The COVID-19 Pandemic forced the business world to re-evaluate how it works. Many companies have found that virtual work, whether it be fully remote or a hybrid model where employees work part-time in the office and part-time at home, saves money and produces happier staff. However, there are some challenges when you’re virtual selling in a digital world. We lay out everything you need to know for a successful virtual office.
What is Virtual Selling?
Even before the pandemic, many sales professionals already did much of their jobs virtually. Virtual selling is the process of a salesperson using technology to engage, communicate, and close deals with customers. Whether it be cold calling or following up on the phone with a prospect that has asked to be contacted, the most common way to sell virtually is on the phone. However, salespeople are most successful when they combine all the technology available to them. For example, using your website and social media platforms to draw in quality leads is oftentimes essential to getting a potential customer on the phone and increasing sales.
What You Need to be a Salesperson in a Digital World
Depending on the work-from-home policy, employees need certain things to be successful selling in a digital world. Some of these things may include:
- Computer or laptop
- Internet security
- Access to high-speed Internet
- Quiet space
- Desk and chair
- Ethernet cord
- HDMI cord
Many businesses provide these vital tools or provide a stipend to purchase them. However, employees are often expected to have their own access to the internet, desk, chair, and quiet space.
Staying Disciplined When Working Outside the Office
One of the biggest challenges remote work presents is staying disciplined and motivated in your work. Whether you choose to work at home or somewhere else, you will come across distractions. Start each week and day by writing down what you want to achieve. Make sure your plan aligns with your KPIs, your career goals, and your personal goals.
How Managers Should Keep Employees on Track
It’s important to have a manager or supervisor who checks in with you daily to ensure you are staying driven and focused. A good manager keeps their salespeople motivated and engaged in a virtual setting while avoiding micromanagement. Research shows that micromanagement leads to decreased growth. Managers should adjust their leadership styles based on each salesperson’s performance. For example, if an employee is happy and hitting their goals with minimal involvement, a manager doesn’t need to meet with that person several times a day. On the flip side, if an employee is providing limited activity and is not hitting their KPIs, a more involved approach is likely needed.
Technology should always be the foundation of the monitoring system used to keep track of sales representatives KPIs. This allows supervisors to have a visual of all virtual working environments. Technology solutions to measure performance include:
- Phone System (e-dialer, Dialing Innovations, etc.)
- Keystroke Logging (Keylogger, Key Grabber, Adobe Captivate, etc.)
- Productivity Monitoring Software (Remote Desk, Prodoscore, etc.)
How to Be a Successful Virtual Seller
A successful sales call is one that ends with an agreement by the customer to either buy the product or service that you are selling or more often than not agree to move to the next stage in the process. The key to a successful call is the preparation and structure that is applied. You should build rapport, trust, and a relationship that will carry you on through the call and any future conversations. Be sure to tell a story, build emotion, and create the customer’s interest. This involves preparation, planning, and a focused delivery for the potential customer.
Tips to Perfect Your Sales Call
- Make sure you know who you are calling – do the research in advance
- Learn who the decision maker is
- Have at least two to three value points about the company or product you are selling
- Set out a clear goal or goals that you want to achieve during the call
- Know what you need to find out during the call
- Know what the next steps are after the call
Virtual Selling On a Video Call
Video calls have become an important part of any business operation. To ensure that your sales video call is both professional and successful, there needs to be a set of clear guidelines. Vital video call etiquette to keep in mind includes:
Ensure you have a quiet space
- Prepare your space prior to the call free of extra noises and distractions
Be on time
- Always connect to the video call with enough time to ensure that your system is working and that video and audio are functioning properly.
Make sure what the prospects see is professional
- Since those joining the video call can see you and what is behind you, it is important to be aware of that. Create a professional atmosphere around you or add a professional virtual background if you can. Keep in mind things like lighting and your personal appearance.
Maintain a professional demeanor
- It is important to be respectful and listen carefully. Avoid trying to overly control the call and never interrupt others.
Mute your mic when you are not talking
- To avoid background noises and natural interference, it is wise to place your microphone on mute when others are speaking.