How small businesses can make the most of impromptu online meetings

  1. Online sales
    Steve Duignan

    Steve Duignan Contributor Free Member

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    Resources can be tight in the smallest of businesses with 10 or fewer employees. Budgets are limited and often employees have to tackle a range of tasks outside their remit.

    As such, time and money are precious, meaning they have to be used more effectively than in larger organisations. But that also means there is a greater need to win sales, which traditionally required more resources to achieve. So, what’s the answer?

    Enter the impromptu online meeting…

    Connecting with potential clients remotely wherever and whenever staff are able can drastically reduce the costs and time associated with face-to-face meetings. Further, connecting with always-on-the-go prospects is easier and more successful if a sales rep can do it on their terms.

    This is great news for small business, but this does change the dynamic for the sales reps, as they need to perform well in a meeting that could happen anywhere at any time.

    In a recent webinar on online sales meetings, sales acceleration strategist Jill Konrath identified four main tips that help small organisations establish credibility, deepen the relationship and close in on a signed contract:

    1. Zero in on what is important to prospects

    For a meeting to be a success a sales rep needs to have a clear idea about what they want to achieve as well as understand how far into the buying cycle a prospect is, if at all. There will be many prospects who are happy with the way things are, but it is for the sales rep to demonstrate that the situation could be improved by purchasing their product or service.

    Improving or resolving business issues is what matters to prospects, not buying a particular product. Unfortunately many sales reps fail to understand this in online meetings.

    Forrester Research found that a mere 13% of executive buyers believe that sales reps can clearly show they understand their business issues and present an appropriate solution. It’s no surprise that more than 60% of forecast deals go nowhere.

    Sales reps should avoid talking about what they’re selling during impromptu meetings in the first instance and instead tackle a business issue that matters to the prospect head on.  

    2. Knowing when to have an online impromptu meeting

    The best time to have an impromptu online meeting with a prospect is while the sales rep is talking to them via phone or email. At this point the sales person already has their attention, but instead of just talking about a product they can show it off.

    Online meetings offer a visual, interactive aid to the salesperson: graphics, demonstrate a product remotely in real-time or show any document. As most people remember 80% of what they see and do, such a capability is crucial for clinching that deal.

    This requires tools that offer connectivity with prospects wherever they are, whether working from home or while on the go.

    3. Drive conversations and engagement

    Knowing what they want to achieve in an online meeting, a sales rep needs to take charge and encourage their prospect to engage if they want to be successful. Reps can do this by asking a series of meaningful questions that help to uncover useful information and build a good rapport.

    Identifying these questions ahead of time and framing them in qualifying statements to demonstrate expertise is key to ensuring maximum impact.

    However, simply talking about an issue or product is not enough, it helps if sales reps can offer a range of visual and even interactive content – presentations, videos, graphs, websites and demonstrations. Finally, sales reps working on proposal documents could look to collaborating online with prospects to ensure they’re happy with the final result.

    4. Know which technology to use

    The success of an online meeting is dependent upon the application being used. With almost one third of sales professionals saying their online tool is more of a hindrance than a help, those looking for success must choose wisely.

    Intuitive meeting tools are needed that offer a seamless experience; tools that make setting up, joining and administering a meeting as simple as possible. If time is wasted having to wait for applications to download, tool elements to start, or videos to buffer, the momentum of a meeting can be lost, which could ultimately result in the sale being lost too.

    5. Firm up next steps

    Sales reps should always finish a meeting with a way forward or a plan of action.

    If they can, the rep should aim for a further meeting or action, such as who else needs to be involved or are there any other considerations.

    With some planning and the right tools, small businesses can level the online meeting playing field with their larger competitors, wherever and whoever they are.

  2. Stoneliuzhiwen

    Stoneliuzhiwen UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Good atticle
    Posted: Jul 25, 2016 By: Stoneliuzhiwen Member since: Jun 20, 2016