November 10, 2022 by Curt Nelson
Over the past two years, traditional face-to-face sales organizations were first forced, and then lulled into the use of technology as the accepted medium for selling. No planes, no cars, no hotels, more presentations per day, and home for dinner. Why would someone ever go back to travel?
The key to successful selling is to match up a defined need with an applicable solution – from commodity to complexity. And in each case, purchases take place when the need, and related value of the solution equate. As the complexity and price rise, the ability to create matching value increases in difficulty, and that is where virtual selling comes up short.
Say you a selling a SaaS product that will require an investment of $50,000 per year for your prospective customer, and will involve multiple departments across the customer’s organization, with each department involved in the purchase process. And due to the depth of your product’s capabilities, it will take on average 45 minutes to one hour to effectively demonstrate. You set up a virtual meeting, get everyone on screen, do introductions and begin your demo.
Because you have been doing this for the past couple of years, you have learned how to multi-task to a point where even during your demo, your eyes continually glance over to your email on a second monitor. And if you watch closely, you will see the eyes of each one of your prospects doing exactly the same. So now all of you are paying partial attention to a demonstration that is intended to help you determine critical needs as well as lock in solid interest from your prospect. During the demo there are random comments and questions and, in the end, you feel like it went really well, only to find out, over the coming weeks, that you are not progressing at the pace you envisioned.
Imagine any meeting where the attendees and the presenter are both multitasking and not giving 100% attention to each other – what would your expectations be regarding the outcome? If you have the opportunity to be selling in person and you are not doing so you are shorting yourself, your future customers, and your employer. It is easy to jump on “the new way of working” train and convince yourself that it’s better – but in the end, sales decisions get made by real people based upon clear knowledge transfer and related value propositions. Those that take the time to show up and engage will generally win over those that do not.