One of the main challenges to selling in a virtual world, is being able to communicate your offering and satisfy the buyer’s needs in a way that is thorough yet concise.
When selling virtually, the seller can see potential buyers on screen and utilise slides and other visual tools to reinforce their point, but it isn’t possible to simply take the tools and strategy usually used face-to-face and drop them into the virtual environment. The whole approach must be reconsidered.
Know your buyer
Sellers must look at things from the buyer’s point of view, particularly during the discovery stage. Consider what the buyer is looking for, what they perceive to be risks, and what boxes they’re looking to tick. And all this information must be acquired without the benefit of body language and the other nuances that usually support discovery efforts in a face-to-face situation.
Traditionally, site visits have created an opportunity for Sales and Operations teams to shine. But, while site visitors take in a lot of information with their eyes and ears, in the virtual world, this is no longer possible. So, the whole story must be carefully choreographed so that everything flows – online and offline. And the materials used during the digital sales process need to be designed specifically for the virtual world.
Nurturing is key
And it’s not just about the virtual presentation. Nurturing starts before an opportunity even arises, with materials such as explainer videos, blog posts and other core messaging that helps the relationship to develop. Everything must align so that, when the conversation starts, the story being told to the buyer reflects and reinforces what they’ve seen so far.
Sellers must also listen carefully to the language, vocabulary, and style of the industry and company they are selling to and adapt theirs accordingly. So, for example, if you have a well-established global bank as a prospective client, the buyer may not want to risk their career by making the wrong choice, so may look for a supplier that is a safe bet and can satisfy the bank’s corporate standards. A challenger bank, on the other hand, will be younger, quicker, and much more agile. They may look for a partner that can scale quickly and may adopt an element of risk in order to meet their next milestone.
Sellers must appreciate that the landscape has changed. Demonstrating their operations with site visits, deriving understanding from face-to-face communication, or applying their usual approach unchanged. Instead, they’ll ensure their messaging speaks to buyers, before they even reach the sales stage, And materials must reflect the language of the buyer’s industry and fit seamlessly into their sales story.