How to Adapt Remote Sales to Close and Prosper

Sep 09, 2020

Never before have salespeople been more prepared to sell from anywhere, and simultaneously, more challenged to close deals. Armed with communication and video conferencing apps, file sharing solutions, and collaboration platforms, sales professionals’ transition to virtual selling has been more or less seamless. Sans travel and commute, salespeople have had more time and flexibility for outreach, meetings, and presentations. Yet, over 70% of B2B salespeople report that remote selling is less effective than in-person. Do buyers really need the in-person experience to pull the trigger, or is there something more amiss than your home office lighting?

 

The truth is, remote selling is so much more than a behavioral change on the seller’s end. While advances in tech have made selling from home possible, shifts have occurred on both ends of the video call presenting challenges. 

 

Divided attention

For starters, people aren’t giving your screen share presentation their undivided attention. Not even close. In a survey of 500 B2B salespeople, 83% admitted to multi-tasking, including checking email and other communication apps during other people’s meetings. And who can blame them? On top of the lag time caused by screen share, presentations are still stuck in the conference room. Quite simply, they are boring. People’s attention spans are shorter than ever before, and right now, salespeople not only have to compete with Slack, but also the kids and family dog. In the conference room, people couldn’t drift off without being noticed. In the remote world, you don’t have the luxury of catching the distracted person’s eye and bringing them back. There are more distractions than ever before, making it nearly impossible to hold someone’s attention, let alone build relationships (which is a significant challenge to begin with when interacting via the screen).

 

Killing me softly with screen share

While the presentations themselves weren’t designed for remote sales, the software to deliver them fails almost entirely. Presentations delivered over screen share are clunky, hard to keep up with, and, not to mention, seconds behind the presenter’s voice. Right now, when a prospect and a salesperson meet via video conference, the screenshare fills the screen as soon as the presentation begins. When this happens, faces minimize and fall to the background. This further challenges the opportunity to connect with one another and build relationships. And when those participating are lulled into a passive mode of participation, the sales pitch is jeopardized.

 

May I have your prolonged attention, please?

Not only has the human attention span shortened, but we’ve also developed a higher threshold for stimulation. What used to wow us now lulls us to sleep. But at the same time, people also have a greater capacity for prolonged attention if they’re captivated and stimulated. Just look at the number of people who binge-watch Netflix. For the consummate sales professional, this creates an opportunity to flip the script on holding someone’s attention.  However, several adjustments to your presentations are necessary:

  1. Use more dynamic visuals and more motion to grab and hold attention. Animate slides to add bullets or graphs in real-time as you present them versus showing everything all at once. 
  2. Create interactive elements. Annotate directly on your slides to highlight information and engage them into the experience. In a Bluescape workspace, you can draw, annotate, or even upload video content alongside your presentation to further engage your audience.
  3. Ask your audience to interact physically. Research by Corporate Visions has shown that asking buyers to draw a simple visual relating to your messaging improves engagement, differentiation, and recall. Have them draw on a piece of paper, or better yet, directly onto your Bluescape canvas.

 

Beyond overhauling your presentations, you can also change the environment where you meet altogether. Collaboration within Bluescape allows for a dynamic, interactive experience. Instead of meeting screen to screen, everyone in the meeting can gather in a digital presentation room.

 

Pitch and present your ideas in an environment that doesn’t bore your audience 

With a platform like Bluescape, you can engage those you usually lose to multi-tasking with opportunities to interact with the content that they’d find interesting. What’s more, your meeting takes place around your content from the beginning. This allows you to capture your audience’s attention immediately. And because you never have to leave the platform, you seamlessly move through your presentation without swapping between apps or starting and stopping screenshares. The digital presentation room flips the sales script. Within this exciting environment holding a prospect’s attention is no longer the issue.  Prolonged attention becomes the norm.

 

With sales and buying remotely part of the foreseeable future, it’s in your best interest to understand what’s not working for remote salespeople. Additionally, it’s vital that leaders help the salesforce discover the solutions that help them adapt how they sell. 

 

As we continue to evolve how we work, Bluescape helps your sales teams have virtual sales meetings that are more effective than in-person meetings.  Capture the customer’s vision, present your options for making it a reality, and work together to move the sale forward faster with Bluescape.

 

 

 

About the Author

Brett Jackson

Brett is a copywriter, life coach and former professional athlete. He uses his teamwork and leadership experiences from Major League Baseball to present ideas around life work balance, team productivity and work dynamics to technology companies utilizing productivity tools to enable healthier and happier lifestyles.

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