The ultimate guide to virtual sales: How to create a winning strategy

Thomas Paris
August 18, 2021
The ultimate guide to virtual sales: How to create a winning strategy

Virtual sales was once a novelty, but it’s now the norm. If your sales team works remotely and you’re engaging with customers in digital spaces, it’s essential that your reps know how to execute your virtual sales strategy perfectly.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about virtual sales. We’ll help you understand how to create a powerful virtual sales strategy, plus share some tips and tools to help you close more deals.

What is virtual sales?

Virtual sales doesn’t differ greatly from traditional or in-person sales — the only major change is that your interactions, processes, and engagements with your prospects happen virtually. This means hopping on a video or phone call instead of scheduling a meeting at their office, emailing a proposal instead of hand delivering it, and adding more digital content to your sales cycle.

When it comes to virtual or remote sales, it’s all about taking the things your sales team does best — like building relationships and educating customers — and moving those experiences to an online space.

How to create a winning virtual sales strategy

A woman looks happy about her recent virtual sales win

Like face-to-face sales, to succeed with virtual sales you need a strong strategy. Here’s what you’ll need to create a powerful virtual sales strategy for the year ahead.

Build your virtual sales process

The key to any great virtual selling strategy is having a clear process that your team can follow to get the best possible results. Create, document, and refine your sales process so everyone’s on the same page and there’s a clear path towards winning a sale.

Your virtual sales process won’t look too different from your usual sales cycle. Think about how you can handle pre-sales prep, prospecting, sales calls, follow ups, and handovers to your onboarding team in a mostly digital space. Test out a process, listen to feedback, and continue to revamp your sales process until it gets you the results you want.

Build the right virtual sales team

Your sales strategy can only succeed if you have the right people executing on it. That’s why it’s essential that you assemble a winning virtual team, made up of people who are perfect for the job.

Look for sales professionals who excel at time management and organization, and who are self starters. When you work from home it can be hard to stay focused, so these skills will help your team stay on track. You’ll also want your team to feel confident on camera, have great product knowledge, and know how to create amazing experiences for your prospects.

Learning virtual sales doesn’t happen overnight. Empower your team with the best training, coaching, and mentoring from sales leaders so they can grow as salespeople and become even more valuable to your sales organization.

Choose the right virtual sales tools

Before your team can excel at their job, they need the tools to help them do it. Trying to run an effective virtual sales team without the right event technology will quickly become a problem, so invest in the best virtual sales tools for the job.

You’ll need all the tools you’d need for any other sales team — like a sales focused CRM, pipeline management tool, email marketing software, and a tool to help you monitor brand mentions across social media and digital content.

Beyond your usual sales tools, it also pays to invest in high quality video conferencing tools. While you can run your sales calls on Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams, it’s worth exploring virtual event platforms to see what they can offer you. Often, these tools come with engaging features like digital whiteboards, gamification, and collaboration tools that can make your virtual sales environment feel more special.

Create an in-house sales library

When you have a remote team filled with innovative salespeople, getting everyone to stay on the same track when it comes to your sales process isn’t always easy. To create a cohesive appearance to all your prospects and make things easier for your sales reps, set up an in-house library filled with all the resources your team needs.

Fill your virtual sales library with the information your sales team members need to book a call, inform your prospect, and close a sale. Webinars, slide decks, case studies, fact sheets, and on-demand videos are all useful resources for your sales agents. Categorize your resources by which point in the sales cycle they’re for, and you'll have an easy way for your team to stay informed and share what they know with your prospects.

Track your key sales metrics

A must-have when it comes to your virtual sales strategy is a system to track your key sales metrics. Without this, you'll have no idea whether your latest sales campaign is hitting its targets or falling flat.

Keep an eye on the kind of metrics that tell you whether things are working as expected or not. Track email open rates and click-through rates from your campaign. Measure how many of your sales calls turn into meetings, and how many of those meetings make it to a closed sale. With this data, you’ll be able to identify challenges and opportunities to make your process even more effective.

8 strong ways to close more virtual sales

A man and woman fist bump to celebrate closing a virtual sales prospect

Once you’ve got the basics of your virtual sales strategy sorted, it’s time to start looking at different techniques you can use to increase your chances of closing those all-important virtual sales meetings. Here are eight tactics to consider adding to your sales strategy if you want to close more sales.

1. Get to know your prospect

Before you can get anywhere close to closing a deal, you first need to get to know your prospect. Take some time to understand who they are, what their pain points are, and how your product or service can help them.

On a virtual sales call, make it your sales rep’s goal to not only sell your product, but to build a relationship too. Sales agents can build trust by showing they understand your prospects' needs and demonstrating exactly how you can meet them.

Watch out for your prospects' body language, and use it as an indicator of whether to go deeper or move on to another topic or question. It’s all about understanding your prospects and making them feel comfortable with you.

2. Try social selling

Not every sales interaction has to happen on a phone call or video call. To support their more focused sales efforts, encourage your sales team to get onboard with social selling.

Social selling involves being active on social media channels where your prospects are spending their time. Your sales reps can post branded content on LinkedIn, share content on Twitter, and post thoughtful comments in relevant Facebook groups. Your prospects get to know your reps better, and they get the chance to sharpen their digital marketing skills.

3. Add some visual content

For prospects who are meeting with multiple sales reps from different companies, the idea of sitting through a stream of basic sales calls can be underwhelming. Take this opportunity to make yours stand out by adding plenty of visual content to the mix.

