7 Myths about Virtual Selling You Need to Bust Today
Whoever says, Field sales is the only effective way of selling, must be from the 1980s because ever since the Internet has made space in our daily lives, virtual selling is fast becoming the central requirement for most fields.
This is because the consumer is spending more time online, researching, and reading about the products they might need. In fact, 68% of B2B customers prefer to research independently online.
Now since COVID has locked us in our respective homes, leaving virtual selling as the only option to conduct business, organizations have started leveraging it. Yet, looking past all of its advantages, many professionals eye virtual selling with a lot of skepticism.
Here are 7 common myths about virtual selling that are still trusted by many sales professionals and the reality behind each one.
Remote selling is just a phase which will fade Post-Covid
Remote Selling is the ‘new normal’
The sales departments of companies have moved their functions online, with teams scattered and its members in various parts of the world. But if you are thinking this is just a phase owing to its existence to the pandemic, you need to reconsider your approach to selling.
Even before this deadly virus enveloped the world, remote selling was gaining a rapid pace in substituting at least a portion of your conventional sales teams. Consumer support and interactions were going virtual and they would have intensified regardless of the coronavirus.
Now that the team and the consumers are both making themselves comfortable with the WFH scenario, it is likely going to be the case even after the buzz of Covid dies. Stats reveal that the amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has multiplied by 400% since 2010.
If you are still waiting for the time to get back to the office and then show your real game making it look like you are ‘back to normal’, please consider remote selling as the ‘new normal.’
You cannot do important/high-value business deals online
Social Networking Platforms are important in closing deals
High-value deals do not require socializing or outside of business interactions like entertaining clients or taking them out for dinner. You win deals and make contracts with thoughtful discussions, and not by reluctantly appreciating their choice of food.
This kind of discussion and engagement can be done on digital platforms as well. And if you take enough effort, they will turn out to be as effective as in-person meetings.
Your client and yourself, both have a life outside the office with your families and if nothing more, your client will appreciate you scheduling meetings during the working hours and respecting their private time.
You need a big marketing budget to sell online
Digital Marketing is comparatively cheaper than your present expenditure
The digital market is one place where you utilize all the basic concepts of marketing, making it a go-to platform for small and big businesses alike. Given the enormous amount of opportunities open for you in the digital marketing space, a budget will be the last thing on your mind.
When you market online, you finally put your collected information to effective use. All the leads generated over the years will be compiled into a list for cold emails, your network will be used for adding credibility online, promoting brand awareness, and driving engagement on your social media.
Get into content marketing with blogs and listicles, discuss your professional opinion in an exclusive vlog series and start a website to keep up with the others. Use automation tools because if you don’t, you will start complaining about the budget.
All of this is comparatively cheaper than your present expenditure. Sure, these techniques take time and patience to work but consider it as a time-investment for greater results. Plus, with the increasing freelancer community, you might just end up saving on your marketing instead!
Virtual Selling is all about Great PowerPoint Presentation
When you are hosting an online meeting, ask questions that provoke your prospect to start a meaningful conversation.
Probably the most important myth to be busted, because the reality is quite the opposite. If you focus too much on your presentation, it will cut off all kinds of active discussion as the spotlight will be on a series of slides containing information that may or may not be relevant to the client.
When you are hosting an online meeting, make sure you have kept your doors open for discussions on real problems. Data and facts are certainly important and so is your presentation – but that’s not all to virtual selling.
To make the most of virtual selling, you need to start a meaningful conversation. Ask questions that provoke your prospect to think and clearly state what you are expecting from the meeting.
Virtual selling is not about snazzy time-consuming presentations; it is about effectively using them to make your point.
Virtual Selling is a new concept
A big fat ‘BUSTED’! Virtual selling is not a new concept; it has been in practice since long before coronavirus evaded our traditional selling techniques.
Although it is not new, virtual selling is slightly different from your typical selling approaches. It does not require any new skills per se, but the approach through which you interact with your client has to be looked at with a different perspective. You can keep using whatever tactics you were using to entice the leads, only optimize them for digital mediums.
Consider all factors while planning your digital marketing strategy. Right from your industry, your product offerings to the buyer persona of your organization – everything will create a difference.
Experiment with different practices and use a combination of various tactics to see what works best for you. And you will have an enriching online experience even after the pandemic.
You can’t develop long-term relationships via virtual selling
Building long-lasting relationships with your customers do not depend on the mode of selling but on your relationship-building efforts.
If you have been thinking that selling your products online will greatly prevent human interaction impacting your relationship with the client, it is not the case.
Virtual interaction definitely reduces non-verbal communication that helps you build a vibe and deliver messages that can’t be directly said. But if you make serious efforts, it will be as effective as in-person meetings.
Meetings on the web are delicate and are deemed to be successful only if you can keep your client engaged. This requires you to plan the meeting in advance, craft personalized pitches, and address their objections. If you can invest your time planning for your virtual sales pitches, then this is a myth, if you can’t, then this is your reality.
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My business type is not meant for virtual selling
There’s NO business that is not suited for online selling. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying!
Digital and physical markets, both have their own pros and cons, yes, but that does not determine whether or not your products are worthy of being sold online.
In fact, the advantages of selling online are too good to not consider it as a primary mode of selling. Honestly, the world is fast moving to a world where the case will be,
“If you are not online, maybe you don’t exist at all. “
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The process is not so difficult either, you only have to make a website, create relevant content, and make real effort for branding and marketing.
However small, these processes also require a budget, and if you can cover the cost of selling your products online, that will be everything you need. As long as you are not selling anything illegal (which I hope you are not), you definitely don’t want to devoid your business with the benefits of virtual selling.
Virtual selling is here to stay!
Virtual selling has been in business for more than two decades now. Amazon laid its foundation as an online marketplace for books, electronics, video games, etc back in July 1994.
However, the hype around this concept has suddenly held fire due to its paranormal shift from secondary to primary mode of selling in the pandemic.
Organizations are fast realizing the list of benefits virtual selling offers and are reengineering their efforts with a digital aspect. With the unprecedented growth of online businesses and businesses rapidly shifting to WFH models, it can be strongly suspected that virtual selling is not going anywhere any time soon.
If you still feel, your sales team is not ready to roll the balls online, don’t hesitate to look for professional opinions from B2B sales and marketing consulting firms. They will empower your team with the required resources and skills that are needed for selling in the new normal.
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