Over Three Quarters of Salespeople Now Use Virtual Meetings: How to Adapt to This New Trend

The transition from physical to digital is nothing new and has been happening in the sales world for quite some time. Making pitches to leads through video conferencing software and doing virtual demos, for example, are things most salespeople are at least somewhat familiar with. 

But COVID-19 has accelerated this transition dramatically, pouring gasoline on the fire of digital transformation. Travel restrictions, social distancing, and a more contactless way of life have forced salespeople to switch up their approach and embrace virtual meetings

Here are the details and how to adapt to this new trend. 

77% of Salespeople Are Having Virtual Meetings Post-COVID

In 2019, 43% of remote and in-house teams used a video conferencing platform — a significant number, but nothing overwhelming. In the wake of COVID, however, that number jumped all the way to 77%, for a 34% year-over-year increase. To illustrate this spike, just look at the price of Zoom stocks and how they’ve skyrocketed since mid-March 2020 when COVID hit the US hard. 

And this has created some major changes in how salespeople interact with leads. 

“There’s been a fundamental shift in how B2B sellers connect and communicate on an interpersonal level,” says Sean Callahan, Senior Manager of content marketing at LinkedIn. “There are no firm handshakes. No fresh-printed sales dossiers. Everything from the pitch to the proposal is going digital, which means B2B sellers need to adapt.”

Virtual Meetings Become the New Norm

It should also be noted that this isn’t a trend that will go away as life goes back to normal.

“Even after the pandemic ends, it is likely that virtual meetings will be more commonplace,” Callahan adds. “With more than three-quarters of sellers saying they are holding more virtual meetings, the tools and skills are gaining traction; meanwhile, buyers are also becoming more familiar and comfortable with this method of interacting.”

As more and more companies, as well as consumers get cozy with virtual meetings, you can expect this to become the new norm and the preferred means of communication for many people. 

Afterall, video conferencing tools offer a ton of benefits, including:

Besides that, research has found these tools can improve communication and relationship-building. Here’s some notable data from a Lifesize survey. 

You can’t put the genie back in the bottle on something like this, and virtual meetings are here to stay regardless of what happens with COVID moving forward. That means sales teams need to get on board with this technology, and fast. 

How to Adapt to This New Trend 

So, what are some specific steps your company can take to ensure you’re up-to-speed and on pace with the competition? How do you fully capitalize on this technology? 

Here are some ideas. 

Use Universally Recognized Video Conferencing Software

For starters, you need to pick the right platform to hold virtual meetings on. There are numerous options out there, so you’ll want to choose one that’s user-friendly (both for salespeople and for leads) and that’s used universally.

At the moment, the most popular virtual platform is definitely Zoom. We mentioned earlier that their stock value has soared recently, and this graph shows how it’s head and shoulders above the competition. 

So, if you’re looking for a “safe bet” tool that’s easy to learn and that leads will recognize and feel comfortable with, Zoom is the clear choice. Some other top contenders include GoToMeeting, Join.Me, and Cisco Webex. 

Turn the Camera On

Next, have your sales team encourage the leads they’re speaking with to turn on their cameras. Why? 

Research has found that closing rates increase by at least 10% when cameras are turned on. That’s largely because it helps with rapport-building and makes it so salespeople can read a lead’s body language more easily for deeper interactions. The easiest way to encourage leads is to use a script like this one created by Marcus Sheridan of ImpactBND. 

That right there can be huge for creating closer connections between your salespeople and leads and can boost revenue considerably. 

Master Screen Sharing

In most cases, a salesperson will need to share content with a prospect such as a product demo, a whiteboard, or an application. Any friction during this process can make a rep look unprofessional and derail even the best of presentations. 

That’s why they need to know the ins and outs of screen sharing and be able to seamlessly share content without any hiccups. Have them check out a screen sharing tutorial of the software your company is using — here’s one from Zoom as an example — and practice until it’s automatic. 

Follow Virtual Meeting Interaction Best Practices 

Having a sales call virtually comes with its own set of best practices. Here are some of the most important to follow:

  • Look directly into the camera – Know exactly where it’s located and use consistent eye contact
  • Keep the right distance from the screen – Be close enough so a lead can see a rep’s face but not so close that they’re hovering
  • Use the right volume – Leads should be able to comfortably hear, but it shouldn’t be so loud that it’s distracting
  • Turn off online messages or notifications – Getting pinged during the middle of a meeting can throw off the vibe. 

Adapting to the New Norm 

Virtual meetings were already catching on before COVID struck. But with the pandemic greatly reducing face-to-face interactions, the use of virtual meetings has absolutely skyrocketed. Therefore, it’s essential that your sales team not only gets familiar with this technology but learns how to master it. 

Looking to find top tier salespeople that are skilled with this and other technology? See how HireDNA can help you find better sales talent, faster using science-based sales assessments. 

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