Sales Managers: Can Your Reps Ace Virtual Meetings?

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Sales managers, how many of your sales are now taking place in the virtual world? Are your reps finding that they’re spending more screen time with prospects than they are in face-​to-​face meetings? Here’s how to help your reps do their best in this environment.

In the Third Annual State of Sales report, Salesforce analysts point out that “60% of reps report an increase in virtual meetings over the last three years.” The virtual contact ranges from computer, tablet, and smartphone to email. By comparison, only about 48% of reps say they’re spending more time meeting in person with prospects and customers.

This reality dovetails nicely with the fact that sales reps, on average, only spend about 35% of their time selling. The good news is if reps are now spending less time traveling to a client site, they will have more time to meet virtually.

Your reps might not be entirely comfortable using technology for virtual meetings at first. To help them succeed, provide training and have them practice with other team members. Encourage your reps to use a video tool. There’s no substitute for face-​to-​face interaction. Using video allows them to observe the prospect’s or client’s face and body language. When they detect boredom or impatience, they’ll need to change their topic. They'll also need to develop slides that contain interesting and unique content that can be used as part of the virtual conversation.

Remind your reps that the usual rules of sales apply in the virtual world. These meetings aren’t all about them. If they are on a discovery call, they should start with a strong opening. Then, they need to encourage the people on the other end to start talking about their pain points.

With a little advance planning and practice, you can increase your department’s efficiency and help your reps improve their skill at handling virtual meetings.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.