The Simple Key to Virtual Selling Execution

Salespeople are always on the hunt for the secrets to being more successful in sales.  Yet today so many are avoiding embracing video-based virtual selling.  With the pandemic end unknown, that avoidance will negatively impact performance short and long term.  It’s an accepted conclusion that sales will never fully go back to the way it was with so much of the sales cycle being done face to face or by phone.  Virtual selling/relationship building and virtual prospecting are here to stay.  If you want to beat the competition, win more faster, and guarantee retention of existing client relationships there is no choice but to embrace virtual selling.  If so many know the secret, why do they continue to not use this powerful sales play?

As with so many other breakthrough sales techniques, companies assume it’s a sales training issue.  The belief being if we just train the salespeople how to use one of the many virtual platforms (Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams) and point out the importance of having a distraction free environment, they are good to go, right? Wrong!

Sales management has been well intentioned over the past months attempting to motivate salespeople to do virtual, video-based selling.  The question is why are some managers so successful getting breakthrough execution and others failing so badly?  The answer is looking not at what the manager is saying but what they are doing, looking not at what the manager intends to drive but what they actually drive, and looking not only at what they expect of their people but what they expect of themselves.  Below are the most common differences between the leader, manager and coach practices that are breakthrough and those that are flawed. Both are well intentioned but only the breakthrough practices are getting execution and results.

 

Organizational Commitment is Too Weak and Unclear

Is your organizational commitment too weak and unclear providing the perfect excuse and a convenient way to avoid accountability to doing video-based selling?

  • Manager’s Flawed Tactics:
    • Communicates to team the expectation that virtual, video-based selling is to be done by all as the means to success in today’s environment
    • Continues doing phone-based one-on-ones and teleconference-based sales meetings
  • Manager’s Breakthrough Tactics:
    • Explores with each salesperson what virtual, video-based selling looks like in their environment and gains agreement on what execution looks like
    • Uses video in all their sales management activities (one-on-ones and sales meeting) modeling they too are using the tool

     

Video Prep and Practice Isn’t Being Demanded

Are you accepting that the need to prepare and practice is beyond what salespeople will do on their own leaving them instead to gamble that they can go back to in-person selling soon?

  • Manager’s Flawed Tactics:
    • Simply reminds all to use video-based selling as much as possible
    • Gives positive feedback for any efforts made towards doing video-based selling
  • Manager’s Breakthrough Tactics:
    • Does video-based pre-call preparation, joint calls and post-call debriefs with individual salespeople
    • Provides feedback, tips and suggestion on how to improve virtual, video-based interactions

 

Discomfort has Become an Acceptable Excuse

Are you accepting that the degree of discomfort is too high hindering a willingness to turn on the video (and see themselves on camera) and ask others to try a video-based conversation (and possibly get told “no”)?

  • Manager’s Flawed Tactics:
    • Tells team that video-based selling is an organizational expectation and that all need to embrace its use
    • Accepts excuses and reasons why video-based selling might not work and agrees to let salespeople rely on teleconferences, email or wait until the conversations can take place in person
  • Manager’s Breakthrough Tactics:
    • Provides evidence of the value of video-based selling by sharing and highlighting examples and success stories
    • Acknowledges own initial discomfort but demonstrates belief and commitment to become competent and comfortable doing video

 

Summary

What becomes visible as you analyze the difference and why this difference exists comes down two facts.  One is that many well-intentioned managers don’t know what they don’t know.  They are unaware of the unintentional consequences of their actions (or inactions) and simply need to be informed of what is working and not working to drive use of virtual, video-based selling.  The second is that the degree virtual, video-based selling gets done within an organization is directly related to what the sales manager does and that they are where it all starts and ends!

Like what you’ve read?  This is the 3rd article in our series on tackling sales during the pandemic.  Here are the others:

Sales Managers Making a Measurable Impact During the “Next Normal”
Taking On Today’s Unique Sales Management Challenge

Let’s continue the conversation…

Linda Maxwell – lmaxwell@businessefficacy.com
Lisa Wicklman – lwicklman@businessefficacy.com

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