The skills for traditional sales professionals must be augmented with digital selling tools for online B2B virtual sales.
Virtual selling is becoming increasingly important in today's remote, rapidly evolving tech landscape, with more and more companies selling their products and services online. The global pandemic revealed the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of remote B2B sales. The savings from the travel freeze easily covered the costs of adopting virtual selling software and services.
The pandemic might be in the world’s rearview mirror, but there has been, and will be, no return to the previous ‘normal’ sales processes. In order to stay competitive, businesses must ensure that their B2B sales teams are well-trained and supported in the virtual space, particularly in the use and benefits of digital sales rooms.
The current challenge for many businesses is to successfully train their sales teams in the best practices for virtual selling. This article will provide key tips, strategies, and resources to help businesses develop a successful virtual sales program.
While most traditional sales skills remain valuable, the skills essential for B2B virtual, or digital, selling need to be added for success in today's post-Covid business world. With an increasing number of B2B transactions taking place online, it's important for sales professionals to be able to effectively navigate the digital landscape.
Key digital selling skills include:
Sales professionals should be comfortable using social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with potential customers and build relationships. Understanding the difference between personal and business use of these channels is vital. Sales professionals must remember all social media transactions reflect upon their business and organization.
With so much data available online and off, it's important for sales professionals to be able to analyze and interpret their data to identify trends and opportunities. The comprehension of sales data results in a better understanding of what works - segmented by industry, regulatory concerns, size of the customer’s organization, procurement budget, etc.
Sales professionals should be able to select and organize (or even create) compelling content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, that can help attract and engage potential customers. Properly curated, content can be used at each step of the sales process to identify customer pain points, address concerns, and reinforce value propositions for individual audiences.
Effective communication is always important in sales, but it's especially crucial in the digital world, where interactions often take place via email, chat, or video conferencing. Proper training in the use of these channels and providing simple tools like digital backgrounds for video conferencing pays enormous benefits.
While virtual selling offers many benefits, it's not without its challenges. One of the most common obstacles that businesses face when trying to sell online is overcoming objections from potential customers. Without the ability to read body language or gauge a customer's level of interest in person, it can be difficult to know what objections they might have and how to address them effectively.
However, there are proven strategies that you can use to overcome common objections in digital sales.
The first step in overcoming objections is to anticipate them before they even arise. Take some time to think about common concerns or questions that potential customers might have about your product or service. Then, prepare responses that address these concerns proactively.
Be aware of competitor offerings in order to be able to provide comparisons between products/services without having to make excuses or admit ignorance. Armed with competitive intelligence, most sales professionals can highlight superior aspects of their own offerings.
Honesty and transparency are key components of building trust with customers in virtual selling. Be upfront about any limitations or drawbacks of your product or service, as well as any steps you're taking to address these issues.
Social proof refers to evidence that other people have successfully used and benefited from your product or service. This could include testimonials from satisfied customers, case studies highlighting successful implementations, or data on how your product has helped others achieve their goals.
Providing guarantees can help alleviate concerns around risk and uncertainty for potential buyers. Consider offering a money-back guarantee or free trial period for new customers.
When addressing objections, it's important to focus on the benefits of your product or service rather than just its features. Help potential buyers understand the value of your offering, how it will solve their pain points and make their lives easier.
Proper training for your sales team, efficient support, and an effective virtual sales platform, or toolkit, are requirements for successful B2B sales in the world today. By using these digital sales tools, skills, and strategies, your sales team can overcome objections and build stronger relationships with potential customers in virtually all digital sales scenarios.
Download the 4 Skills for Success in B2B Virtual Selling Infographic