Updated: Feb 23, 2022
When economies of countries were forced into lockdowns as a way to curb the spread of COVID-19, virtual selling was adopted as a replacement for in-person selling.
As virtual selling continues to have a huge impact on how we sell, it is important to ensure that the virtual selling experience is enjoyable and great for our prospects and customers.
Understanding Customer Experience
Previously customers were loyal based on the product quality, brand, and pricing. However, with the availability of alternative options for the customer, customers now are loyal based on experience.
What makes a great customer experience? Your speed, convenience and responsiveness are a part of the customer experience. The one key differentiator that will make or break your virtual selling efforts is the human experience that your prospects and customers experience while interacting with you.
Here are 4 tips for excellent customer experience in your virtual sales:
Make time for conversation
Effective selling is built on a foundation of trust. When preparing for a sales meeting it is important to have an agenda that will direct the talking points for the conversation. This will ensure that you converse the most critical aspect of the meeting.
However, remember that you are still interacting with a person so there is a need to engage with the prospect/customer by breaking the ice by referencing things that are personalized to them, for example, you can reference an event you both attend or an article written by the prospect.
Use multi-channels for interactions and engagement
Salespeople who interact with their prospects and customers over multiple channels have a better chance of standing out and having deeper relationships than those who just stick to one channel.
The primary way that salespeople interact with prospects is through emails and phone calls. If you are competing for the prospect’s attention using these two methods then you will most likely get ignored.
To diversify your interactions and increase your probability of gaining the attention of a prospect, there are two more additional channels that you can use that is social media and events.
When it comes to social media, the primary app that most professionals use is LinkedIn. However, you can find prospects who are also active on Twitter. Find out where your prospect is and engage with them on that channel. For example for prospects on LinkedIn, you can engage with prospects by commenting on the content they post on LinkedIn or you can interact with them by sending them a quick voice note or video as a message.
For events, you ideally want to spend some time attending events where your prospect will be speaking or will be attending as a guest. If your prospect is a speaker at the event, make sure to participate in the event by introducing yourself and asking questions based on what the speaker has talked about. You can even follow up afterward with an email that references the event which might increase your response rate.
Provide valuable information and insights
COVID-19 has impacted the budget made available to prospects for spending by companies in the B2B context. Prospects might be hesitant to spend money due to the pressure of ensuring that the ROI (return on investment) justifies the spending.
The way to combat this hesitation is by offering information and insights that are valuable and personalized to the prospect’s problem. Valuable information and insights can be derived from your current customers who have been using your product or service. Be sure to have case studies and references for how your product or service solved a problem for a customer that is relevant to your prospect.
Your prospects and customers should always be kept in the loop on the progress.
One of the biggest reasons why prospects and customers might be having a bad experience in sales is that they need to constantly check in on progress on various issues. It is up to the salesperson to always provide timely updates to prospects and customers.
You want to ensure that as you work on acquiring new customers, you still put in the effort to maintain the existing customers which will open up opportunities for upselling, cross-selling or gaining referrals.
Using a CRM to track and manage the interactions with prospects and clients is critical in understanding the customers’ needs, personalizing sales conversations, and knowing how to prioritize your outreach efforts to different prospects.
Impact of customer experience
Research conducted by Salesforce revealed that customer experience remains a key competitive differentiator, especially during a crisis. Additionally, 91% of customers say they’re more likely to make another purchase after a great service experience. Great customer service benefits trust, engagement and sales efforts. Poor customer service will negatively affect your sales efforts.
In case you are struggling to close sales deals, it would be essential for you to sit down and evaluate what kind of customer experience you are bringing to the table.