You need to learn how to be charming and engaging on screen if you want to sell online. Here’s a complete guide to nailing the art of virtual selling.
Myth: selling online makes it harder for you to build rapport or form any kind of relationship with your clients. We get it! Virtual selling sounds bland and boring at first. And, sometimes virtual sales meetings remind you of the days you were cold calling and hating every minute of it.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. To avoid boring sales meetings, incorporate virtual engagement into your selling strategy and learn how to make the most out of virtual environments. Then, you’ll be able to reach more people at once and increase your KPIs and paycheck. Ready? Here’s everything you need to know to kill it at the virtual selling game.
Selling online isn’t easy, but it’s highly profitable as it lets you sell at scale—which wouldn’t be possible following a traditional selling approach. However, it can be tricky to read people as clearly online. And that’s not the only challenge of virtual sales:
1- Most people make a decision before the sales call
2- It’s tough to read each other’s body language
3- There’s a world of distractions
4- People expect to be bored
5- You might face technical difficulties
Think about how you act when you need to buy a product or service. Unless you’re making a repeat purchase, you never buy the first option that you find—at least not right away.
Instead, you Google the name, look for alternatives, and read customers’ reviews.
Typically, this leaves you with a compilation of possible solutions you trust. That’s when you book product demos—when you already have a ton of information.
The same happens to your customers. Before they join the sales call, they’ve pretty much already made up their minds.
So it’s your job to discover what are the things that prospects believe to be true about your product and tackle them during the video call. That’s how you wow qualified leads with your solution.
When you meet others virtually, it’s hard to pick up on non-verbal cues. Most times, you’re only seeing them from the shoulders up.
So, you can’t really tell if they have their arms crossed or nervously playing with their hands, for example. It’s only normal that, in the beginning, you find it harder to build rapport over a screen.
Video conferencing tools like Livestorm can help you mimic (or even enhance) real-life interactions. But, learning how to nurture client relationships through a screen is a soft skill your sales leaders should train you on.
It’s good practice to avoid looking at your phone or using your laptop during an in-person meeting.
However, when you host sales meetings online, people can be on a call with you, answering a Slack message, and sending an email at the same time—especially if they join with their cameras off.
But distractions aren’t only present during virtual sales meetings. They’re also there when your prospects are reading a bottom-of-funnel blog post or watching a video you added on a landing page.
So, you need to learn how to capture their attention fast and reduce the number of distractions that you provide without noticing—e.g. linking out to multiple other websites in blog posts.
Even when you want to buy a product, you aren’t necessarily excited to sit on a call with someone you don’t know that’s overly eager to sell it to you.
And the same thing happens to your prospects.
When you join the call, you’re likely already battling with the prospect’s biases and it’s your responsibility to surprise and engage them.
When you organize sales calls, you set them up with a video conferencing tool that you know how to use. That way, you don’t waste time figuring out how to share your screen or keep track of questions.
But your prospect wants the same thing. They don’t want to download an app or learn how to use new software just to join a 30-minute call. Finding the right balance here is a struggle.
It’s a huge help if you pick a platform that’s browser-based, highly intuitive, and user-friendly like Livestorm.
Virtual selling can do a lot for you and your business. Not only in terms of numbers, but also for work-life balance. Here’s why you should consider selling online:
1- The analytics are amazing
2- You can automate the boring stuff
3- It costs less because you’re not on the move
4- You can reach more people and get more commission
Going out with people you met at a dinner party always leaves you wondering whether they like you or just want to be friends. Whereas, when you match with someone from a dating app, it gives you a clear sign that the other person is interested in you romantically.
The same thing happens with virtual selling. Selling online gives you access to powerful metrics that you couldn’t get from in-person touchpoints.
You could still keep track of opportunities, sales cycle length, and leads to closed deals ratio.
But virtual selling shows you in-meeting participation analytics, video views, and demo request clicks. That way, you can start working with warm leads and spend your time more efficiently.
Here’s another thing you couldn’t do in person: automation. Take advantage of virtual selling to automate repetitive tasks like playing a demo video during a presentation or sending follow-up emails. And, focus on personalizing the sales experience without having to do all of the work yourself.
Visiting one client in a different state can cost up to thousands of dollars. Whereas with virtual calls, you just need to pay for an online meeting platform subscription. Plus, while traveling for work can be nice at first, it can also get exhausting. So, doing it virtually leaves you more energy to handle your daily work and kill it at pitching your product.
