This Is What Your New World Looks Like
by Ton Verleg
Not only how we sell has changed, but also where we sell is going through a drastic adjustment. The pandemic has forced everyone to rethink how we work, where we work and what a day in the office, or home office, looks like. This is not only the case for salespeople but also applicable to Customers. Everyone is rethinking their working day. What will your new world look like? (And this is closer by than you think).
Instead of traditional phone calls, video calling is snowballing in popularity. According to a McKinzie study: 71% of b2b buyers prefer a video call over a phone call. Why?
- First of all, they can see you in a video call; it feels more personal. It’s the closest you can get to a face-to-face conversation.
- In a video call, they can see your body language, which tells them a lot. It’s like the old saying, “one picture tells a thousand words”. They can see your smile, sincerity and confidence or the opposites; they know when you frown or have doubts. All of these things matter. These emotional expressions are essential in a conversation and are less noticeable over the phone.
- And lastly, they can have eye contact, and we all know how much trust is built purely by looking someone in the eyes. That’s often where the first connection translates into” I like you” or “I may want to do business with you”.
So, although calling customers is not dead, it is losing ground. Buyers LOVE video calling. And if you do it well, it can be a game changer. It is not only saving time (less being stuck in traffic jams!), which means an increase in productivity, it can also be more effective. Let’s look at the following two examples:
a. Virtual Customer Management
76% of customers prefer a video call over a face-to-face visit when it comes to regular customer maintenance activity. Customers, who themselves are getting used to balancing work- and home office, say: “If we meet up face to face 3-4 times per year, that’s fine; I will be in the office for you. But for other meetings, let’s catch up over a video call.” In the new world, you prioritize customer visits when it is really needed. Video Calling is your next best option.
b. Virtual Prospecting
When it comes to prospecting, 73% of customers prefer a virtual interaction at the beginning of the sales cycle. Even if your first contact with a prospect is over the phone, video calling gives Buyers a new option on how they would like the next meeting to happen. More and more Buyers prefer to understand your value proposition over a video call first before investing valuable time in a face-to-face meeting.
In addition to Video Calling, the new world will be full of Video Messaging. This asynchronous way of communicating is making a true breakthrough. Why? Because, if done well. it gives you a range of new exciting options to communicate with your Customer.
80% of B2B Sales interactions between suppliers and Buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025. So, we need to be where Buyers spend most of their time: online!
Becoming a champion in video messaging will allow you to influence the stakeholders’ buying process like never before. You can be super efficient in connecting with stakeholders, which would normally take tonnes of time. For example, the insights you share will be supported by visuals and shared with the greater buying room and you can reinforce key valuable messages. Video messaging opens a whole new world of selling:
- Reaching more stakeholders
- Sharing Insights
- Communicating Agendas
- Summarizing meetings
- Introducing yourself digitally
- Virtual proposal walkthroughs
- Virtual onboarding of new customers
A Digital Customer Room
And there is more in the new world of selling: Soon, you will be able to share insights and video messages with your customer via a Digital Customer Room. Every customer will have their own DCR, and you can Chat with one or multiple stakeholders in real time. It’s just faster than old-fashioned email. That’s all…No it isn’t! Communicating via a DCR takes collaborating with your Customer to a whole new level. It will be hard to go back to email!
Digital Conversation Intelligence
Finally, conversation intelligence is going to help Sellers and their Managers focus on key moments that were missed during customer conversations and can be worked on to improve. These AI generated insights will help you to sharpen skills that you should do more of and avoid situations that reduce the success of customer meetings. Conversational Intelligence is like having a coach with you at every call.
Your new world of selling will look a lot different than today. Video calling and Video Messaging will increase your productivity and effectiveness in influencing stakeholders. Your communication with customers will be three levels up from what it is now. You will have more information at hand to improve your selling skills every day.
The question you should ask yourself is; How can you be this much better than your competitor’s sales rep? What is your edge? Tomorrow’s winners will be again those who are adopting the best to the new normal.Tags: Ton Verleg