The Human Side of Virtual Selling
Written by Kamales Lardi
Digitalization and the Disruption of Traditional Selling
The digital revolution has fundamentally changed how people interact with each other. Sales has seen a shift in customer engagement, where face-to-face interactions have been the bread and butter of engaging with customers and closing deals. In virtual sales, people are still at the heart of sales processes. But digitalization has amplified their demand for authentic and emotion-based interactions while adding the expectation of receiving such interactions seamlessly across every channel.
Creating such an omnichannel environment relies on the use of the right technology, which can assist with the new demands of online sales in several ways. Firstly, it supports gathering the right information about potential customers, thereby providing a hyper-personalized experience to them. Secondly, it helps to automate sales processes in a way where salespeople can focus on their most important task: the actual interaction with their customers. In that sense, virtual selling is the art of using technology in the right place to augment sales processes and fulfill the rising demands of buyers.
Best Practices to Succeed in Virtual Selling
The key to engaging with customers online is to communicate with them as you would in face-to-face interactions. When doing so online, it is important to keep in mind the limitations of the communication technology, such as Zoom or Google Meet. Facial expressions and tonation are harder to catch in a call, and technical difficulties are also possible. That’s why it’s crucial to come well prepared, i.e. make sure to research potential customers and their company thoroughly, understand their specific issues, strategies and the ecosystem of their clients, partners and vendors and how these play together. Leveraging emerging technologies for this preparation work is key to staying efficient and getting the bigger picture. Here’s some specific points to consider:
- Stay open and adjust to the needs of your client. You can get a thorough understanding of potential clients, their challenges, and their stakeholder environments by gathering background information on them. In addition, you will get a better understanding of their buying behavior and can adjust accordingly: how much nurturing do your customers need? What channels are they most engaged in and how does this influence their willingness to close deals? I’ll share my personal successes and further insights into these processes in the upcoming webinar.
- Leverage data analytics technology to translate the information you gathered into actionable insights. Such tools can structure and analyze vast amounts of data from different sources, and give you understanding that will help you to be better prepared for your face-to-face interactions – and close deals faster.
- Embrace augmentation tools to facilitate hyper personalized conversation. Every single customer wants to receive a truthful and personalized experience, yet the sheer amount of data makes it almost impossible to provide such tailored interactions to everyone. Augmentation tools allow you to provide personalized interactions with little effort. They also show you potential for upselling and cross-selling opportunities that are easily missed with the loads of data sales representatives have to deal with on a daily basis. Specific tools and best practices will be discussed in further detail in my talk on June 28th.
How Sales Leaders Can Guide Their Employees to a Digital Mindset
A digital mindset has less to do with using new technologies and more to do with the right mentality. This means that it’s essential to transition to a fluidity and abundance mindset and understand that digital sales have opened up endless selling possibilities, transcending industry, demographic and geographic limitations. In addition, keeping an open mind and staying flexible to customers’ needs is crucial for success in the digital era. The most important piece of wisdom around shifting to a digital mindset, however, is understanding that technology is here to augment personal interactions with customers, not replace them.
To learn more about how to successfully transition to a digital sales strategy, join me for the Mastering Virtual Selling for B2B Webinar on June 28th.
Kamales is a bold and strategic thinker in digital and business transformation. She combines over 22 years of deep cross-industry experience with the latest digital and technology solutions. Kamales is listed in the “Top 10 Global Thought Leaders in Digital Transformation” (Thinkers360). In 2022, Kamales was recognized in International 40 Over 40 - The World's Most Inspiring Women by CapGemini Invent and Female One Zero.