When you attend meetings in person, there are only so many appointments you can fit in a day. But when you do it virtually, you can hop from one meeting to another without considering traveling time. That means you get to present the product to more people per day.
This doesn’t mean you need to have all of your days packed with back-to-back engaging virtual sales calls, but it means you have more opportunities to pitch and make sales—and earn more on commission. Also, you can use deminars to pitch your product to a larger, global, and diverse audience at once. That would be difficult and highly expensive to do in person.
When you work in B2B sales, you get used to looooong sales cycles. And every single touchpoint can get you further away or closer to conversions. So, your virtual selling strategy has to include much more than demo calls. These are eight remote selling tactics that will help you boost your leads-to-close ratio:
1- Video calls
2- Live events
3- On-demand events
4- Social selling
5- Chatbots and live chat support
6- Product videos
7- Video testimonials
8- Preliminary sales proposals
This replaces in-person meetings. Here, you talk to sales-qualified leads about their expectations and give a product demo tailored to their needs. These calls are crucial and are often one of the last steps a buyer takes before converting.
If you’re using Livestorm, you can host live product demos. There, you can make sure prospects continue moving to the bottom of the funnel by making use of the call-to-action (CTA) button or automation features. You can also make a clickable link appear on their screens and take them to the next steps of the sales journey, i.e. booking another meeting or signing up for a paid plan. The automation feature lets you customize emails that will be sent automatically after the call along with the meeting recording—they can use them to discuss and share it with decision-makers.
Everything you produce under your brand’s name gets consumed, shared, and acknowledged by potential customers. Remember that most people come to demo calls with their minds almost completely made up. So, owning your brand’s narrative is a huge part of what makes you close deals.
Whether it’s a deminar, Q&A session, product launch, or an educational webinar, a live event invites people to get to know your brand. It shows the value your product or service provides as well as the cultural values your company embodies. After the event, you can review your participation report on the Livestorm analytics dashboard and reach out to the most engaged attendees with further information or opportunities.
These are the same as live events but pre-recorded. On-demand events help you increase reach as people are more likely to watch them afterward if they were interested but couldn’t make it or found out late.
With Livestorm, you can gate your event recordings and embed them on your website to use them as lead generation. So, if someone finds it months later, they can still watch it after they’ve shared their contact information.
Use social media and paid ads to move prospects down your sales funnel. Get them to go through the stages of the buyer’s journey on social media and use retargeting to segment your audience. You can also use online communities and leverage your users to sell your products. Software developers are especially great at this, so take a leaf out of their book. They build open communities to share best practices and usually end up promoting the tools they use.
Chatbots are AI-powered tools that can process language and come up with answers. These are the perfect sales assistants as they can redirect potential customers to selling pages. You can also use this bot to share promotions and discounts. You can also program it to process sales, so if a user takes an offer, it can create a cart and redirect them to checkout.
Chatbots may simplify your life, but they can be hell for the people who are trying to get answers. If you’re using a chatbot, test it thoroughly to ensure it works for real users. And, always make it easy for people to reach out to a human for live chat support if they can’t solve the problem with automation. Not doing so can cause them to click away in frustration.
This is an asynchronous selling technique that can help you warm leads up without having to get on a call with them. Product videos can mean two things:
1- A quick demo of your product that you can add to your webpage, e-commerce site, or YouTube.
2- An answer to your leads’ questions in the form of a video using Vidyard, Slack, or Loom. If you’re using Livestorm, you could create an event, record it, and share the replay through email.
These types of sales videos are helpful to move your prospects through the funnel and eventually get to convert without much additional work on your side.
Testimonials are extremely powerful, especially when they come in video form because people trust other people over brands. In these videos, your clients should talk about how your service or product has simplified their life and mention your unique selling point. Testimonials are also great to show off your company’s portfolio and build trust with your potential clients.
It’s good practice to edit the testimonial so you’re left with multiple short, focused videos instead of a 10-15 minute one. You should also match the testimonials to the right message. For example, if you’re selling a video conferencing platform and have a landing page on engagement, you should add a testimonial that talks specifically about those features.
You want to prepare a presentation to explain how your product or service will improve the prospect’s current situation with real metrics and an actionable plan. Along with demo calls, these are among the most powerful selling tactics.
