It was a look back session at one of the most unpredictable years ever known to us and we could not stop talking about virtual sales. Among all things that 2020 kickstarted and expedited, virtual sale was always in limelight because of the fast adoption of digital approach across industries and the subsequent challenges they faced.
As per the LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2020, 77% of the respondent’s surveyed from the sales community have stated that they now hold more virtual meetings. However, there is a 44% drop in responsiveness of customers. To add to this there is a 44% rise in the overall sales cycle.
Our discussion based on our clients’ experience and queries led us to three aspects of training intervention that can convert your sales expert into a virtual sales expert.
The three most important factors that can enable your sales team to provide a wow experience to your customers are – Digital Tools, Visually Engaging Information Materials and Customer Data.
For an effective sales call in a virtual scenario it is important that your sales rep has a variety of digital tools. Be it an online calculator or a chatbot for point-of-sale assistance – sales rep should be able to engage the client with greater confidence. VisualIy engaging information materials aids the sales rep to create an understanding path for the client as the current buyer is an informed buyer and the job of a sales rep here is to steer them towards a confident decision.
In addition, your team needs to have access to existing customer data so that they know their customer, their investments, and their buying behavior before they get into the virtual meeting. This way the options on offer can be presented as an upsell whenever possible, instead of a new sale. Having access to online documentation tools like Google Drive or an online repository of documents in the LMS, so they can record their actions by customer, and have a clear plan for next-steps or follow up.
Some new behaviours and practices need to be ingrained into, and imbibed by, your sales team. A digital-first approach to sales does not render a salesperson redundant but requires the role to be reinvented. The team needs to be apprised with the change in practices along with thorough training on the tools discussed above.
The Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report reveals that 60% of B2B sales organizations will transition from experience- and intuition-based selling to data-driven selling by 2025. Thus, your sales team should also be trained in analytics to navigate the data-driven process that is taking over. 360 degree digitization of training, delivered through your LMS helps the learner to get immersed in the digital culture.
The beauty of the digital space is that everything is trackable, and the data, big or small, is always saying something.
Daily virtual huddles and a digital dashboard showing performance metrics, for updates, applause, target check, etc. are a proven method to managing teams. By using the same online tools as their team, leaders can deliver a show-of-camaraderie. As you know this also helps maintain morale and motivation in the team. Our study on the method to make this process of tracking and update engaging through gamification can also help you get a better idea.
Not just us but according to Gartner, the digitally equipped customer is mismatched with traditional sales process. They suffer from an uncertainty induced by the sea of information available to them and requires the following prediction to come true – ‘sellers will pivot from being the source of information to helping customers make sense of the information, irrespective of its source.’
The sooner sales teams can adapt, as well as adopt, the sooner companies can get a view into future business metrics, create forecasts and plan strategies around virtual selling.