With the world adopting the culture of remote work, virtual selling is playing a significant role in the way IT solutions providers reach customers and conduct business. As a concept, virtual selling encompasses a host of processes, skills, and technologies that salespeople use to reach out to prospects and customers remotely.
This shift has triggered the pressing need for IT sales teams to pick up new skills and learn to use cutting-edge virtual selling tools to bring in business.
Industry reports indicate that the virtual selling market will grow to $2.6 billion by 2024. According to a Bain & Company survey, 92 per cent of B2B buyers today prefer virtual sales interactions, with 79 per cent of sellers finding it relevant. This growth trajectory is mainly being driven by organizations realizing the need to equip sales reps with the training, tools, and digital content to simplify the sales journey.
What is Virtual Sales Enablement?
Virtual sales enablement can be defined in many ways, but the underlying concept indicates the knowledge, training, and tools a salesperson requires to sell remotely in a completely digital environment. There are two main approaches to sales enablement:
1. Tools and Content for Outreach
This includes external facing content like live virtual demos and training videos that can that aid prospect outreach and customer retention.
2. For Enhancing Internal Knowledge
The tools and content in this context are used for staff training programs, product information, and accessing customer analytics where relevant.
Forbes reported that the top companies use 23 sales enablement tools on an average worldwide. Salespersons must use the right pieces of sales content for a customer at different stages of the sales pipeline and utilize the personalized information for a good selling outcome.
3. The Challenges of Virtual Selling
Virtual selling is often weighed down by applying in-person buyer interaction strategies to digital spaces. A study conducted by global sales training firm RAIN Group shows that the most challenging part of virtual selling is retaining the buyers’ attention and developing a meaningful virtual relationship with buyers.
To become familiar and adopt virtual sales tools and components such as meetings, demos, virtual labs, sharing content, and onboarding training, sales reps need a whole new skillset. The sales teams of organizations must be equipped with the tools to close deals successfully, regardless of location.
What Are the Emerging Trends in Sales Enablement?
The emerging sales enablement trends include application of technologies such as sales automation software, customer relationship management systems, lead scoring tools, virtual labs, and software-enabled virtual selling. These help sales reps to spend less time on mundane administrative tasks like data entry and prospecting and more time engaging with prospective customers.
The sales enablement process has also enhanced the collaboration between sales and marketing. These two departments used to operate in silos, but sales enablement has increased the need for close collaboration. The best sales enablement programs elevate the entire buyer journey, from awareness to purchase decision.
Sales is also becoming more personalized, rejecting the one-size-fits-all approaches. The programs become more tailored based on the specific client needs. Accordingly, different types of content or training are utilized for different sales roles and specific customer segments.
The role of technology in sales enablement is ever expanding. Sales teams depend upon the solutions like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, configure-price-quote software (CPQ), customer engagement data, and sales intelligence platforms to manage customer data, automate sales processes, and track performance.
Why Is Sales Enablement Pivotal?
Multiple things work in tandem to drive a conversion and sale. The sales enablement process does not just strengthen a business’ bottom line, it goes beyond increased sales as it improves the way customers perceive a business.
Benefits of sales enablement:
Improved cross-functional teams
Sales enablement bridges the gaps between marketing and sales teams. Both teams work with close collaboration to attain the same goal. This makes it easier to overcome any challenge that may come their way.
Builds a more responsive sales team
Sales enablement makes the sales team more aware of the customers, products, and the market so that they can approach the clients more smartly. They can easily figure out the pain points of the customers and address this without pushing them to buy their products. As they gain the knowledge of how to treat the customers better, it can increase customer retention and result in excellent customer experience.
A sales team with adequate knowledge can approach the clients properly. Happier customers lead to repetitive customers and positive word of mouth.
If you are planning for a thriving business, you must plan for sales enablement. A more equipped sales team creates a higher chance of converting a sale. This aims to sustain the huge sustainability of a business.
How sales enablement can lead to optimum virtual selling success?
1.Training and self-guided onboarding
Many companies are shifting towards hybrid work environments, virtual selling tactics continue to prevail. The onboarding training accommodates both sellers and buyers from different locations. Self-guided onboarding training allows scattered reps to build the strategies to engage hybrid buyers conveniently.