For example, if you’re an SEO content marketing agency and are selling your service to a potential client, you can’t just explain what you do and share previous results. You want to explain what you can do for them. So, you should get to the meeting with an overview of the prospect’s current web traffic and a proposed strategy to increase their numbers by X percent.
Sales reps, listen up! Follow these best practices to make the most out of virtual sales—and increase your paycheck with commissions:
1- Create an engagement strategy
2- Make it personal
3- Use a video conferencing tool
4- Create content to win leads over before the call
5- Learn how to host engaging sales calls
6- Use sales enablement calls
7- Leverage pre-recorded content
8- Track your performance
9- Educate your team
When you’re selling virtually, you can’t leave anything to luck. You need to know exactly how, when, and where you’ll contact leads. For this to happen, you have to come up with an engagement strategy and choose the best communication method for each of them. Do they prefer to be contacted through email, phone, video call, instant messaging, or social media-targeted ads?
Then, you need to come up with a personalized sales script per prospect and media outlet—you use different voices for phone calls or LinkedIn.
Personalized approaches convert more. Call people by their preferred name, point out a personal fact, and speak directly to their desires. So, instead of doing this: “Hey, don’t miss out on this opportunity. Get a 20% discount on the first three months of service.”
Try this: “Hey, Farah! We’re offering a 20% discount on the first three months of service. I immediately thought you might like it as this applies to the Pro plan you’ve been taking under consideration. Hit me up if you have any questions, it’s available until the end of this month.”
Pro tip: Use virtual selling tools that help you enable personalization in bulk. Most customer relationship management (CRM) apps let you segment your email lists based on custom tags. You can also use Livestorm to capture leads by adding custom questions to registration forms and keeping track of them in your active contacts list.
Just because you’re not visiting clients in person anymore doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them face-to-face. In fact, you should push to see them and catch their facial expressions at some point in your selling process to foster human connection and build rapport.
Using a video conferencing tool like Livestorm lets you customize your virtual room to emulate physical experiences. You can install multiple plugins and apps to make your event room as engaging and collaborative as in real life.
We’ve covered why you need to produce content that speaks highly of your products and services to win people over before demo calls, here’s why. There’s something called the mere exposure effect. This concept basically means that when you see something multiple times in different environments, you start to trust it. That means you need to be everywhere they are, being present with high-quality content to gain potential customers’ trust.
Let’s face it, no one is necessarily excited about sitting through sales presentations but that doesn’t mean that yours can’t be engaging. Surprise your prospects with captivating meetings that they want to pay attention to and participate in.
Open calls by immediately connecting with your prospects. Ask specific questions about something they have in the background or the place they live—and avoid common ground like chatting about the weather. Instead, try this example: ask about a fact from their location. “Oh, so you’re from Belgium, is it true that you have the best chocolate there? Which one do you recommend? Where can I find it? Oh, well, I guess I’ll need to go visit Belgium.”
If you’re hosting a deminar on Livestorm, invite people to engage through polls, explain how to use the Q&A tab, and use a timer to gamify the demo experience—e.g. “I bet I can answer this question by showing you how a feature works in under 2 minutes.”
Your dog might be a human's best friend, but your CRM is your partner in crime. Your sales team tech stack should help you close deals faster. Of course, you can’t do it without a CRM, but if you’re selling online, you can’t also do it without a video conferencing tool.
Livestorm is your best option when it comes to hosting live and on-demand demo calls, webinars, and deminars. Because with the same app, you can host meetings from one to 3,000 attendees and get detailed information about them for further follow-up. Livestorm also comes with multiple CRM integrations like HubSpot, Marketo, and Salesforce. Also, Livestorm captures contact information for you through personalized registration pages and lets you customize automated emails.
Whether it’s a webinar or a product demo, you can create evergreen content out of live events. You can also record sales pitches and deminars and share them via automated follow-up emails to boost attendance rate.
With Livestorm, you get access to a cool feature to automate your meeting. So, you can automatically start an event, play a pre-recorded demo video while you’re focused on something else, and then come back to the call to answer questions and present live walkthroughs.
It’s good practice to analyze your sales initiative metrics and compare them to your KPIs. Besides the regular sales KPIs, you’ll benefit from knowing how each virtual initiative impacts your bigger, business-oriented metrics.
