Manufacturers continue to be impacted by the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With travel remaining limited and trade shows on pause, the manufacturing industry is quickly adapting to a world where most closed deals happen without ever having a face-to-face meeting.
Being restricted to selling online may be challenging, but it can be very effective with the correct approach and supporting material. In this article, we'll dive into how virtual selling is unique, and the steps your business can take to succeed in the current environment.
In-person Sales vs Virtual Sales
When transitioning to conducting most of your sales meetings via Zoom, GoToMeeting, or another online meeting service, many traditional sales principles still hold true; however, you're going to have to up your game.
Building relationships, reading body language, and other traditional sales techniques are more difficult online than in person. Additionally, in a virtual sales environment, meetings are much shorter, and there is limited time compared to traditional meetings where you may grab lunch or engage in more extended conversations.
The time that you have in virtual meetings is valuable, so you must make the most of it.
The best way for you to accommodate this is to leverage as much supporting material as possible to guide your conversations. Resources such as insights, data, case studies, and other content will help you capture attention, build trust, and create engaging meetings with your prospects.
How to Have a Successful Virtual Meeting
As stated above, the time that you have during virtual meetings is limited. To get the most out of this valuable time with prospects, you must be well prepared.
Here’s are some steps that you can take leading up to a virtual meeting:
- Use a good platform: Make sure that your meeting is happening on a reliable video conferencing platform. We recommend you use one of the more notable platforms like Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Microsoft Teams.
- Send engaging emails: Leverage a free tool like Vidyard to create personalized videos that you can incorporate into your emails before meetings. These can be short videos, outlining what will be covered in the discussion, and expressing your excitement to meet with them.
- Establish an agenda: Map out the different topics you want to hit on during the meeting and assign an allotted amount of time to each. This will help you guide the direction of the meeting and ensure that you monitor your time on one subject.
- Create a presentation: Design a brief presentation focused entirely on the prospect and how you can help solve their problems. Support the presentation with all of the relevant insights, data, and other content that you have available.
If you take all three of these steps into consideration when preparing for a virtual meeting, you are well on your way to having a productive and successful conversation with your prospect.
Leverage the right technology
As your manufacturing company’s virtual sales strategy becomes more advanced, there are several tools that you can invest in to improve the efficiency of your outreach.
Some of the tools that you can look into are:
- Accelerated sales-focused email: These platforms connect to your CRM, and you can leverage them to improve your sales emails' effectiveness. Utilizing a platform like HubSpot Sales Pro or Growbots can help you curate personalized outreach, improve your delivery rates, and generate more meetings.
- Accelerated cold calling: Platforms such as Connect + Sell and Monster Connect are designed to increase the volume of your outbound prospecting and relieve stress off your sales team. You can upload large lists of contacts, then their staff will dial the numbers and ping you once someone has answered.
Fuel your pipeline with digital marketing tactics
Conducting successful virtual meetings and improving your outreach's efficiency is only a small piece of succeeding in a virtually dominant sales world.
In order to be truly effective, the sales team at your business must work together with the marketing team to create a healthy pipeline and nurture leads through the sales funnel. This could include conducting weekly joint meetings, creating content centered around questions that prospective customers have, and more.
Would you like to learn more about how incorporating digital marketing tactics into your sales strategy can improve your ability to close more deals? Click the button below to watch our recent Virtual Selling for Manufacturers webinar.