The shift towards virtual commerce has accelerated in recent years. Now more than ever, virtual sales representatives have become one of the most in-demand jobs in the US, as they act as a bridge between the customer and the company, even online.
But besides the basic skills of relationship-building with customers, it’s also essential for your sales representatives to be able to make effective and impactful sales pitches virtually — just as well as they can face-to-face.
This is why sales enablement and employee training should be your priority.
Push sales training
Effective online pitching entails piquing your customer’s interest right from the start. So much of communication is experienced through nonverbal cues, and this is much more limited in virtual situations, which can cause customers to become quickly uninterested.
However, you can compensate by training your employees to be more confident and prepared for their pitches. For instance, a light ice breaker, product trivia, or invoking curiosity through an anecdote, you can immediately create a bond between the customer and representative, and encourage them to stay for the duration of your presentation.
During onboarding and coaching sessions, giving them concrete tips such as these would help give them an idea of how they can deliver pitches more effectively.
Just because you’re not pitching in person, doesn’t mean that the customers won’t take notice of bad communication skills.
Training representatives need to give effective presentations through conversational approaches to ensure that they can include all the necessary information in a clear and concise manner, while still keeping things lighthearted and engaging.
So despite possible limitations in today’s technology and the lack of nonverbal cues, teach them to constantly try to make eye contact, engage, and make an impactful entrance and ending statement.
These are essential communication skills useful for customers of all ages and backgrounds.
Upgrade sales tech
Partner your company’s audio or video conferencing software with compelling presentation assets to create a much more engaging sales pitch. Encourage sales representatives to think of new and alternative ways to present their product or service.
For instance, using suitable transitions, animations, and audiovisual embellishments can really up the level of a basic presentation. Use technology to your advantage; customer applications, screen sharing, and even virtual reality product demonstrations can give them an edge over competitors.
Additionally, you can utilize learning management systems or LMS to create, deliver, and keep track of ongoing training programs and further identify learning gaps using analytics — this will help aid your sales enablement endeavors.
In this list of four signs that your sales demo is boring buyers, we mention that the more you explain how your product works, the more people will want to hear less about it.
This is because customers would rather hear about how this product will be of value to them and for their questions about the said product to be answered. So train representatives to invite their clients to ask questions throughout the presentation instead of waiting until the end, and consider structuring a more roomy Q&A portion.
This way, you can direct dialogue into areas they want to know more about, wasting less of the buyer and representative’s time.
Develop soft skills for sales
Soft skills enable representatives to become trusted advisors and masters in addressing customer needs. Just because meetings and pitches now occur digitally doesn’t mean that the importance of one’s tone and body language becomes less relevant.
All salespeople should learn when to slow down and speed up, when to move on from a specific part of their pitch, or when a customer is highly interested. Digitally, these cues can manifest through a customer’s heightened reactivity, an influx in questions, or asking for you to pause so they can take a screenshot.
These soft cues are learned gradually through time and training.
Track sales performance
Finally, make sure you’re also directly monitoring your sales performance through the use of tools, playbooks, or metrics.
In our Measuring Sales Enablement Report, we found that 30.3% of sales enablers only score their metrics’ accuracy at reflecting enablement’s value at an average of 0-2 out of 5.
One of the most accurate ways to measure enablement effects is through rep feedback — but of course, this must also be combined with other key performance indicators.
Don’t overlook social media as a powerful sales tool; messages, existing connections, saved leads and accounts are some of the things you should be looking at. There’s also much more to these reported numbers than just revenue and traction, they also tell you how effective your sales enablement efforts are.
With enough effort, companies can use technology to guide the customer journey virtually without losing the excitement and engagement brought out by in-person interactions.
Tech is a crucial part of sales enablement, and can play a large role in bringing your company consistent and stable revenue growth amidst trying times.
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