There has never been a more pertinent time to brush up on your virtual selling skills. Why? Because with coronavirus stay at home orders in place, virtual presentations aren’t just in high demand anymore, they’re the only option we have. The way businesses sell and buy is drastically different than it was just shy of two months ago. If your business hasn’t conducted a virtual sales presentation recently, you should be preparing to do so very soon.
If you want to improve your B2B lead generation efforts and set more appointments, follow these 10 tips for how to successfully conduct virtual B2B sales pitches.
1. Have a Killer B2B Sales Presentation
The first step in mastering your virtual B2B sales pitch is developing a killer sales presentation. A B2B sales presentation sometimes referred to as a pitch deck, is essentially a 10 to 20 slide presentation that gives a high-level overview of your company. Typically, the presentation will include background information on your company, your value proposition, the products or services that you offer, and any other information that is important for prospects to know about your offering. Additionally, some companies will use past client examples or success stories in their pitch decks. At the end, it’s important to leave time for questions and outline the next steps.
Some general guidelines you should follow when creating a B2B sales presentation include:
Don’t make your presentation too text-heavy
Break up text with visually appealing elements such as infographics, statistics, videos or pictures
Keep it short; only include relevant information
Don’t read straight from the slides when presenting
Invite audience participation; ask questions throughout
Leave enough time for questions at the end
Once you have a great sales presentation, you can close more deals when virtually pitching.
2. Prepare for Meetings and Do Your Research
Nothing is worse than a sales rep who isn’t prepared; no one appreciates their time being wasted. To prepare for a virtual B2B sales meeting, make sure you do the following:
Practice and perfect your pitch.Make sure you know the product or service you’re selling front and back. You should practice going through your pitch deck several times before you’re on meetings conducting virtual pitches. It’s also important that you really believe in what you’re selling to instill confidence in the prospect.
Research the company you’re talking to.Before a pitch, be sure to do research on the company you’ll be speaking with. Not only will this impress them, but it can also help you to deliver a more polished, impressive pitch because you can explain how your product or service will benefit their specific business.
Know how to run the software you’ll be using.If you say you’re late to a pitch because you were trying to figure out how to load or join the meeting, a prospect isn’t going to be too impressed. This excuse isn’t good enough, knowing how to use the software is just as important as knowing the pitch.
3. Utilize Top-Notch Video Conferencing Software
Before you start pitching virtually, make sure you’ve chosen a high-quality video conferencing software to utilize. It’s important that you’re able to pitch and present effectively, and a great video conferencing software will allow you to do this.
When your team is focusing on B2B appointment setting activities, it’s okay to just use the phone to set appointments. But, when delivering a much more detailed sales pitch, a video conference software is crucial. You’ll want to be able to see the person you’re presenting to so you can form a connection. Plus, screen sharing a PowerPoint Presentation is easy with video communication platforms like Zoom.
4. Practice Tone and Voice Inflection
The tone of voice is important with any sales pitch, but especially a virtual pitch. Even if you’re using a video communication platform, it’s harder for a prospect to see everything virtual. They won’t be able to see your head to toe appearance and they won’t be able to read all body language. Therefore, your voice and how you deliver the pitch are what they’ll pay attention to the most.
Everyone has a natural voice inflection, but pay attention to the following things when you pitch:
Change of pitch (downward inflection shows a prospect you’re confident with your message)
Speed (talking fast is never good, slow down to show you want the prospect to listen carefully to what you’re saying)
Volume (lowering the volume of your voice helps listeners feel relaxed)
To improve your inflection before a real pitch, practice to yourself in the mirror a few times or record your presentation, and focus on areas of improvement.
5. Pace Yourself Well
There is an art to a well-paced virtual sales presentation. If you use your time wisely you can share a lot of information while, at the same time, impressing the potential client. After a major sharing point, make sure to pause and allow the prospect to absorb everything that was just covered and open the floor up for questions. If a prospect doesn’t feel too overwhelmed and feels like the presentation was easy to follow with useful and relevant information, this can help you close the deal. This is why pacing yourself is so important.
6. Break the Ice, Lighten the Mood, and Have Fun
When you visit a prospect’s office, there are plenty of conversation starters. Maybe they give you a short tour of the office, or maybe you tell them something about your drive in just to break the ice. It’s harder to do this virtually. In a virtual meeting, greetings and introductions are fast and the agenda rolls quickly.
Virtual meetings don’t have to be boring if you prepare. To create a more personalized experience, make sure the prospect can see you (and other presenters) the whole time, tell a personal anecdote, crack a joke or two, or talk about sports. If you’re good at reading people, you can easily gauge their interests and make sure you talk about something relevant to them.
7. Give the Prospect Plenty of Time to Talk
A sales pitch where the presenter talks the whole time quickly becomes boring and a prospect will lose interest fast. To avoid this, give them plenty of opportunities to talk. Don’t just open the floor up for questions (because they may not have any), but also ask questions that engage the prospect and force them to give a definitive answer.
For example, if an LED lighting company was pitching to a big manufacturing facility, they might ask at some point in their presentation, “what light fixtures are you currently using in your facility?” This gives the prospect an opportunity to talk; plus, this gives the LED company the chance to determine exactly how much money the prospect could save with LED lighting fixtures (the more you know about your prospect, the better).
8. Be Real and Create a Connection
Face-to-face, a prospect would normally build a connection through eye contact and body language. This is still true with virtual B2B sales presentations, but it can sometimes be harder to make a connection. Make sure to use a video camera so they can see you and always look into the camera directly. Also, if possible, stand up and deliver your message as if you were giving a presentation to a room of people.
9. Eliminate Distractions
Most of the people attending your virtual B2B sales presentation will be listening to it through headphones, so any sound that you make on your end will be amplified. To eliminate distractions, make sure to adhere to the following guidelines:
Give your B2B sales pitch in a quiet room
Log in to the meeting at least half an hour early
Plan for your meeting; make sure you’ll have no noise around you
Mute all of your notifications on your computer; you don’t want email and chat/IM notifications popping up while you’re giving a pitch
The fewer distractions around you, the better your sales presentation will be.
10. Clearly Outline Next Steps
During a virtual B2B sales presentation, a good way to wrap everything up is to clearly outline the next steps. Make sure you know where the prospect’s head is at and let them know what the best options are as far as the next steps go. It’s also a good idea to let them know you’ll be sending out a meeting recap via email. This shows professionalism; plus, they appreciate it so that they can go back and reference information that was covered in the meeting.
Remote B2B sales is a skill that requires practice—just like face-to-face sales. If you’re not familiar with delivering online sales pitches, you’ll likely run into some challenges at first. But, just like anything else, with enough practice, you’ll be able to master virtual B2B sales pitches. And, once you master virtual sales pitching, you’ll be able to close even more deals because you’ll be cutting out travel time (something that is required for face-to-face appointments).
Abstrakt has been pitching virtually to prospective clients across the nation for over a decade. We can fill your pipeline with qualified leads and set up appointments for your business, but you still need to close the deal. If you need additional tips on how to have a successful virtual sales pitch, contact us today.