Winning big deals used to mean getting in front of important decisions makers, speaking to them, selling your goods or services and building genuine relationships. This was done through meetings, events and sometimes social outings. Naturally, the pandemic put a stop to all of this.
As we look to a gradual reopening of the economy in 2021, we should not expect a return to the same mix of live vs. virtual selling. Sales and marketing will most likely remain a “digital-first” activity going forward. The pandemic was not the sole cause of this shift – digital was a key part of the mix beforehand and will never fully replace face-to-face events.
The truth is, the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we do business. Digital/virtual events have now become the main route to market. Although this won’t the end of face-to-face events, as they will certainly return because of a growing public appetite, digital is here to stay. The use of virtual events has been accelerated by COVID-19 for those companies that rely on virtual events and gain real value from them for quite a while now. All of this looks to result in a more hybrid approach going forward, where live events will run alongside digital meetings.
Sales teams have had to radically change their approach to close deals in this “new normal.” They started using digital technology for virtual meetings, product and service reviews, price check-outs, and much more. Even virtual events, which were a viable sales and marketing tool even prior to the pandemic, have been forced to change too. Now is the time to redesign strategies if you want to close deals in a post-covid world with the greatest efficiency.
Essential tips for using virtual events to close deals in a post-covid world
- Get in the right mindset – It’s important to psych yourself up and approach the big event like any other.
- Change your messaging – Times have changed significantly, so make sure your messages are updated to reflect the new needs. Otherwise, they’ll fall flat.
- Structure the event – Set your talking points and make sure that all your tech is working before you begin. This can help you feel better prepared and confident about selling virtually.
- Keep it engaging – ‘Zoom fatigue’ is real. Attention spans in virtual meetings tend to be much lower, so keep your event succinct and engaging with a variety of content. Don’t just run through a presentation. Blend keynote speakers, interactive workshops and actionable insights to keep the event moving and make it interesting and engaging.
- Leverage experts to maximise ROI – It’s better not to do everything on your own. Leverage independent experts or company’s specialists to manage the logistics of the event.
- Follow up after the event – Even if you have to follow up virtually, this can still dramatically increase your conversion rate.
Lastly, it’s essential to distinguish your virtual events from the mundane day-to-day reality that many of your prospects are facing. If you want to effectively close deals in a post-covid world, you need to stand out with your online practices and engage people on the other side of the screen.