virtual sales training

Virtual Sales Training | 5 Sales Techniques to Master

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Virtual Sales Training – Top question from Google

How do I do virtual selling? – Here’s a quick checklist but scroll down for the details.

1. Personal preparation

It may be possible to work from home in your pyjamas without anyone knowing, however, there is a huge benefit to getting up early going to the gym for an hour and then showering and getting dressed.  Mindset is hugely important in sales and it’s well worth the extra effort to prepare for your day.
 

2. Ensure you are in a positive environment

Virtual selling typically involves being in the same room for hours on end.  It’s therefore important that the room is suitable, as in tidy, warm and comfortable. This is especially important if you are not using a custom background.

3. Connectivity

Most people have their own home broadband connection, however, broadband often fails so it’s wise to have a back up available via your mobile phone contract.

4. Sound

Sound quality is hugely important online so do not rely on your computer microphone.  Invest in either a simple headset or a microphone.

5. Camera

Where possible position your camera so your prospects can see at least part of your body and not just your head.  As you know body language is an important part of the communication pie.

6. MS Teams & Zoom

MS Teams & Zoom.  It’s not a choice between one or the other, you should have both.  Some customers have their own preference so we offer a choice between Teams, Zoom and Google Meet.  That way we have an option for everyone.

7. Branding

Where appropriate use branded clothing and or branded backgrounds.  Having a branded background costs very little and it’s well worth the investment.

8. Planning

Ensure that you have thoroughly researched your prospect and have prepared a list of questions in advance.  You should also be prepared to take notes.

9. Relationships

People buy from people whether they are online or not, so focus on building a relationship and helping the prospect rather than selling to them. The more you try and sell, the less successful you will be.

10. Value

Before every call you should identify 2-3 different ways in which you can provide value and insight to the prospect.

11. Next Steps

Whatever your sales process is you should ensure that you follow the process and agree with the prospect what the next steps are at the end of the call. 

1. Virtual Selling

Virtual selling has gone from something that only a few inside sales professionals did, to the norm for nearly every sales rep.  The lockdowns forced salespeople and buyers alike to go online in order to keep sales flowing and businesses running. 

For many reps this was, and possibly still is an uncomfortable change from the freedom of more traditional field sales.  With their company cars firmly parked on the drive many salespeople moved into their spare bedroom at home where they wrestled with their kids and spouse for broadband capacity. 

Human beings are not naturally wired for change.  Change is awkward, uncomfortable and even frightening for some, and sadly many did not survive.

The good news was that Buyers were also forced into moving online.  Whereas previously there was a desire to physically meet the people they were buying from Zoom and Teams calls quickly became the new normal for buyers.

As I write this the lockdowns have largely gone, some restrictions still apply but for the most part we are back and allowed to travel.  Despite this, meetings, workshops, training and sales for us continue online.  

We’ve never refused to meet with a client or deliver training face to face, it just seems that the demand is just not there the way it was previously. 

Will it come back? Yes I am sure to some degree but largely no because companies have realised the costs associated with keeping sales reps on the road is huge and it’s also pretty inefficient. 

If this resonates with you and you need to learn more about how to sell virtually then please read on.


Check out our virtual sales trainers in action

2. Virtual Sales Techniques5 sales techniques to master

What is the difference between a sales technique and a sales skill?  Techniques are a series of actions and activities that make up a skill.

In sales the ability to generate sales leads is a skill.  The skill is made up of a series of techniques  such as; research, planning, strategy, execution etc.

In many cases salespeople who are skilled at certain things have simply gone through a process of techniques so many times they are committed to their muscle memory and can perform the skills without thinking through the different techniques they are using. 

Here are our top 5 techniques we recommend you focus on as part of your virtual sales training.

