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Top Virtual Selling Challenges for Sellers?

By Tom Pisello | February 25, 2021

One day you’re jet setting to that in-person client meeting, getting to know your prospects face-to-face, the next day your stuck in a home office, selling via a 13” monitor. That’s the way it was for me too, without a single in-person meeting for over a year now. For almost all B2B sellers, virtual selling is the new normal, and for the foreseeable future, the way we engage.

And even though many of us did at least a portion of our selling remotely pre-crisis, there are challenges for us all in this new virtual selling environment. Gartner recently surveyed 510 sales leaders on their frontline seller skills, asking “Which of the following are challenging you when selling virtually”.

There were four challenges identified (along with the percentage of respondents indicating):

Gaining Access

Way at the top of the list, gaining access to decision makers has become much more difficult now that we are virtual. In the past, sellers had in-person trade shows and events for capturing new prospect interest or wandering the halls of existing strategic customers for expansion opportunities. Now, it’s everyone vying for precious LinkedIn connections and inundating prospects with direct messages. Standing out above the noise is difficult, and it’s all too easy to come off “pitchy”.

What do we recommend to help overcome the virtual connection challenge:

It’s all about standing out like a zebra in a crowd of horses, but in a value-added way.

Gaining Consensus and Helping Good Decision Making

The second set of challenges aren’t about getting connected, but about properly gathering and engaging the right decision makers gaining consensus across the buying group (larger than ever), and making buyers feel confidence and good about their purchase decision.

This means finding new and better ways to:

The Bottom Line

With virtual selling here to stay, it is imperative that sellers, sales leaders, marketers and sales enablement address the challenges in today’s digital selling environment presents, helping to implement the mindset, skillset and toolsets needed to achieve effectiveness.

We recommend the following five improvements as a start, to help address the most pressing challenges of better connections and decision faciliation:

Source: Gartner Sellers Skills Assessment, Gartner CSO Journal Q1 2021

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