Guide to Virtual Selling in 2021

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world. The pandemic’s full impact is unknown, but it is clear that it has had many negative outcomes.

As a sales leader, taking care of your team and your customers remains a high priority. This means you’ll need to adjust how your organization sells during these trying times as customers develop new buying habits.

While virtual selling isn’t new, many organizations are embracing and expanding their use of video conferencing and digital interactions to facilitate the buying process.

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What is Virtual Selling

Remote, or virtual selling, is when the majority of sales conversations occur with buyers and sellers in different physical locations. There’s usually no expectation of specific technologies used with virtual selling or that the process should be fully synchronous.

Why Virtual Selling is Important

Before the pandemic, around 40% of Americans worked remotely occasionally. A recent survey by CNBC indicates that this number will rise to 77% post-pandemic. Combine this with buyer preferences shifting to be digital-first – they don’t feel the need for face-to-face, in-person communication – and it’s clear that organizations need to enable their teams to sell remotely/virtually.

Top Skills Needed for Virtual Selling

Active Listening

Staying focused and paying attention to potential customers while on a call from an office was hard enough with typical distractions. Now, it’s even more challenging as more people work from home and are bombarded with even more distractions: Kids who need help with remote learning, the dog barking, or the garbage truck outside your house.

Now, more than ever, remote sales teams will need to make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but to understand the complete message being communicated.

Build Trust

There are many ways to build trust in a virtual selling environment. One of the most important, though, is to create shared experiences. This can be done by exposing potential customers to your thinking, work style, and product.

Storytelling

Listening is critical to the success of virtual selling. Equally important is making your audience want to listen to you. The way to do this is through storytelling. People retain more information through stories. Stories are designed to be remembered, which is something that you want your prospects to do when it comes to your product or service.

Customer Engagement

Having meaningful conversations with prospective customers that are engaging has a significant impact on the remote sales process. We’ve all sat through PowerPoint presentations filled with bullet points that did not hold our attention or speak to customers.

Today, customers expect more out of a presentation. Remote sales teams need to be able to deliver engaging presentations that are made up of slides, documents, images, and videos. Unfortunately, when this content is shared using typical screen sharing solutions, videos don’t always playback well, and collaborating on changes to a document is nearly impossible.

Guide to Virtual Selling in 2021 and Beyond

Bluescape’s virtual selling platform enables your virtual sales team to improve and showcase these skills and more.

Better than screen sharing

Switching between documents, slides, and movies disrupts your sales pitch and increases the risks of technical glitches. With Bluescape, you’re sharing a workspace with embedded video conferencing. There’s no switching between applications to communicate with prospects meaning you’ll spend less time worrying about the tech and more time focusing on and listening to your future client.

Strengthen your story

Show your content in the best possible light using Bluescape’s virtual workspace. Traditional screen sharing degrades the image quality of your content. Videos drop frames, and the audio is often delayed and out of sync. With Bluescape, you can keep your customers engaged by maintaining the original quality of your files and eliminating distractions.

Increase customer engagement

Bluescape virtual workspaces allow you to whiteboard together to document their needs and decision criteria. You can also collaborate on a solution and plan your next steps in the sales process. Exposing your prospective customer to your sales process is a great way to increase customer engagement and build trust at the same time.

Structure your sales pitch

Bluescape enables you to avoid switching between applications while screen sharing and potentially introducing technical hiccups.

With Bluescape, you can create multiple canvases to organize your sales material and keep your prospects focused and engaged in your story. For example, you can put proposals and timelines next to catalogs, estimates, and more.

Facilitate the purchase

By using a Bluescape virtual workspace, you can keep everything together in one place. Presentations, notes, memos, and proposals are easily accessible. This enables everyone involved in the sale to access the materials and information they need to follow up and move the deal forward.

Get a Demo of Bluescape Today

To find out how Bluescape can help your organization enable your virtual sales team, schedule a demo today.

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About the Author

Shawn Murphy
Director of Organizational Behavior, Bluescape
Shawn is our Director of Organizational Behavior and Workplace Trends. His second book, Work Tribes is out now. Shawn's first book, The Optimistic Workplace is out now. Inc. has listed him twice as one of the top leadership speakers in America.

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