Common problems during ‘The Virtual Sales Call’ and how to avoid them
The first contact your company has with a prospect is through their Web presence. Whether it’s a Google search, social networks, a referral from a colleague, or a marketing message, mostly all prospects will visit the website before they ever have personal contact with the company. A well-planned and well-designed website is vital to ensuring that you send the right message to the prospects that builds trust and encourages them to get to know your company further.
6 most common problems with virtual sales calls (and how to avoid them)
Even as the most stringent restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to lift across the country, it’s likely that the effects of the quarantine will be with us for much longer.
Virtual selling is here to stay .
So many businesses and industries that adhered firmly to handshakes and face to face interactions have been forced to shift to making sales over video calls. In most cases, they found these easier than they anticipated; the long-lasting effect will be a decreased focus on business travel and fewer deals being made in person.
It benefits all sales professionals to be at the top of their game when it comes to virtual selling.
Following are the problems to avoid having an effective virtual sales call:
Problem 1: You can’t see each other
Video call platforms like Zoom can offer a human connection that cannot be matched by a phone call ever. Studies show that closing rates for video sales calls are at least 10% higher when the cameras are on.
So make sure that everyone will have their cameras on. When you set up the meeting, convey to your prospect that the call will be a video call and that you’ll need to see them and they’ll need to see you too to connect effectively.
Problem 2: Not everyone participates
If you’re having a sales call with a room full of people, you will need to make sure that the questions you ask prompt responses, not awkward silence. Let’s say you have a call with seven people. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have everyone’s name noted down. Zoom will display each caller’s name but only if they’ve configured the settings to do so.
If you know everyone’s name, you can better direct each question to elicit a response. When you ask an open-ended question to a group, you’re very likely to get nothing in return but awkward silence.
Problem 3: Your busy slide deck competes with you
When you’re presenting with a slide show and sharing your screen in Zoom, a common mistake we see is that the slide deck will have too much information. The result is that the slides compete with you, the presenter, for the attention of the participants. The person on the other side of the video call cannot effectively read everything on the slide and listen to you at the same time.
Instead, make sure your slides are simple, concise and punchy. If you do have a detailed deck, you can always send it to them after call is over.
Problem 4: Your slide deck crowds everyone out
When you share your screen on Zoom, it takes up the bulk of the window, diminishing the personal connection offered by full-screen videos of the participants.
When you pose a question to your prospect — especially if it’s a question that you think will prompt some response, make sure to stop sharing your screen so that the faces go back to regular size. Over the course of the sales call, you’re likely to be coming in and out of screen sharing mode and leave your slide screen up.
Problem 5: Expectations aren’t made clear
For some reason, when it comes to video calls, sales reps forget that they need to set the same expectations for the meeting, just as they would for a face to face meeting. A basic rule of sales is to set the expectations at the beginning of an every meeting. For example, you might say, “If this goes well, once I present you the rates, then you can put down a deposit and we can proceed with getting you on the schedule.”
Expectations should be set up front and there should never be surprises at the end of the meeting.
Problem 6: A sales call becomes a get-together
People spend a lot of time on Zoom these days, and not just for work. Without a clear leader, direction, and goal, a sales call can end up into a social get-together. Now, there should certainly be friendly and affable aspects of any call, but you need to remember the purpose of the meeting.
Getting better every day
Sales reps need to constantly be working to improve their skill set and better their approach, whether that comes by way of role-plays, recorded calls, self-reflection, or professional development. .
Remember that video conferencing platforms don’t remove the responsibilities you would have before any sales meeting in person.
Make sure to lead the meeting by setting expectations, directing the flow of conversation, and keep the actual goal in mind.
This way, you’ll be assured to conduct the best meetings possible.
Virtual selling: 8 video sales call best practices you need to know
1. Don’t assume that the folks you’re meeting with understand the platform they’re using
Prior to the pandemic, IMPACT was already a video-first company, as 60% of our workforce is remotely operated. So, everyone already spent most of their days hanging out in Zoom for meetings, brainstorming sessions, and so on.
Even though COVID-19 has normalized the use of video, don’t make the mistake of assuming the prospects you’re meeting with how your video conferencing platform and its functions.
Speaking of which…
2. Set the expectation early that being on camera for these calls is a no-exceptions requirement
Look, for many of them being on camera during a video call are uncomfortable. As a result, you may hesitate to set this expectation, but you need to do it, and you can’t be casual about it.
When a camera is on, your close rates for a particular deal will be about 10% higher. It makes total sense, because think about those meetings where someone had their camera were actually off. How well did that meeting really go and would it have gone better if they had their camera on?
3. If meeting with a group of people who are in the same room, write everyone’s name down first
Forgetting someone’s name during a sales call — or worse, getting it wrong — is not exactly a great way to build trust with the prospects.
So, if you’re meeting with a group of people who are all in the same room, note their names down. If you’re worried about mixing them up, sketch the table on a piece of paper and write their names down based on where they’re sitting, so you don’t forget or go wrong.
4. Smile, y’all — smile a lot
Sometimes you may not realize… until you see your first recorded video sales call that you have a straight face all throughout. What you may not realize is that when you’re attentively listening, your resting face may not always be as pleasant as you think. And it’s easily noticeable in a video setting, than face-to-face.
That’s why you should always go out of your way to smile (in a way that may sometimes not feel normal), so you don’t accidentally turn off a prospect with an unintentional sour/dull look.
5. Face the light
When someone is backlit, with the light source in their room behind them, one can’t see their face. So, before you get on the call, test to make sure that you’re facing your lighting source and that it doesn’t wash you out blank.
6. Sit up straight or (better yet) stand up
You’re not going to be a great communicator/facilitator when you’re sitting back, slouching, and/or lounging while on a video call. Even if you’re saying great words and ideas, you’ll project the wrong message about your attentiveness and utter professionalism.
7. Refer to attendees by name when asking a question
This is just best practice overall, but it’s really critical during video sales calls — especially if there’s a group of people one is speaking to. Your prospects and meeting attendees will be more engaged and involved in the discussion with this simple adjustment in your approach.
8. Finally, don’t forget it’s your sales meeting, so act like it
It’s your meeting own it. Don’t forget the agenda of the meeting and stick to it and act like you have a purpose to do video call. You need to gain Customers Trust and ultimately close a deal.