Virtual selling means selling products or services remotely, through digital channels and technology platforms, without needing in-person interactions. It is easy in today’s digital age, especially with the rise of e-commerce and the expansion of online marketing.
Virtual selling is an umbrella term for the collection of processes and technologies of sales reps to engage buyers remotely.
Virtual selling involves engaging with potential customers, building relationships, and closing sales using various digital strategies. Virtual selling tools include sales pitches, price negotiations, creating loyal customers, and purchasing goods and services.
Virtual selling is thriving as the new normal due to various factors:
1. High market reach: Virtual selling minimizes the geographical gap and widens the market reach, which allows customers to connect across the world, which was considered a limitation earlier.
2. Cost-effective: Virtual selling provides maximum benefit in saving cost for both business and customer as it suspends the infrastructure cost, travel expenses, and other related overheads.
3. Data-driven insights: By selling virtually, businesses are able to leverage accurate data insights, which helps them to enhance sales strategies, customer interactions and optimize their approach.
4. Technological advancement: This has played a prominent role in successful virtual selling. The availability of virtual meeting platforms, customer relationship management systems, e-commerce, etc., eliminate barriers and funnels the process effectively.
5. The adaptability of changing situations: Virtual selling has proven to be adaptable and resilient, which helps navigate disruptions such as pandemics allowing continued sales activities and limited in-person interactions to ensure effective business.
6. Evolved customer preferences: This steady shift to virtual interactions helps to align with evolving customer preferences and buying behaviors. Many customers are comfortable with buying virtually and communicating according to the convenience, flexibility, and personalized experience.
Several top-level and widely recognized platforms are as follows:
1. Shopify: Initially kicked off as a snowboard shop, now converting into a $10 billion e-commerce empire, supporting 4.5+ million virtual stores with endless successful stores. Attracting customers with dynamic themes, app market, and active customer support.
2. Amazon: Regarding the best-selling virtual platform as a marketplace, Amazon is an eCommerce dominant. Many online merchants choose Amazon as their primary sales channel because of the wide range and seller protection.
3. Walmart: Walmart creates incredible sales channels for merchants who target low-margin items and drive profit from sales volume. This is considered the best-selling platform.
4. Reverb: This is in the top-tier musical gear marketplace. Reverb charges a low commission rate, and it has simple selling fee policies which allow more sellers to work.
5. Google Shopping: Google Shopping allows a user-friendly interface with comparison service to the best-selling platform.
6. Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace’s best-selling categories allow users to consider fashion apparel, furniture, home decor, mobiles, or baby care products. It has also been among the best platforms to buy or sell clothes.
The advantages of virtual selling:
1. Cost saving: Virtual selling can significantly reduce costs as compared to traditional in-person sales methods. It eliminates expenses associated with travel, accommodations, and physical infrastructure.
2. Enhanced communications: Allows video meetings, email, chats, and other communication platforms to digitize effective communication and connect to customers more effectively.
3. Expanded reach: Virtual selling allows a wider audience, including geographical boundaries, and eliminates the limitations of physical locations to connect potential customers.
The disadvantages of virtual selling:
1. Increased competition: Virtual selling has lowered entry barriers, leading to increased competition in various industries, adopting virtual selling strategies, sales professionals, and high competition for customer attention.
2. Limited non-verbal cues: Virtual selling limits non-verbal cues in in-person interactions, such as facial expressions, body gestures, or communication style.
3. Technological challenges: Virtual selling is all about technology and digital tools. Technical issues such as poor internet connection, audio quality problems, or software glitches can disrupt sales interactions.
Some of the essential best practices while virtual selling are as follows:
1. Know the target audience: Get to know your target audience and their preferences through the data and research to learn what kind of messaging can convenience the target audience.
2. Find ways to interact: Connect with the clients to establish a professional relationship. Share stories and customer experiences and connect to them more personally.
3. Resolve problems proactively: Interact with the customers, get to know their pain points, and work on them proactively. You can also send them questionnaires or ask them directly.
4. SMART goals: Create and work on SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This can help you stay on track and put more time and effort toward the goals.
5. Active listener: Listen carefully to the client and understand them, and respond by paraphrasing or asking relevant questions; you show yourself as an active listener.
These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).
Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.
eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.