Without leads, you have no one to pitch the product to, so you’ll benefit from working together with the marketing team to review:
You also need to look into your own initiatives metrics like demo calls and deminars analytics. If you’re using Livestorm to host these sessions, you can get a detailed view of:
Run sales training webinars to guarantee your team is up to date with trends, has mastered their sales enablement tools, and has opportunities to learn from peers. You can come up with exercises to role-play sales conversations in a safe environment so sales professionals can test new ideas, get feedback on how to improve, and grow.
If you’re already using Livestorm for hosting demos and deminars, you can also use it to host team training. Make use of the digital whiteboard, polls, and video and audio sharing to mimic a real-life event.
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To help you get inspired, we’ve compiled a list of four examples of companies that nailed the art of virtual selling. These are:
1- Livestorm for live and on-demand video demonstrations
2- HubSpot for capturing leads through video
3- Xander Marketing for free virtual consultations
4- Shopify for chatbot-boosted sales
Livestorm is an all-in-one virtual engagement platform that lets you plan, host, and analyze all types of video-based events.
At Livestorm, we love to have demo calls because we get to show how to use the product while the prospect is using it. When we host live video demonstrations, we usually present the logical progression that a person would follow to join an event. Jennifer Owen, Account Executive at Livestorm explains how we do it:
“We show our prospects
1- How to create a landing page and have someone register
2- How we send a number of email reminders with the possibility of adding the event to their calendars
3- What happens on the day of the event after they've got everybody registered
4- Which features they can use to animate and make the event more engaging, use the features ourselves, and share our favorites
5- What type of data we collect from the presentation and what to do with it.”
We also use on-demand demos a lot for prospects that want to watch videos at their own pace. And since we have the ability to gate them as lead magnets, for them to access the demo video on demand, they have to share their contact information.
HubSpot integrates with Vidyard, a sales video software that helps you capture leads. Vidyard allows you to create gated sales videos to use as lead magnets.
So, if you add a video to a landing page, you can get all the viewers’ emails, and save the contacts directly on HubSpot. You can also include personalized video messages to prospects through HubSpot in a few clicks. This helps marketing and sales professionals increase response rates and drive more sales.
Xander Marketing is a UK-based marketing agency focused on B2B SaaS companies. This company helps businesses increase the number of leads, get new customers, and grow in traffic.
As part of their virtual selling strategy, Xander Marketing offers a free 30-minute virtual consultation to prospects to talk about their marketing and business goals. There, directors or business owners meet with Xander Marketing experts who give them potential solutions. Then, they host additional sales calls to close the deal.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform builder that allows businesses to create online stores. It allows you to use chatbots to:
This helps salespeople to get an automated assistant that will focus on improving sales, but also lets you get more information about people who get to your website and ask questions.
Virtual selling is here to stay. And it’s not necessarily the only selling method, it’s important that you find ways to build relationships and engage with prospects through a screen.
To boost your sales and pique the interest of B2B buyers, you should work closely with the marketing team. Together, you’ll be able to come up with all kinds of initiatives to promote your products or services, own the narrative, and get leads—i.e. social media campaigns, pain points-driven landing pages, focused blog posts, and product videos.
Once you’ve got those leads, you need to host engaging demo calls, webinars, deminars, and live events to engage multiple people at the same time and measure their interest levels. If you’re using Livestorm, you can capture leads’ information through a custom registration page, host meetings, and analyze attendees’ engagement rates all in one place. Livestorm helps you improve your virtual selling game with efficiency.
Virtual selling is the process in which the conversation between a salesperson and a potential customer happens entirely online (through synchronous or asynchronous video, phone, text, social media, or email), whether it's to sell a product or a service.
Virtual selling is different from in-person selling in the way conversations happen. When you sell virtually, you don’t need to be physically present in the same room as your prospect. You can just call, message, or hop on a video call with them. Whereas, in-person selling means the salesperson needs to visit the offices of the prospects to pitch a product or service.
Some benefits of virtual selling include:
These are virtual selling best practices:
1- Research the prospect, use automation to get access to the information you have on the CRM, and customize the presentation to them.
2- Really understand your prospects' pain points and needs, ask questions at the beginning to ensure you answer all of their inquiries.
3- Get familiar with your virtual conferencing platform to avoid tech issues during the session.
4- Follow the virtual meeting etiquette by having a tidy background and ensuring you’re not in a crowded, loud room.