📅 Upskilling for the GenAI Era: Developing Your Human Edge | May 14, 2024 | RSVP Now →

Virtual B2B Selling: How to Build Connection and Trust with Clients

Friday January 5, 2024

Virtual B2B Selling: How to Build Connection and Trust with Clients

Friday January 5, 2024

B2B seller with a white button down shirt and a beard speaking to a prospective client on their laptop

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a major transition to remote work. Teams and companies had to come together to form new norms and learn to collaborate in new ways. B2B sales teams are facing an additional challenge in this new remote environment.

In addition to maintaining productivity when working with their colleagues, B2B sellers must build and develop business connections and progress their sales cycles with potential customers. The approaches that worked well in the past–such as onsite visits, business lunches and dinners, conferences–can’t be applied anymore.

Many sales leaders believe that their teams’ ability to make customer connections, develop trust, and have casual and open conversations with their customers has been significantly impaired.

While B2B sales leaders have their concerns, can virtual B2B selling be a viable long-term model? Here’s an overview of several misconceptions and advantages of virtual B2B selling, as well as how to use it to build trust with clients.

Misconceptions About Virtual Selling

A recent BAIN & COMPANY survey, powered by Dynata, of more than 300 B2B buyers and sellers helps dispel some common misconceptions about virtual B2B selling:

Misconception 1: In-Person Selling Is the Preferred Method

The first misconception BAIN & COMPANY identified is that selling is only virtual out of necessity, and that most buyers and sellers prefer in-person interactions.

The reality is that approximately half of sales interactions were conducted virtually even before the pandemic, and it’s only increased since then. This is largely due to virtual selling’s benefits such as faster communication and less expenses.

Misconception 2: In-Person Selling Is More Effective

Some sellers are reluctant to transition to virtual selling, fearing that it may not yield the same level of effectiveness as face-to-face sales.

However, a majority of buyers (75%) and sellers (54%) either agreed or had a neutral stance on the effectiveness of virtual selling compared to in-person interactions for complex products.

Misconception 3: Virtual Selling Is Primarily Used for Small Accounts

There’s a common belief that virtual selling is mainly used for small accounts, while larger ones necessitate face-to-face interactions.

However, many buyers and sellers are happy to engage in virtual selling for large purchases. 35% of buyers and sellers have engaged in virtual transactions involving products priced above $500,000.

Misconception 4: Virtual Selling Will Decrease in Popularity Over Time

It’s a common misconception that the surge in virtual selling was solely driven by the pandemic and that selling will eventually shift back to being predominantly face-to-face.

However, as the convenience of virtual selling continues to be recognized, it’s expected to grow even further instead of declining. The vast majority (80%) of buyers and sellers believe virtual selling will maintain its upward trend and continue growing in the foreseeable future.

 

The Benefits of Virtual B2B Selling

The same BAIN & COMPANY survey highlighted several meaningful advantages of virtual B2B selling. These include:

  • Improved effectiveness: Virtual B2B selling tends to yield better win rates and shorter sales cycles compared to other methods.
  • Better customer experience: Customers find virtual selling to be more convenient due to its accessibility and ease of use. Additionally, sales representatives in this format tend to be more responsive and provide higher quality interactions.
  • Increased sales productivity: Virtual selling eliminates the need for travel, allowing sellers to dedicate more time to client interactions.
  • Lower cost: Virtual selling enables businesses to reduce costs related to in-person selling by eliminating travel expenses, selecting cost-effective channels, and minimizing entertainment expenditures.

While these findings are encouraging, many questions remain open such as:

  • How can you engage and provide differentiated virtual experience to potential customers?
  • How can you build trust in a remote environment?
  • How can you help customers get more comfortable making a big decision without meeting their vendor in-person?
  • What are the implications for B2B Sales teams?

Below are four ways you can build trust with your customers in a virtual environment.

4 Ways to Build Trust With Clients

1. Personalize Communication

According to a recent survey of B2B customers, most would prefer connecting with humans over having their problem solved quickly. These customers were willing to trade their time for the opportunity to establish a meaningful connection with a human counterpart.

The survey findings highlight the significance of personalized interactions and the value customers place on building relationships in the B2B sector.

Personalized communication is more likely to make your clients feel heard and respected. Keep in mind that personalized communication is more than simply using their first name in an email—take the time to actually address clients personally.

Inviting them to a virtual experience is a great way to understand who they are, and their individual needs. This information can greatly assist in personalizing your communication with them.

Teamraderie experiences are live, virtual workshops intended to help teams connect. Extending an invitation to customers and stakeholders is a great way to develop personal relationships with them.

2. Be Proactive

One way to build trust is to reach out to your accounts and ensure that you’re addressing their needs. Customers are more likely to trust you if they don’t feel like it’s entirely up to them to get their needs met.

While it’s important to anticipate customer needs, it’s equally important to avoid being pushy. Strive for interactions that are positive and organic, rather than making customers feel bothered.

Our experiences serve as excellent ice breakers and can lead to valuable conversations. For example, our goal-setting experience, led by Olympian Simidele Adeagbo, can help you connect with your clients through a shared goal-setting workshop. This can easily segue into a conversation surrounding their needs and goals, providing valuable information that enables you to be proactive in your approach.

3. Meet and Exceed Expectations

When you’re interacting with customers, it’s not only important to meet their expectations, but to go above and beyond. This builds trust, and ensures they have meaningful encounters with your business.

By demonstrating that you’re invested in your customers’ success and are willing to take the extra step to provide excellent customer service, you can continue to build trust.

If you’re unsure where to begin, consider leveraging Teamraderie experiences to engage your accounts. These help demonstrate appreciation for your clients, as well as helping build connection and trust.

4. Foster Connection

According to Gallup, human-to-human interaction is key to becoming a trusted partner. Historically this has been accomplished through in-person interactions such as shared meals or beverages. In a virtual environment, however, you’ll have to get slightly more creative.

Teamraderie has several valuable experiences that allow you to connect with customers. From our Tartine Bakery and coffee experience to our ice cream making workshop, our experiences can help you ensure that your virtual interactions with customers are positive and memorable.

Previous businesses who have leveraged Teamraderie experiences have reported upwards of 85% of customers rating them as more engaging and effective partners.

Enhance Your B2B Selling With Teamraderie

As sellers and customers shift to virtual environments, B2B sellers must adapt old strategies and learn to nurture relationships virtually. Shared virtual experiences can be a highly effective approach for strengthening connections and trust with your clients in a remote environment.

Hoping to achieve success with your customers in a digital landscape? Click here to learn how Teamraderie can help you build meaningful relationships with customers.

 

 

You might also like:

A buyer and seller shaking hands surrounded by various icons related to connection
9 Ways to Build Meaningful Customer Relationships

For B2B sellers, building meaningful customer relationships can be challenging. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), building virtual relationships adds an additional challenge. In today’s increasingly virtual world, however, learning how to foster positive relationships over long distances is crucial. The problem is that traditional sales tactics often don’t work…...

Read Insight
Get the latest insights from Teamraderie in your inbox
Share
Latest Posts