Mastering Virtual Selling to Accelerate Growth

Businessman working at his computer on a video call for virtual selling.
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The dynamics of selling are always evolving. More and more, that evolution is being shaped by digital selling platforms and virtual selling. Today, sales is no longer defined – and confined – by physical meetings. Rather, virtual sales tools often include social media engagement, online presentations, video conferences, and email communication.

Are you using “virtual selling” in your sales efforts? What are the benefits and challenges of using modern channels? And most importantly, how can you optimize digital selling to accelerate growth?

What Is Virtual Selling?

Virtual selling is The use of technology-based communication and sales channels to facilitate the sales process where the seller and buyer are not in the same physical place.

While face-to-face selling can augment digital platforms, virtual selling can make the sales process quicker, more effective, and more efficient. Virtual channels often include one or more of the following web-based selling tools:

  • Social media
  • Video calls
  • Email
  • Text messaging
  • Interactive chat, such as live chat with a brand representative or interacting with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot on a website

What Are Some Benefits of Virtual Selling?

While there are several benefits associated with virtual selling, our recent LinkedIn poll highlighted some common virtual selling benefits for small to mid-sized businesses.

  1. 34% chose cost savings as the top benefit

    Virtual selling eliminates the need for a physical space, reducing overhead costs. Additionally, there are savings on travel expenses, as sales representatives can conduct meetings and demos from their own location.

  1. 33% cited increased efficiency as a top choice

    Virtual selling tools often come with automatic features, streamlining administrative tasks and freeing up more time for sales representatives to focus on building relationships. Furthermore, with no travel required, multiple meetings can be conducted in a shorter period, increasing the efficiency of the sales process.

  1. 27% feel a wider reach is the biggest benefit

    Virtual selling allows businesses to reach a global audience without the limitations of physical boundaries. Sellers can connect with prospects from different geographies, expanding their market reach significantly.

Graphic for Virtual Selling including benefits with data and statistics from LinkedIn polls.

What Are Some Challenges of Virtual Selling?

Of course, with any emerging or maturing technologies and platforms, challenges can arise, which sellers need to address to ensure successful outcomes:

  1. Adapting Sales Techniques: Smaller businesses may need more time to adapt to integrate digital selling techniques. Once virtual selling platforms are understood, deploying them successfully can require careful planning and execution, as well as using the right metrics to determine when virtual sales strategies need to be adjusted.
  2. Building Trust: Establishing trust in a virtual environment can be more challenging than in-person interactions. Buyers may be hesitant to make decisions without first having a relationship with the company or sales representative, making it essential for sellers to build that trust through credibility.
  3. Distractions and Attention Span: Sellers may need to adjust their selling techniques for virtual environments. The lack of physical displays and hands-on experience will require creative approaches to convey value.

Best Practices for Accelerating Growth with Virtual Selling

Best virtual selling practices are often consistent with traditional sales methods. Be sure to keep these virtual selling tips top of mind when utilizing new platforms.

  • Do your homework before jumping in
  • Have a strategy but recognize that your traditional sales strategy might need to be updated to include web-based selling techniques
  • Be responsive – and responsible – when using digital communication channels; in particular, stay on-brand and don’t get tripped up by the ease and speed of social selling engagement
  • Be flexible (don’t follow every shiny object, but do be aware of trends and opportunities to connect with your target audience)
  • Use virtual selling platforms to provide a path to engagement where you listen to customer needs, provide solutions, and remain connected and available after the sale

Is Virtual Selling the New Normal?

In the ever-evolving business landscape, virtual selling has certainly emerged as a powerful sales strategy. But as businesses increasingly incorporate virtual selling platforms, we were curious to know just how prevalent an emerging force virtual selling has become – and which virtual sales tools small to mid-sized businesses rely on to accelerate growth. That’s why we conducted our LinkedIn polling, here’s a sampling of what else we learned:

  • Regarding the types of virtual sales tools respondents use, 45% said they engage with social selling while 15% employ the use of AI chatbot technology. Another 12% use live chat tools. More than one in four respondents, however, admit to not using virtual selling in their sales efforts.
  • Respondents also overwhelmingly viewed virtual selling as an essential tool. In fact, 64% believe it to be key to sales success, while another 26% indicated it is necessary but not critical. Only 10% believe it is not crucial for their sales models.
  • Asked what sales teams should focus on, however, only 10% prioritized virtual selling, while face-to-face selling was favored by 27%. Importantly, though, 63% felt that combining both was the best strategy.

The Bottom Line:

Virtual selling has gained traction as an essential sales methodology for several years and shows no signs of receding. In fact, it is increasingly seen as an integral part of a successful sales strategy and the processes that make it work. Naturally, however, digital selling should not be entered into lightly as initial missteps can be costly to correct. To make sure you meet your growth goals and effectively incorporate virtual selling into your sales funnel, connect with a Sales Xceleration Advisor in your area or contact us at 844.874.7253.