You still want your prospect to see your sales rep’s face, but you can add in useful slides or video content too. This can be a great way to share a mini product demo, provide a look at a specific feature they’ve requested, or highlight key stats that prove your offer is the best. Don’t turn your sales call into a webinar, but do consider visuals when you plan your sales process.

4. Create opportunities for engagement

While you’re busy thinking of ways to add visual content to your sales calls, take it one step further and consider how you can make the whole experience more engaging. Do something your competitors aren’t thinking about, and transform your one-sided sales call into an interactive experience for your prospect.

Think about how you can bring some interactive elements into your virtual environment. Choose a virtual sales or video conferencing tool with built-in features like whiteboards and digital collaboration tools. Create live polls where your prospects can give you useful insights in real time, or take them through a live product demo where they can experience the product or service for themselves. Make it your goal to make this not just a sales call, but a sales experience.

5. Improve your audio quality

There’s nothing worse than struggling to hear someone when you really want to hear what they’re saying. Help your prospects get the most from your sales efforts by investing in your audio quality for virtual sales calls and meetings.

Provide your sales reps with high quality microphones and headsets so they sound crisp and clear when talking to prospects. Make sure you train them on how to set up their technology, and which settings to use to get the best audio experience. Your prospects might not notice that your sales rep has the top-rated mic, but they’ll definitely notice if you don’t invest in sound quality at all.

6. Personalize your digital space

Some video conferencing calls can feel like they’re nothing more than a casual Zoom call because they lack visual flair. Make your sales calls stand out by personalizing your virtual sales environment.

Help your sales reps deck out their home office spaces with a great background — whether that’s a branded banner or simply some fun decor to help the space feel warm and welcoming. You could also consider a virtual background or a tool that lets you host sales meetings in a 2D or 3D virtual space, complete with branded backdrops and interactive content. Which option you choose is up to you, but however you structure your sales meetings, find a way to make them feel like part of your brand.

7. Follow up after your virtual sales call

Your sales process doesn’t end after your sales agent closes that video call with a prospect. Make following up an integral part of your virtual sales strategy to help you close those all important deals.

Create a series of follow-up interactions as part of your sales strategy. These follow ups not only help you gauge whether your prospect is interested, but you can deliver extra value by sending helpful guides, fact sheets, and links to on-demand webinars. Get your check-ins right, and you stand a better chance of closing deals when your prospect is undecided.

8. Introduce sales incentives

While your product or service might be amazing and just what your prospect needs, they won’t always sign the contract on that alone. The right sales incentives can help you secure the sale, so it’s worth adding some to your virtual sales strategy.

There are so many different sales incentives you can try, and the right mix will depend on your target customers and what you offer. Popular incentives, like a tempting discount if they sign up now or another time-limited offer, can help you get that signature faster. You could also look at including a free upgrade to a more expensive tier, or throwing in a paid add-on feature for free as a bonus.

Hoppier: the perfect virtual sales incentive platform

Sales incentives are great not only for that pre-sales period, but for driving customer loyalty and customer engagement after your prospect signs up. With Hoppier, you can simplify your sales incentives program and give your prospects and customers what they really want — a virtual card loaded with spending money to use as they please.

Encourage your prospects to try a demo

Sometimes a little sweetener can help you to close the deal, or encourage a prospect to book a demo or get on a call with your sales team. Use Hoppier to create an incentives program and send your prospects a virtual card as a thank you for meeting with your sales agents.

A virtual credit card that can act as a virtual sales incentive

It’s easy to set up a sales incentives program. First up, log in or sign up, and give your program a memorable name. Personalize your card with your brand colors and logo, and add a fun icon to the program page to suit your brand personality.

The program pending balance for a virtual sales incentives

Next, set your card spending balance and decide which vendors your prospects can spend their balance with. Keep this open to encourage them to treat themselves as a thank you, or suggest that they can use their balance to try your product or service for free or at a discounted rate. Whichever you choose, you now have a valuable sales incentive to help you engage your prospects.

Reward your sales team for their hard work

Sales incentives aren’t just a great way to encourage your prospects and customers to interact with you, they can also be a powerful way to reward and motivate your team. Used well, sales incentives can help your sales team stay focused on their goals, and feel welcomed and appreciated within your organization.

A virtual credit card that can be customized in brand colors

With Hoppier, it’s easy to set up an employee appreciation program that lets you reward your sales reps for their efforts. Set your program up the same way you would for a prospect or customer sales incentive, but give yourself a little more freedom to have fun. Use bold, bright colors for your virtual card, or come up with your own logo for your rewards program.

Vendors where virtual sales team members can shop with their rewards card

Keep the vendor list open so your sales agents can spend the balance almost anywhere, or create a bespoke list of vendors with a goal in mind — like mindfulness, relaxation, entertainment, food and drink, or home comforts. This can be a great way to motivate and reward your sales teams, and show that you care about their interests and needs outside of the workplace.

Create an impactful virtual sales strategy

Like more traditional sales methods, your virtual sales strategy is something that evolves and improves over time. Take inspiration from this guide to help you build a strong strategy, track the right metrics, and assemble a winning team. Then, add some of these sales tactics to your strategy to kick it up a notch.

If you’re ready to go from bland virtual sales calls to engaging virtual sales experiences, check out our webinar on tools to help you create memorable virtual events. These tools offer you plenty of great ways to make your sales calls and follow ups more interactive, engaging, and exciting for your prospects — and could help you close the deal.

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