The coronavirus pandemic has severely affected business across several industries and companies are still adjusting to the new normal.
Because of the pandemic, businesses have accepted the transition to remote work and have adapted digital workflows for all their teams—sales teams included. Thankfully, we can engage with prospective customers through virtual sales calls using the wealth of technology available to us.
Interested to know how to maximize technology to transform leads into paying customers? Check out the following tips to learn the best and most efficient practices to make more virtual sales.
Before Making a Sale
When it comes to virtual sales, it’s important to provide value in a timely, clear and direct manner. Even though the average person spends 144 minutes on social media every day, brands are still competing to be noticed.
That’s because consumers on social media have an attention span of eight seconds and will likely scroll past uninteresting content. Here are a few tips to help you set yourself up for success even before you make the sales pitch:
Offer a lot of value on virtual channels
Don’t waste your prospect’s time by being overly promotional. Know how and when to best offer free digital content and resources to catch their attention and eventually close a sale.
Make use of branded links when linking to external pages and your website. When you create branded links you can track the performance and success of your campaigns on social media and on the web. Companies like Nike and BuzzFeed use branded links to get 34% more clicks, promote better awareness of their brands and be consistent with their brand across the web.
Here are some examples of businesses sharing branded links:
Reach out to leads over SMS
Aside from social media, you can also better engage with prospects and customers through SMS when you have their contact information, if they’ve opted in to receiving text-based communications. This may require some collaboration with your company’s marketing team.
You can use SMS to remind your customers about appointments, events, delivery tracking or current offers. Instead of using long tracking links, add shortened links to save on precious character counts on SMS.
Sending links through campaigns on SMS are also found to have a 106% higher conversion rate than email.
Optimize your social media profiles
Developing a strong social media profile and presence for your business is a necessary step to making more virtual sales. But these days, even employees need to have well-crafted and professional profiles that embody the brand.
It would be optimal for the sales, marketing and other customer-facing teams to maintain their professional social media accounts. A study found that 72.6% of sales representatives with active social media profiles perform better and have higher productivity than colleagues and competitors who don’t.
LinkedIn is especially useful for sales representatives and marketers because of its vast network of professionals from different industries. It’s also designed to help businesses find and connect with better leads.
During the Sale
Now here are some best practices to follow when you’re pitching a sale:
Create a sales call outline
Your sales team can refer to a call outline that contains a general flow to direct the call. This particularly helps teams used to holding in-person meetings.
Since you’ll be on virtual calls, you should try to keep prospects interested by encouraging them to speak up and share their thoughts and ideas. Here’s a simple sales call flow that you can build out further for your own business:
When Starting the Call
Introduce yourself and explain your reason for calling. Remember the acronym KISS—Keep It Short and Simple.
Ask them how their day is or where they’re currently located. Basically, check in with them.
Learn the Prospect’s Needs & Goals
Spend the first half of the call learning and gauging their interest. This will help you know which products or services are best suited to their needs.
Segue into Your Sales Pitch
Frame your product or solution based on the information you gathered about their goals.
Encourage prospect participation on calls
In order to keep your prospect interested during the call, encourage them to ask questions or concerns about your pitch.
If they have any objections, learn to manage them positively or get to the bottom of their objections to see if you can help. Don’t dismiss your prospects’ concerns, but rather understand where they’re coming from and provide them with solutions and options for their needs.
Equip your team with the right video call gear
Deliver a professional and crisp experience for your prospects by equipping your sales team with good lighting and a great headset. Consider reimbursing them to have the minimum internet speed requirement for virtual calls, as well as any other needs they’ll require to have a productive workspace from home.
After the Sale
Send account or order updates via SMS
Say you’ve locked in a sale. Congratulations! But that’s not the end of your communication with the customer.
“95% of text messages are read by customers within the first three minutes of being sent.”
Consider using SMS to send an account of the sale or provide updates regarding the customer’s order. 95% of text messages are read by customers within the first three minutes of being sent, so they’re an effective way to communicate urgent offers and updates.
You can also use SMS to send a digital invoice or customer feedback survey. And because you have limited character count, use shortened links to help you save on valuable real estate.
Solicit customer feedback about your products
It’s also a smart idea to use branded short links here: to track and measure the performance of your emails or SMS campaigns. Consider using Bitly, a powerful tool used by teams to evaluate the effectiveness of their content and communications using insightful link metrics.
Track leads in your CRM
Aside from seeking customer feedback, you should also track your leads using customer relationship management platforms. This way, you can see exactly at which stage each prospect or customer is at, so you know if you can move them to the next stage of the sales process or conduct more nurture campaigns.
There are many CRM platforms to choose from, and several have built-in functions that include calls, SMS and email tracking. With these features, you can send follow-ups to customers and leads, as well as keep track of your ongoing communications.
Follow up with prospects personally
Maintaining a good professional relationship with your prospects—whether they converted or not—is an important step that businesses often miss.
“Prospects will often need to be exposed to the brand 6 to 8 times before converting.”
Send those who did not convert any follow-up invitations to product demos, discounts, free trials and other digital assets. These communications are ways to provide value and spread brand awareness even after the call.
Prospects will often need to be exposed to the brand six to eight times before converting, so it’s important to nurture your leads through a follow-up nurture campaign even if they don’t convert right away.
While the shift to virtual selling may seem overwhelming, all it takes is knowing a few best practices. Use this post to help you flesh out your virtual sales strategy, and start raking in those new customers.