to choose your company for their future needs.

Take the virtual sales experience to a different level

Virtual selling can be challenging, particularly if you are unsure of the best approach. Just like in any sales situation, persistence is key. Continuous effort, failures, and subsequent learning from them are essential for growth.

Selling remotely offers a variety of new opportunities. Your opportunities are expanding beyond traditional in-person sales meetings to include new ways of reaching buyers. The world offers many opportunities for sales.

To provide the best virtual sales experience to your buyers, you must make use of personalized interactive demos. With the help of Fable, you can enhance the customer experience in these virtual environments by making customized product demos according to the needs of each buyer. Enhance your virtual meetings today with Fable.

Start your 14-day free trial today!

Want to get the right partner for your sales team and close more deals?

Get started