Virtual sales success is challenging. It’s hard to stay on top of all the latest trends, technology advances, and customer needs. To be successful at it, you can’t just rely on instinct or experience anymore. You need to follow a game plan.
Many people turn to marketing or the art of selling the right way. And while marketing and sales traditionally go hand-in-hand, it’s important to remember that they’re not the same thing. Marketing is only half of the equation. Sales is the other half. If you get both halves right and follow a defined blueprint, virtual sales success can be yours.
So what steps should you take to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success? Take a look at the steps below to find out.
Step 1: Get To Know Your Virtual Customers
Your first step should be to spend time getting to know your customers. Not everyone will fit into a single predefined customer profile. But there are some questions you can ask yourself to help put together the outline of your virtual clients.
Where do they live? What do they do for work? How much do they earn? Are they married, have kids, or both? Are there specific activities that interest them? Are their hobbies the same as yours?
Spend some time reflecting on these questions before you take your first step. Be as detailed as possible when answering them. The more information you have about your consumer profile, the better prepared you can be for the next step.
Step 2: Know Your Competition
The second most crucial aspect is knowing your competition. It’s not enough to know what you’re up against. You need to understand how they operate, what sets them apart from other companies in your industry, who their customers are, and more.
Keeping an eye on them is a step that most people skip simply because they don’t know where to start. There are countless resources available that can help you, though.
An excellent place to start is with directories like Manta and Hoovers. These sites allow you to search for companies by industry, geographic region, the main line of business, size, and more. You can also conduct basic searches on Google or Bing to find similar companies in your space.
Step 3: Learn The Best Ways To Sell
It’s not enough to know how you’re going to sell; you also need to know the best sales techniques for virtual sales success. Unlike traditional sales, where face-to-face interactions are possible, virtual sales are all about using technology to your advantage.
And that means learning the best ways to use it for outreach and communication. There are a few basic rules and techniques you can start with:
- Keep It Short: Keep your emails brief and to the point — no more than three to five sentences at most. If you need to add more information, make sure you add a link or attach supporting documentation for easy access.
- Give Them Something To Respond To: Your emails should be full of value and always come with a call to action (CTA). This could be something as simple as asking if they’d like to take the next step in the process to get something done. Think of it as a “light” version of their no-obligation sales pitch.
- Use A Consistent Outreach Schedule: You don’t want to show up out of the blue with no warning, but you also don’t want to wait too long between emails either. Instead, set up a schedule that allows you to send at least one outreach email per day.
Step 4: Put Your Virtual Sales Process in Place
It’s not enough for your virtual sales process to be defined in theory. You have to implement it in practice too. This is where most people fail when trying to start a virtual business of their own, so don’t make the same mistake.
Start with the basics and make sure you have every step mapped out. Use an implementation roadmap to help you get started if need be. Once your virtual sales process is in place, you’ll be ready for the final step on the path to virtual sales success.
Step 5: Track Your Virtual Sales Process Progress
Sales processes don’t run themselves. You must keep an eye on them to see what’s working and what needs to be improved. It’s the best way to optimize your results while you’re still in the early stages, ensuring that your customer base is growing while you learn how it operates under any given circumstance.
The right CRM solution will help you keep track of every customer and prospect, the products and services they purchased from you, when they bought them, how much it cost to get each sale, and more. It will also give you a place to store all your notes on what worked best in your virtual sales process previously.
Making money online is not easy. Doing it in a way that makes the most of your time and energy will take hard work, patience and persistence. By using these five steps as a guide, you’ll be able to maximize your chances for success — starting today.
Darrell Gunter is an innovative Digital Sales and Marketing Executive leader experienced in launching, building, conducting turnarounds and managing digital business enterprises in both small and large information and technology businesses. He is also skilled and experienced in advising C-Level executives on their M&A strategy.
Darrell is professionally trained in sales, marketing, customer service, and international arenas to ideate, create and implement strategic plans, drive business-focused outcomes and ultimately maximize shareholder/ company value.