Virtual selling is the new normal for B2B sales. Coupled with the preference for buyers preferring digital self-education and the distractions that come with remote working, the transition from in-person selling hasn’t been as seamless as many sales reps hoped.
Selling in this virtual environment is a difficult adjustment for both buyers and sellers. Rain Group recently released a study sharing that more than 62% of sellers rated 18 different challenges as problematic in this virtual selling environment. And only 26% of buyers believe sellers are good listeners and skilled at leading a specific needs discovery virtually. These findings indicate gaining a buyer’s trust requires some improvement if reps are to meet objectives for sales growth.
Throughout 2020 and now into 2021, sellers have had to adjust to this virtual way of reaching customers. The most effective way to understand, educate, engage, share value and hopefully close the sale is through excellent content specific to the buyer's needs or relevant to where they are in the sales cycle.
Let's examine the benefits and value for both buyers and sellers with 3 ways to use interactive content to create meaningful engagement with buyers:
Challenge #1: Customer distraction during video meetings.
Video fatigue is a real issue for anyone in the business world today. With almost every interaction being computer screen to computer screen, we become bored and distracted. When data shows that more than half of workers are doing other things during video calls, we need to be certain to garner interest and attention. By presenting an interactive virtual product tour, buyers understand how to use a product or service to solve their business issues. Additionally, a buyer can participate by driving the conversation when he/she finds something about the product they want to explore in more depth. Mutual engagement helps the seller understand what their buyer is seeking, but it also keeps the buyer engaged in what the seller is sharing.
Challenge #2: Keeping track of meeting discussions, follow-up + relationship building.
We've all been part of productive meetings only to find that nobody recorded the action items, which stalls the progress. Through sharing quality PDFs during meeting discussions and annotating during the meeting, the seller helps engage the buyer. The notes taken during the meeting make for engaging and relevant post-meeting follow-up to ensure that both parties are always on the same page throughout the sales process. Consistent interaction between both parties helps build a relationship that flourishes for both parties, leading to a successful sales outcome.
Challenge #3: Keeping a system of record for engagement with the customer.
When sellers share significant amounts of information with a buyer, it's challenging to keep track of everything. Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs) are the perfect solution to bring buying committees together to collaborate and serve as the system of record across the buying process. DSRs also provide instant access to their sales rep and a digital discussion thread tracks conversations and questions and answers throughout the buying process. DSRs provide easy access to content such as use cases, product brochures, demos, white papers, ROI calculations, and more. This simplifies buyer engagement from a single location rather than buyers aimlessly searching through an email inbox to locate shared resources. Whenever a member of the buying committee views content or posts a comment or question, the rep receives an alert notifying them so they can respond quickly.
Meaningful Buyer Engagement is Critical for Sales Growth
A lot has changed over the past twelve months. Likely, at least some hybrid of virtual selling and buying is here to stay. With the realized reduction in office and travel costs and the increased productivity from working remotely, virtual sales processes have become the norm. The struggle to continuously garner a buyer's attention and trust is real. Sellers who can quickly adapt and master the tools available to them in this new environment, including virtual product tours, annotation, and DSRs position themselves for success in achieving sales growth goals.