As more and more of our business activities are being conducted online, the ability to deliver an effective virtual sales pitch is crucial for the success of any company. Making pitches and deals in offices, or fancy hotel boardrooms has become a thing of the past for many.
In the modern corporate landscape, companies must embrace virtual selling if they want to meet — and exceed — their customers’ expectations.
In this article, we outline some effective methods for delivering a stellar pitch and closing the sale virtually.
The challenges of making a virtual sales pitch
Delivering sales pitches online is now the norm for many sales teams, and while it is undoubtedly convenient and allows you to connect with more prospects in a shorter time, it also comes with its own set of challenges.
- Your audience’s attention span is lower in a virtual setting than it is face to face
- It is harder to create a personal connection and build trust through a screen
- There is the potential for many more distractions cropping up depending on everyone’s setting
- There may be technical issues affecting the quality of the call (there’s nothing worse than trying to have a virtual conversation when there is a delay, causing you to talk over each other!)
A recent survey conducted by Showpad, a global sales enablement technology company, found that “nine in ten buyers (87%) say they now prefer to be sold to virtually, forgoing traditional face-to-face sales meetings.”
And according to research by McKinsey, “76% of sales leaders believe that remote sales interactions are equally or more effective than traditional in-person engagement when prospecting for new customers.”
These statistics tell us that, despite the challenges outlined above, the future of selling may well be virtual — so it’s well worth being prepared and honing your skills now.
Tips for improving your virtual sales pitch
Set yourself up for success from the outset by being as prepared as possible.
As the old saying goes, “if something can go wrong, it will”, so leave nothing to chance. The more you can practice your pitch, the better — you don’t need to memorise every word, but make sure you understand the key points and ideas that you want to get across.
If you plan to share your screen or use any interactive tools – which you should be – practice ahead of time so that you’re comfortable with how everything works.
And make sure you have a professional backdrop, either real or virtual that instils confidence and professionalism.
Identify your key message
To present a compelling virtual sales pitch, you need to know what your customer wants and align that with your solution. Identify your key message — your one big idea — and use that to anchor the rest of your content.
You stand a much better chance of delivering a strong, cohesive pitch when every point you make supports and reinforces your key message. Remember to keep it clear and concise to avoid overwhelming your audience.
Tell a great story
The technical aspects of delivering an online pitch are only half the battle — you also need to be able to engage your audience, which can be difficult in a virtual setting.
One of the most effective tools you have at your disposal is storytelling and in particular the ability to tell a story with data. You need to know how to make the story resonate with your audience on an emotional level so that they feel compelled to buy your product or service.
After all, emotion is what drives our purchasing behaviours and much of our decision-making.
Use interactive slides
Any slides you include should support your key message, not detract from it, so keep text to a minimum and avoid reading straight from the slides. Including interactive placeholder slides throughout your pitch can help keep your audience engaged, and it allows you to get valuable insights and feedback in real time.
Be mindful of your body language
Even though you’re not in the same room as your audience, your body language and posture still play a huge role in how your audience perceives you. If you want to keep them engaged and interested in what you’re saying, it’s important to develop a strong virtual presence.
Before your pitch starts, try stretching your facial muscles to get them loosened up. During your pitch, make sure you sit up straight and gesticulate to highlight key points.
Always have a Plan B
No matter how well-prepared you are, things can still go wrong at any moment during your sales pitch. Having a backup plan will help you to stay calm and keep going in case of unexpected issues.
It can also be helpful to enlist the help of a colleague or friend who can manage the technical side of things and ensure everything goes smoothly.
Close every virtual sales pitch with NxtGEN Executive Presence
NxtGEN Executive Presence can help you to elevate your virtual presence and ensure you deliver a knockout sales pitch every time.
Our Executive Presentation Skills training is renowned for helping people excel at influencing, persuading and inspiring others — all of which are essential elements of effective virtual selling.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help you excel in the corporate world, and be sure to check out our blog and resources to learn more about leading and influencing inside a corporate environment.