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The sales profession drastically changed overnight when the Covid-19 pandemic came, forcing those in it to move into the virtual environment and use videoconferencing tools.
A McKinsey study, more than 90 percent of busines-to-business (B2B) sales organizations globally have transitioned to a virtual sales model during the pandemic. But the transition to virtual selling is not easy. Several B2B organizations are experiencing a large percentage decrease in new business. Despite these grim signals, there is still a sizable number of organizations that are maintaining or even increasing spending, at least for now, according to the management consulting firm. “That is especially true for large B2B companies, 53 percent of which expect to increase or maintain [spending] over the next two weeks (April 8 to 21, 2020).”
The problem is, not all sellers are able to effectively shift to virtual selling. According to our survey of salespersons, challenges include difficulty in establishing a connection with buyers, inability to see body language, gaining attention and keeping engagement, and limited interaction resulting in a less personal touch.
To be effective in virtual selling, the same principles in face-to-face selling still apply, although there is a difference in execution. Selling virtually requires the seller to orchestrate a sensory experience that is rich, attention-grabbing, rationally engaging and takes buyers on an emotional journey that ends with a decision in the seller’s favor.
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