Ever struggled to keep prospects engaged during virtual sales calls?
You're not alone. Research from Stanford University reveals that many people are suffering from video call fatigue. Fortunately, there are ways you can make online calls engaging without giving up the connection that video provides.
Which tool are you going to use for the call? That said, it is best to use a video calling tool because these tools provide a richer virtual experience.
As a sales professional, you need a video engagement platform that can keep up with all of your calling needs. Rather than switching back and forth between different tools throughout the workday, pick one call tool to learn. To speed up the process of choosing a tool, keep these tips in mind.
Expecting prospects to download and install an unfamiliar app is a lot to ask for a sales call. That's why we recommend using a video calling app that runs directly from your web browser. In particular, we recommend choosing a video call app that works well with Chrome because Chrome is the most popular web browser (over 60% market share according to Statcounter). Video tools that run directly in your browser make it easier for your prospects to attend your calls. Plus, browser-based tools are subject to the security of the browser you are using.
At a minimum, a video for sales tool needs to handle online meetings effectively. Ideally, look for a video call tool that can also support more complex calls like product demos where you need to share your screen with the prospect, which is helpful when you need to show detailed information like a software demonstration. Some tools come with automated recordings that can be sent to prospects after the event in a follow-up email.
When selling online, you want your prospects to be as engaged as possible with you and your product or service. For example, some prospects like to type quick questions, technical details, or links in a chat during a virtual call. The best tools have built-in emailing systems that make reminder emails and follow-ups easy. Make sure your video calling app supports these needs.
Planning is your greatest ally in running a successful virtual sales call. Start with the fundamentals of removing potential distractions and disruptions.
The ideal space for a virtual sales call is one where you know you wont be interrupted by any noises or external factors. If you have a room with a door that closes, that is ideal. If you share a room with other people, like in a coworking space or open office, tell them about your planned sales calls and ask them to be quiet in advance.
Virtual backgrounds can help to project a professional image, but some virtual backgrounds are not perfect. Save yourself the embarrassment of testing a new virtual background with a sales prospect. Instead, book a 10-15 minute virtual call with a friend and test out a few different virtual backgrounds.
Testing your hardware a few minutes before the sales call is an excellent way to reduce surprises. Check your sound levels in terms of speaking and listening. In addition, look at your lighting levels. If the prospect cannot see your face clearly on the call, it might be more challenging to connect.
A few purchases can improve your appearance during video calls. For lighting, consider investing in a LED desk lamp (e.g., the TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp recommended by NY Mag costs less than $50) or a ring light. In addition, a good microphone can make a big difference. TechRepublic has a few recommendations for microphones under $100, like the HyperX SoloCast or the JOUNIVO USB Recording Microphone that will make you easy to hear.
Sales success requires that you listen carefully and signal you are engaged in the sales conversion. In a virtual sales call, your body language habits may need to adjust. For example, your hands and arms may not always be visible during the call. In addition, the prospect may have an unstable connection, so you need to practice active listening.
Resource: If you want to take your virtual sales skills to the next level, online courses can help. Consider taking "Digital Body Language" by Vanessa Van Edwards on Udemy. This two-hour course covers capturing attention, gazing, and how to develop confidence online so you can come across more professionally on virtual sales calls.
Preparation for a sales call goes far beyond testing your equipment. Since you probably have multiple virtual sales calls to attend each day, you need a quick and easy process to get ready. That's why we developed a twenty-minute sales research process. Once you use this process a few times, it's possible to get this process down to 15 minutes.
At a minimum, read through the prospect's LinkedIn profile and company. Then, start focusing on key facts like the company's size (regarding the number of employees or annual revenue), the prospect's job title, and how long the prospect has been with the company.
Write down a few ideas for your sales call objective. For instance, a sales development representative (SDR) may have an objective to book an appointment for their account executive. On the other hand, your sales call objective might be to move an existing deal further along.
Think back over the last ten sales calls you had. You have probably heard a few objections come up over and over again. For instance, you might hear prospects say something like, "I'm not sure your solution will work with our solution." With this objection, you might anticipate this objection by highlighting that your product integrates with Slack or whatever product your prospects commonly mention.
Are you concerned that your prospect is tuning you out to catch up on emails? Unfortunately, that's a risk we face in virtual meetings. Fortunately, you can use a few sales best practices to reengage your prospect.
When there is a demonstration, your virtual sales calls can get more interesting. If possible, upload media and videos relating to the prospect in the call. For example, if you are demonstrating a business product, include the logo of the prospect's company in the demo account of your software.
Check out the below video as our Content Manager, Daniella, shares 5 tips for creating a killer product demonstration.
Sometimes prospects will need to review what they learned with other people. Offer to record the call and send a digital copy to the prospect afterward. Recording the call is also an excellent resource for you because you can review it again later to improve your performance.
In some rare cases, the prospect will be ready to buy right away during the sales call. However, for the vast majority of situations, you will need to follow up. Therefore, whenever possible, ask to schedule a follow-up appointment with the prospect before you end the call.
Running a virtual sales call takes practice. You can get better at the skill by taking a few minutes to reflect on the experience. Give yourself a score on each virtual sales call with this simple checklist.
While many prospects will tolerate some glitches during a virtual sales call, aim to minimize these as much as possible. When a call is free of technical problems, it is easier for you and the prospect to connect.
Listen for the quantity and quality of questions from the prospect. If the prospect asks no questions, that is a warning sign that they are disengaged. To recapture their interest, add some variety to the call by making a joke or posing a question yourself. It is a positive sign when the prospect asks about implementation (e.g., does this product work with Microsoft Teams?), pricing, or mentions specific other people (e.g., I'd like you to present this to Jane Smith, my director).
Pay attention to the prospect's tone of voice, volume, and facial appearance as helpful clues. Keep in mind that some people may be more reserved by nature. If the prospect is silent or responds in a monotone manner, that is a red flag.
The next step should include a date and time (e.g., next Wednesday at 11 am) and action (e.g., you will present to the prospect's director).
We hope these tips help you create more engaging virtual sales calls! For more great tips you can check out our content library.