While live demos and POCs are seeing the light of digital transformation with a rapid shift from on-prem to the cloud, training the sales reps to host them with the necessary impact is critical.
2. Knowledge reinforcement
Remote IT sales teams can deploy assets like hands-on labs and content to learn and scale up virtual selling. The knowledge allows the sales team to use the right collateral when needed. They can easily overcome the roadblocks during the sales cycle by having a robust understanding of products and pain points.
3. Incredible buyer engagement
Virtual selling helps build a strong seller-buyer relationship regardless of the location. The sales reps share the content and personalized videos explaining the content prior to the virtual sales meeting. This allows the buyers to have more context to what they are receiving and enhances familiarity with the sales team before the call. During the virtual selling process, the sales reps leverage different multimedia making the sessions interactive and collaborative, and this entirely boosts customer engagement.
How to Build a Robust Virtual Sales Enablement Process?
1. Explain Why
Before deciding on the resources and implementing the same, both the marketing and sales team should be on the same page with clarity on why sales enablement is needed. Sales reps need to recognize the loopholes between the goals and the result of the actual sale. An understanding of the problem and the strategy to overcome it helps to obtain the desired result.
2. Set up your KPIs
After clarifying why you started a sales enablement process, you need to establish the goals and KPIs. This will help the team members to proceed with the same purpose and objective.
You can focus on the KPIs like:
- Tentative time to close the sale
- Number of sales to achieve
- Time investment in selling
- Enhance the success rate
- Rate of lead generation
These metrics help each participant establish an idea of what to work for.
3. Recognize the challenges of the sales team and customers
Both the marketing and sales team must identify their problems in working and find out the solutions for a successful deal. Some of the common challenges are:
- Getting qualified leads
- Enquiring about the right things
- Building trust
On the other hand, every customer has different pain points. The efficient sales team always proactively solves their problems.
4. Connect with Customers
Detaching from in-person interaction is difficult for a salesperson. For long-term customer retention, the sales reps need to connect with the customers. Using human elements and a human touch. Interactive demos with virtual labs can sales teams bridge the gaps.
5.Check Out the Data
Monitoring the data on how the users interact with websites, social media or assets like virtual labs, is necessary. A close observation of the analytics of how the content is getting potential users and how the customers have interacted with the product in virtual hands-on demos is quite helpful to target the customers.
6. Give them the rights tools, content and trainning
Empower your sales team with the right sales enablement resources like training, tools, and technology to simplify your complex sales cycle and generate ROI. For example, abstract texts and graphics with theoretical explanations cannot match the power of a virtual labs sales demo for software sales.
Effective sales enablement training with virtual labs hosted in cloud is necessary to make IT sales reps get dexterous with cloud-based demos and POCs and make every interaction with prospects and leads impactful and compelling.
A good collaboration between the marketing and sales team can also improve the outreach content quality and delivery. So, ensure you are delivering fresh and informative content to your customers.
Want to supercharge your sales team ?
Delivering impactful sales demos is crucial for skyrocketing enterprise technology sales. If you want to empower your IT sales team with useful sales enablement resources, the first thing that you should consider is virtual labs. CloudLabs enables you to offer your prospects realistic experiences of the actual product without any hassles at all.
Simplify your complex sales cycle and generate the estimated ROI with comprehensive sales enablement resources like live demos, POCs by CloudLabs.
CloudLabs helps you:
- Grow your partner ecosystem by enabling your partners to try your products in an easy and impactful manner.
- Drive prospect generation by enabling effective trials with consumption tracking.
- Empower your sales team with real-world demonstrations to convince prospects.
- Scale customer sales outreach. The more customers see your product in action, the more they’re inclined towards making a favorable decision.
- Leverage our subject matter experts to develop impactful technology lab and demo content.
Amit Malik is the COO at Spektra Systems, known for his expertise in Microsoft Cloud and digital transformation. He drives strategic planning and operational initiatives, reshaping the cloud landscape to deliver superior business outcomes. He is a recognized thought leader and speaker on Cloud, AI, and IoT, and holds a position among the Leaders Excellence at Harvard Square.