  1. Body Language.  In face-to-face meetings it’s normally easy to observe your prospects body language, however, this is not always possible when selling remotely.  Often prospects sit so close to their cameras the only thing you can see is their heads or torso if you are lucky. You must therefore pay more attention to eye movement, hand movement, facial expressions and the overall state of the prospect.
  1. Listening skills.  When you’re telling you’re not selling.  The value in any sales person is not in the information they give but the information they gather.  Online more than ever, it’s important to ask questions and LISTEN plus. Listening plus is what we call active and responsive listening.  Take notes furiously but ensure you ask permission to takes notes in order that your prospect knows that you are note taking and not just distracted by an incoming email.
  2. Empathy.  This is an often-overlooked skill, but nonetheless important one.  Empathise and where suitable rescue the prospect as they relive the Business Pain that brought them to you.  Rescue them emotionally not in reality as your role is not to solve the pain but to understand how important it is to remove the pain. 
  3. Insight.  The bots are coming and AI is going to revolutionise sales once more.  Those that survive will be the best of the best but in addition to being great salespeople they will be subject matter experts.  They will use their knowledge to create powerful questions that make the prospect stop and think.  The questions will challenge the prospects  preconceptions and where appropriate make the prosect so uncomfortable with their business pain that they need to take action to resolve it.
  4. Consultative selling skills.  Nobody likes to be sold to but we all love to buy.  Salespeople using Consultative sales techniques never sell anything – instead they simply make the conditions right for the buyer to buy.  This takes emotional intelligence, self-awareness, domain knowledge and expertise through practice and experience.

3. Virtual Selling Skills

As previously discussed, selling skills are simply an accumulation of a number of different sales techniques executed brilliantly.

Virtual selling is a skill which is comprised of a number of the 5 sales techniques listed above.

In order to build your muscle memory and become proficient at virtual selling you must first focus on the techniques and practice them relentlessly.  In Malcolm Gladwells book “Outliers” he claims it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. 

We are not saying it will take you 10,000 hours, however, you will never master virtual selling in a week.  Practice, practice and when you are done practicing role play, role play and records each session on video.

Yes, this is hard work.  Anything that is worthwhile will never come easy.  There is no substitute for hard work. 

With that said improving the virtual selling skills of your team will have a huge impact in both confidence and results. 

virtual sales training courses
Virtual Sales Training

4. Virtual Sales Training Ideas

Whilst I am never popular when saying this I continue to believe the best possible training whether that be virtual or face to face includes some form of roleplay. 

Salespeople who pushback and dislike roleplay are either hiding a lack of self-confidence or have previously had a negative experience doing roleplay. 

Roleplay is super important because as an organisation you are investing thousands of dollars into branding and marketing in order to get your salespeople in-front of a prospect. 

Why then would you not have the sales reps rehearse and prepare for the meeting?

If you do nothing else in your sales training you must do Roleplay. 

In addition to including roleplay in your virtual sales training other ideas you may wish to consider are:

  1. Discovery Questions
  2. Root cause analysis
  3. Listening Skills
  4. Body language
  5. Stalls & Objections Handling
  6. Controlling the sales conversation
  7. Presentations skills training (only if appropriate)

5. Sales Training Presentations

At Klozers we typically have a slightly different take on sales presentations than most people.  What we mean by this is: The presentation is only there to CONFIRM the sale. 

If, as a salesperson you are hoping that your sales presentation will convince your prospect to buy, you have missed a few important steps earlier on in the sales process.  Questions sell, presentations tell. 

We fully appreciate this may seem unusual but through our experience, the experience of our clients and the data we have collected around this, we standby this 100%

That does not mean that you should never give a presentation, but it does mean that every sales presentation should be heavily qualified before-hand.

If you are delivering sales presentations then here are some ideas for you:

  1. Ensure you uncover the top 3 business pains that relate to your solution
  2. Get your prospect to quantify the pains in terms of much they are costing the business
  3. Ensure you know what the prospects buying process is and who needs to be involved
  4. Discuss in advance what the next steps would be if they love your presentation
  5. Understand how the pains affect the prospect personally
  6. Discuss CONTA – the cost of not taking action
  7. Make it easy for them to get started

Virtual Sales Training
Virtual Sales Training Courses

6. Virtual Sales Training

Klozers have been providing virtual sales training since 2018 – before the first of the lockdowns.  Our virtual training is delivered via a custom built environment within Microsoft Teams. 

In addition to skills training we focus heavily on changing sales behaviours, increasing productivity and making salespeople accountable.   

We share the exact strategies both inbound and outbound that probably brought you to this website so you know what we teach is real and works.


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Iain Swanston Klozers

Author Bio

Iain Swanston has spent over 30 years in B2B sales selling, training and leading teams both domestically and internationally.  In addition he serves as an Associate at Strathclyde University Business School where he has delivered the sales content for the Masters in Entrepreneurship since 2015.

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