No one predicted the sales environment that exists today. Likewise, no one can confidently predict the road ahead. Virtual selling presents a cost-effective solution to current selling challenges — and likely will continue to be an integral part of any future mix of sales conversations.
The foundations of value-oriented selling do not change in a virtual environment — they actually become even more important. In a “Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™” fashion, sellers must put their prospect at the center of a sales conversation rather than pitching a product. This fosters value-based partnerships that extend benefits in both directions for years — something that has been true and will continue to be true.
Take a moment and assess your marketing and sales teams’ abilities to interact effectively and valuably in a virtual environment.
Are they pushing products? Or are they utilizing a “Seek to Serve” selling strategy through this new channel of communication? Although the future is unknown, your selling does not have to be.
In a virtual environment, sellers must work even harder now to capture a prospect’s attention and hold it by sharing content that is RICH™. In this four-part series, Mereo experts will dissect each of the four aspects of RICH virtual content — and how you can win an unfair share™ and continue down the path toward sustainable revenue performance by practicing it.
Avoid the Virtual Content Trap.
Relevant content seems like common sense. Of course you created the content for the audience receiving it. And now, in a virtual environment, much focus goes on the mode and channel of delivery. Professionals are fretting over presentation design programs. Sellers spend hours researching virtual meeting options. And then when it comes to the content itself? Well, that will not take too much work, sellers say. What is all that different now, anyway?
Almost everything. Virtual interactions remove the in-person urgency and direct nonverbal feedback cues. It hampers true connectivity and engagement.
Too often presentations and pitches lean heavily on promoting a selling organization’s agenda and solutions. The very things that sellers know how to talk about best — but also lacking in relevancy to an audience who is focused on their own problems, their own needs.
The truth is, not only are sellers going to start burning out from the virtual selling — falling back into bad status quos — buyers and clients will also soon, if not already, tune-out virtual interactions more often than they engage.
Give them a reason to engage.
Make the Content About Them. Make the Content Relevant.
Have your presentations, pitches, and past buyer/client and internal communications fallen into the above content trap in the past? Or have you struggled in the last year to keep your audiences, internal and external, engaged? Have you failed to re-work your content strategy while you have been revamping every other part of your business to accommodate a virtual model?
The good news: There is time to turn your strategy on its side — and to use it to leapfrog above and beyond other organizations struggling with virtual content.
Our RICH™ content best practice: Every conversation must be centered around:
- Your prospect’s role
- Their team’s issues and challenges
- Their industry’s particular dynamics and needs
- Their business strategy and environment
Every interaction needs to ferret out the audiences’ specific pains while helping them (not just you) better understand the impacts of those pains to them and their team. Clarity of the situation and related impacts are golden for your audience and empowers your sellers to tailor every solution to address those pains and deliver relevant value. For another take, look to our friends at Eyeful Presentations who share a great guide to remote presentations.
RICH IDEAS IN PRACTICE
- Have you put in the prep work and uncovered your audiences’ needs, pains, goals, etc.?
- Are there opportunities to open the dialogue to your audience in the presentation to increase relevancy tenfold? Duarte has found that 64% of people say a presentation with two-way interaction is more engaging than a linear presentation.
- What about market or industry conditions makes this a relevant and urgent topic? Have a thoroughly thought through answer to this!
- Are you engaging your audiences around one of the four key topics they find most relevant and valuable? CSO Insights found that an overwhelming 90% of buyers would be open to engaging salespeople earlier in the buying process if the content proved relevant as (1) something new for the buyer, as (2) something risky for the organization or (3) the buyer themselves, and/or as (4) something complex.
Seek to Serve™ Virtually Everywhere
Prepare your teams now to engage with relevance, innovation, complexities and hard proof in a virtual setting — and reap the benefits a mutually beneficial relationship built on trust and value.